The English Premier League Football season is in full swing and millions of fans around the world back their favorite teams to win the championship. We hear of sportspersons being signed on for advertising and commercial deals running into millions of dollars, apart from the payments they receive from their respective clubs, teams or groups for each playing season.
Sports clubs and teams themselves are sponsored by big corporates and conglomerates manufacturing and dealing in several businesses like electronics, automobiles, beverages, financial services, airlines, sports goods, clothing, packaging, retail, building construction, real estate and many others.
Some of the top Football Club sponsors, for categories such as clothing, sports equipment and kits are:
• Arsenal – Emirates
• Blackburn Rovers – Crown Paints
• Bolton Wanderers – Reebok
• Chelsea – Samsung
• Fulham – LG Electronics
• Liverpool – Carlsberg
• Manchester City – Thomas Cook
• Manchester United – American International Group
• Newcastle Ltd – Northern Rock
• Stoke City – Britannia
• Tottenham Hotspur – Mansion
• Wigan Athletic – JJB Sports Ltd
Logos – uses and benefits
It’s not uncommon to see sports teams around the world sporting company logos on their clothing, shoes, travel kits and other paraphernalia providing win-win situations for all in terms of business branding and revenue earnings.
However, the consumer electronics industry remains the hot favorite among corporate sponsors because of the endless stream of innovations in products and the ever growing demand for the latest gadgets and electronics in a widely aware consumer industry.
Companies like Sony Corp, Panasonic, Samsung, Philips and LG put their sponsorships to good use for various benefits. Panasonic uses its Ideas for Life positioning to reinforce brand image, engage retailers and consumers and increase sales. Sony used its seven-year FIFA deal for exclusive rights in the high definition TVs, personal computers, audio equipment and components and gaming equipment creating a very visible ‘digital life’ category.
In the US, Philips Electronics through its streamlined sponsorship programs focuses on soccer/football as a marketing platform. In a five-year deal, the company is able to achieve exclusivity in consumer electrical and electronic equipment and kitchen appliances. Likewise, Sony uses title sponsorship of NHRA’s Sport Compact Racing Series to promote brand awareness of its Xplod mobile audio while as co-sponsor to the Penske Racing NASCAR Nextel Cup; it promotes its HD TV products. Samsung Electronics, through its Hope for Education program donates consumer electronic products and software worth millions of dollars to schools; it also supports non-profit organizations that have links with music and sports celebrities to promote worthy causes.
Display and demos for new products is the current focus of many sponsorships; simultaneously building industry-trade relations through employee sales incentive contests, in-store promotions and client entertainment.