More TV revenue. More transfers fees. More social media followers. More, more, more...but, how about being different to generate more sponsorship opportunities?
Historically sports, and particularly football, have lived off a few valuable assets which occupy the scarce screen share of traditional media. Sideline boards (static cardboards or animated on LED screens) and playing uniforms (front of shirt), accrued the maximum value generate in an era when awareness was the maximum goal.
As societies and consumption patterns evolved, we went through in-broadcast branding (more awareness) to direct sampling in a dismal effort anchored on reaching a few hoping to score big on sales. This no longer applies. Even brands that crave recognition aim to sprinkle that with actionable leads that push forward their bottom lines.
Welcome to the digital revolution.
No one is beyond reach in this mobile-everything era, and brands see sports as the pretext (call it passion pressure point, if you like) to engage their target audiences, transforming the advertising repetition mantra into a catered dialogue, anchored in a strong and pertinent story.
This is precisely what we at WWP Group accomplished for Tag Heuer in two of their most relevant deals with the Spanish La Liga and the German Bundesliga, where we have seamlessly merged the brand experience on-site with a tailored digital content marketing campaign.
Most notably, Tag Heuer's sponsorship deal with Bundesliga covers an exclusive set of digital rights that revolves around their Rookie Award. It is bold, it is innovative, but most certainly is relevant. We have managed to give life to a weekly, monthly and yearly program that celebrates the present and future of German football, while embedding the against all odds 'Don’t Crack Under Pressure' claim into the minds of the Bundesliga fans globally, by the materialisation of football’s rising stars that fans can ‘touch’ (click and tap).
But the digital battlefront is not only for the young and restless, centennial sports properties and brands are rewriting the industry conventions, like Audi and Real Madrid showed with their 'e-tron Race' a few months ago, that created the perfect cocktail of on/off brand experiences.
Digital assets are the new, efficient currency of sponsorship deals. They are nimble, scalable and accessible everywhere, which is something that live match attendance or TV consumption cannot deliver.
But more than the above, digital assets allow for more precise, accountable and time-sensitive measuring, providing brands a clear shot at hitting KPIs that correlate to their business objectives. Being different and demanding tailored digital assets from your partners, allows you to create a clutter-free asset canvas that push your brand’s sales or market share objectives, in a virtuous flywheel that advances your business forward along the funnel. For sports properties, a digital asset portfolio allows you to multiply almost ad infinitum your commercial real estate, making you more efficient for and accountable of the success you bring to your brand partners. Click. Tap. Call.
Rayde Luis Baez, is managing director of the WWP Group in western and southern Europe and Americas, leading the charge of global football, basketball and motorsports projects, based in Barcelona and Madrid.
Robert Schmidle, is managing director of D/UNIT, WWP Group’s subsidiary and in-house digital studio, digitally transforming sports marketing globally, based in Munich.