Time stands still for no man.
This quote was first used in 1223 – so we are fast approaching the 800 year anniversary.
The world has changed a lot since then, and in recent years the rate of change escalates year on year. Who can remember when Snapchat was the next big thing? 😉
The sports business is a pretty recent business (when compared to King Canute, who was rumored to be part of that 12th century quote), with the Superbowl leading the way in professionalism for these past “LII” years.
And the sports business is one that certainly does not hang around waiting for anyone. Professional Sport is about excellence. It’s about beating the person next to you, and finding even the smallest competitive advantage. And the business of sports sponsorship is no different.
However, a new trend (one that has actually been around a while) is becoming more relevant to the companies whose budgets fuel these activities. Certainly companies are increasingly focused on achieving results from their sponsorship investment in to Sports. And smarter Sports Marketing agencies are set up to listen to what companies want and deal accordingly.
But sponsorship of CSR programs is now rising (and often already risen) to the most important area for Sports Marketers to be aware of.
CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) programs are where companies currently have a more ready access to funds to support sports activities. This is because they see the benefits that the association not only has on their business but on the community in which they operate.
And in environments, where jobs are lost, or budgets are cut – a Sports Sponsorship is often seen as a luxury that cannot be justified. CSR budgets therefore are where many Sports Marketing agencies are looking to work.
Sport is a very powerful force for good – when done right. Kids need to be more active, people want to be inspired by their heroes, sport instils values such as teamwork, commitment, following a plan, the list goes on. And if you can ensure that your activities deliver a real benefit to your local community, then your own sports’ properties are going to be far more valuable to the corporations in your vision.