4 Ways to Integrate Community into Your Sponsorship & Why It Matters Now More Than Ever
June 2, 2023
5 min read
Share this post
Since the beginning of sponsorship, there has always been an expectation for right holders (and to a lesser degree their partners) to “give back” to the communities in which they operate.
This expectation comes from the fact that most of these right holders in some way either bear the name of the city or are tenants of facilities or land that belongs to the city and its citizens.
In the last three decades, this relationship has become somewhat adversarial in part because these rights holders have threatened to abandon these communities unless they contribute hundreds of millions of tax dollars to improve existing facilities or even build new ones. In many cases, the local, county and state government leaders cave into political pressure and have notoriously granted them “sweetheart” deals. And in the worst cases, without any acknowledgement of the loyalty of those very citizens (both fans and non fans) to their franchise over time.
More recently, things have begun to shift for both rights holders and their partners in the way that connect with their community.
A greater emphasis has been placed on social responsibility and corporate citizenship. And as the world emerges from a global pandemic (and perhaps bracing for the next one), these feelings about social responsibility have never been higher. Rights holders and their partner brands are seizing the moment rallying to support the community through the trials and tribulations that they are facing each and everyday. From mass shootings, natural disasters, social justice and food/housing crisis, right holders and brands have putting themselves “out there” to show they are part of the solution and a force that can bring people together for good.
Here are 4 ways that you can integrate sponsorship into their community
Community Impact #1: Small Business Sponsorship Opportunity
· Create a mechanism where they can be a sponsor; doesn’t have to be exclusive but give them use of marks
· Food/ Concessions are a great way to enhance the fan experience and truly connect you to that community
· Services Vendor Network
Community Impact #2: Education & Youth Development·
· Reward & Recognize Academic Achievement in Community
· Promote STEM Programing where it is exists intuitively with your team and/or Company
Community Impact #3: Tap Into the Art & Content Creator Community
· Grow the Cultural impact of Fan Experience by providing opportunities to local artists
· Merchandise expansion (apparel, collectibles, media & NFT)
· Allow content creators to develop Fan Generated Content (in game videos & promos, social media takeovers & exclusive access)
Community Impact #4: Civic, Military & First Responders Network
· Continue to Honor Military Service & Veterans
· Extend to Honoring Your Community’s First Responders
· Continue to Support Democracy via Voting Center
· Food & Medical Distribution Center
These community based activations will take your sponsorship from ordinary to extraordinary. You will create memorable and shareable experiences that will transform how fans and non fans view your company.