In the ever-evolving landscape of brand sponsorship, the realm of sports has been the perennial winner. But what about the “E” in S&E sponsorship? Entertainment sponsorship often takes a backseat in brand portfolios, despite holding immense potential. This article delves into the concept of integrating more entertainment into your sponsorship strategy and how it can be a game-changer.
Sports Sponsorships: An Overweight Portfolio
It’s not uncommon for brands to allocate a significant portion of their sponsorship dollars to sports. In fact, approximately 70% of sponsorship funds are earmarked for sports-related properties. While sports sponsorships are undoubtedly valuable, they have an unintended consequence – they tend to pull families away from each other. Just like excessive screen time can create a disconnect within families, attending pro or college sporting events and watching games on television often leads to parents and kids spending less time together.
Another challenge to consider with an overweight sports sponsorship portfolio is the sheer volume of competing brands vying for attention during sports programming. This cacophony can dilute the impact of official team and league deals, making it a challenge for a brand to stand out. Maybe the more significant concern involves the justification of the substantial sponsorship expense when compared to alternative sponsorship marketing channels or opportunities.
Music Sponsorships: Listen Up
Beyond sports, music sponsorships tend to find themselves as the leader among non-sports sponsorship portfolios. These partnerships often revolve around Live Nation, well known for its concerts and events. Additionally, music festivals like Coachella and Bonnaroo, among others, attract large audiences and offer interesting sponsorship opportunities. These festivals offer a valuable platform for brands to engage with diverse, albeit younger audiences. However, similar to sports, they may sometimes fall short in effectively reaching family-oriented demographics.
Finding the Right Passion Points
Passion points marketing is often a justification or classification for sports, music or gaming sponsorships. Yet few things rival the devotion parents have for their children. In fact, there is nothing parents are more passionate about than their own kids. While sports, music or gaming can unite fans, other family-friendly entertainment venues offer a unique opportunity to bring parents and kids closer together.
The Appeal of Entertainment Sponsorship
Here’s where the ‘E’ in S&E sponsorship comes into play. Entertainment properties allows brands to reach an incremental and complimentary audience. For instance, family-friendly venues (including zoos, aquariums, science centers, and children’s museums) consistently outpace annual attendance across all U.S. sports combined.
Entertainment partnerships offer brands a rare moment to play a central role where they can add value to immersive experiences that evoke feelings of positivity, joy and togetherness. Family-friendly venues represent the most significant untapped opportunity hiding in plain sight for brand marketers and sponsors.
These venues are the perfect backdrop for creating “Moments that Matter.” Immersing brands into the most positive, connected, and shared moments between parents and kids offer brand partners direct access for playing a pivotal role for creating memories (and brand love) that can last a lifetime.
Entertainment Sponsorship Activation: An Omnichannel Approach
The key to a successful entertainment sponsorship is a fully integrated activation strategy. When brands fully immerse themselves in every facet of the entertainment experience, they can cultivate synergies within the partnership network, yielding tangible outcomes. This approach has the potential to generate quantifiable results, including increasing brand awareness at the top of the marketing funnel to building brand equity, fostering brand affinity, nurturing brand loyalty, and even boosting sales conversion rates further down the sales funnel. The opportunities are limitless.
In the world of sponsorship, it’s time to give the entertainment sector its due recognition and place it alongside sports. Entertainment partnerships, particularly in family-friendly venues, offer a unique opportunity for brands to create unforgettable, shared experiences between parents and kids. These are the moments that truly matter and often leave lifelong memories associated with brand partners. So, if you’re looking to drive measurable results while diversifying your sponsorship portfolio, consider adding more entertainment properties to your marketing plans.