“Coverage of the deal announcement plays an immediate role in activation. The deal itself can be enough.” So said Darren Heitner, owner of sports law firm Heitner Legal and contributor to business media company Forbes, on the second day of the Sponsorium International Conference in Miami.

Heitner, along with representatives from business publications Adweek and Mediapost and PR consultancy Edelman, took part in a panel called “Getting the Story Told” and discussed media-led activation trends.

Advertising is still king but sponsorship can reach further

While sponsorship continues to evolve into a multifaceted marketing platform, in the US the focus is still on reaching that live TV audience, Seth Leeds, head of marketing and support, Americas for Sponsorium, claimed.

“Many brands still get involved with properties just to get that advertising space during broadcast,” he said.

He pointed to the Superbowl, the pinnacle of in-game advertising, as a prime example of this. While any brand, including non-sponsors of the NFL, can buy a spot during the game, the brands that do sponsor the league use that association to validate and elevate its brand above others. It can be a case of the sponsorship informing the ad or ads rather than the opposite, Leeds said.

The ability to activate a sponsorship over a period of months can have a greater payoff than a one-off hit, Tanya Irwin, senior writer for Mediapost, said.

“Any company can buy a Superbowl ad, let a creative agency loose on it and create a quick spike in awareness but a partnership activated smartly over time creates a greater emotional bond with a real core of potential customers and that is hard to replicate,” she said.

Irwin pointed to payment services company Visa‘s campaign for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games where the brand produced video case studies of a number of athletes and the challenges they faced in the run-up to the Games.

Fans who engaged with the campaign were then invited to send congratulatory messages to winning showcased athletes over social media. The images were then merged into a collage that was posted by Visa‘s own channel.

by Steven Slayford, sportbusiness.com, 10 FEBRUARY 2015

Click here to read full article