How sports sponsorship improves brand loyalty. - ACTIV Brand Management

Name another marketing channel that creates as much brand loyalty as sports sponsorship….

Over the weekend I was working at an amateur bike race in Melbourne, Victoria. 116 riders from all walks of life with varying levels of ability, all with a common interest…a love of cycling. The one thing that struck me as really interesting was the carpark.

The carpark, really?

Yep, because there was one brand that was over represented in this particular carpark compared to most carparks you see around Australia and that was Skoda.

Why Skoda?

Skoda’s brand story actually started with the production of bicycles in 1895 and that 120+ year tradition and commitment to the sport has been unwavering around the world. Sure they don’t sponsor every bike race or team, but they don’t need to.

Skoda’s highest profile sponsorship with the Tour de France will enter its 17th year this year. If like me you go without much sleep during June/July you will be up watching the Tour de France telecast on SBS, complete with Skoda ads dotted throughout. It’s this commitment and loyalty to the sport, that transcends the audience, the cycling fans. So when it comes time to purchase a new car, Skoda’s loyalty and support of the sport is repaid by these fans. Fans by the way who normally have a higher than average level of disposable income.

But it’s important to remember that this doesn’t happen overnight, and nor should it. Investing in a sports sponsorship deal only buys you the ‘right’ to engage with fans. It’s what you do with it that counts.

It’s through emotive ads like the one below that Skoda has tapped into and understands what it means to be a cyclist, in the words of Skoda, ‘it’s simply clever’.

Couple these ads with the rest of a sponsorship campaign which spans across multiple platforms, around the entire world, even if Skoda pulled the pin on cycling tomorrow it would take a long time to disassociate them from the sport.

Can you name another marketing channel that creates so much loyalty? Invokes so much emotion? No…neither could we.

Sports sponsorship is a privilege, connect with fans via a genuine shared passion point and they will be customers for life.

Till next time.