Sports companies are the first to be asked for sponsorship and it is imperative that the relationship from any arrangement is balanced.
What is sponsorship?
Sponsorship is a form of marketing used to sell product. In cricket it can be seen as
- Individual players endorsing a brand
- advertising placed around a ground and on club websites
- Club clothing displaying paid advertising space
- Fundraising events donation of goods and/or services
Good Sponsorship generates sales
When a sports company offers assistance it is looking for a positive commercial return from it. Profit comes from sales. It is not a such simple approach as throw around free kit and the market will grow towards you. The sponsorship element of a marketing mix must fit with all other marketing strategies.
Who to Sponsor
Elite players are often looked up to as young cricketers aspire to be them and they may begin by using the same brands. If the same juniors followed the strict training regime, disciplined body management and self sacrifice, opportunity for the same endorsements may come their way (after, not before). Players that receive media exposure are the first to be offered sponsorship. This can be the use of equipment with or without financial gain to the player attached. Basically, the greater your selling power as a player the greater the interest you will receive from brands wanting you to represent them.
Clubs are always looking for ways to bring funds in. Vital for the survival and growth of the sport, it is not long before local businesses are approached. The same principles are applied in regards to the overall business objectives. The relationship must work both ways, with gains to be made, not just promised, for both sides. Potential can only be marketed so far and is used only for a short time. If actual good results are not posted the relationship fails.
Sponsorship or Discount?
Some brands offer a discount to certain levels of cricketers, but is this really sponsorship? Product discounts are used to encourage the sale. Some brands will give the impression that this is sponsorship. The player/buyer will feel that bit more special and thus more likely to buy that brand. Such discounts can be presented as:
- Brand Ambassador
- Premier Player discount
- Loyalty discount
For further information regarding Bradbury sponsored players visit Sponsorship