Benefits of sponsorship
There are many benefits to be gained from entering the world of motorsport sponsorship.
- Brand Exposure
- Product Association
- Business to business
- Public Relations
- Team and Driver utilisation
The programme is more limited by your imagination than anything else.
You are very effectively putting your brand in front of a live spectator and TV audience. The MG team competing at the Le Mans 24 hour race in 2001 featured very heavily in 17 hours of live TV time on Eurosport which reaches hundreds of millions of viewers, indeed the Le Mans coverage reached 83 countries and analysis showed that they could not have afforded to buy the equivalent amount of commercial TV time. It is important to remember internal marketing as well as external, your staff can be part of the programme. It is also worth remembering that in traditional advertising, the “action” has to stop to get the message across, in motorsport, THE ACTION IS THE MESSAGE
It is very easy and cost effective to entertain important clients and potential clients at the events. There is a huge difference between inviting clients to see a car race and to see “OUR” car race. Your guests and staff can feel important whilst having a hugely enjoyable day out, getting much closer to the action than a normal spectator, sitting in the car, talking to the drivers and team, standing in the garage or sometimes even on the pitwall during a race.
Motorsport is a harsh, rough, technological environment, and you give your brand an association not just with the glamour of motorsport but align it in your customers eyes as an advanced brand, one that can cope with this harsh environment. It is no coincidence that so many technology companies associate themselves with motorsport.
Business to Business
The part of your partnership that can reap the most direct benefit, dealing with the many teams, drivers sponsors and suppliers to the sport on one hand, and using hospitality to talk to new customers on the other. Maybe you have 5 target customers that you have spent a year trying to deal with, possibly tying up a member of staff for that year as they could be so important to you. If after a year you haven’t got in through the door, how much would a whole day talking to them in a relaxed, enjoyable environment be worth to you? How much less has that day cost you than a year tying up a member of staff banging on their door?
National, local and trade press are always clamouring for interesting copy, so a brief race report sent to them soon after the event can be virtually guaranteed to give you very effective press coverage. In recent years I have been compiling a PR report and attaching digital photos which can be emailed out even on the day of the event, which has been very effective at gaining press coverage, even in the UK national press such as the Daily Telegraph, the Sun, on teletext and on trade and motorsport websites. They all thrive on news being fresh.
Team and driver utilisation.
Any partnership gives you rights to use your relationship with the sport and your driver and team in your PR material, brochures, advertising etc, but you can easily go one stage further and have the car, driver or whole team at an event. This could be your annual trade show, a press launch of a new product, opening a new office or outlet, or even an internal event such as a sales conference. The races or specially organised events can bring your customers into even closer contact, passenger rides in the racecar, track driving events, even whole corporate competitive events can be part of your overall programme.