It is not uncommon for properties and corporations alike to seek representation from an agency to facilitate sports sponsorship deals. These companies are contracted to carry out services that a client does not have the expertise or resources to do (see below for examples). Most agencies have a multitude of clients; in the larger agencies, clients are divided amongst regional offices.
Full-service marketing agencies offer a number of services, which are contracted depending on a particular client’s needs. Since some agencies choose to specialize in certain services, corporations and properties will often work with more than one agency, using each one exclusively for specified services. These may include:
Sports Event Production/Management – Sometimes, a client will want to invest in creating a unique event or competition that will attract fans (consumers) and showcase the client’s brand or organization. An agency is attractive because they have the expertise and access to resources necessary to put on a successful event.
Hospitality Management – Amenities like suites are often part of a sponsor’s benefit package, and can be used to entertain clients and business partners. An agency assists by designing and managing the hospitality area to meet the sponsor’s objectives.
Sports Market Research – An essential step in the consultation process, an agency can offer a client the best available research on competitor activity, consumer demographics and property evaluation.
Negotiation – Agencies are staffed with highly experienced professionals with established relationships throughout the industry, facilitating skillful negotiation.
Retail Marketing – This is an essential part of sponsorship activation. The agency develops the creative and consults on the best use of retail promotions and signage.
Sponsorship Activation – Many agencies specialize in this element, organizing and managing street marketing teams to execute on-site promotions at games and events. Activation can also include sweepstakes and interactive contests, online and mobile content, and other media placement.
Sponsorship Consulting – This is perhaps the most common service sought from an agency. Corporations want expert advice on identifying the right property that will expose their brand to a targeted audience. An agency has the information and industry experience to best advise a client on reaching its target consumer through sports.
Sponsorship Evaluation – Particularly, at the end of a sponsorship deal, a client will want to know if the sponsorship has been valuable from a business standpoint. Many agencies have developed proprietary models for evaluating a sponsorship’s effectiveness in terms of increased awareness, sales, product trial, or other means.
Sponsorship Sales – In this case, the agency works on behalf of a property, prospecting potential sponsors and negotiating deals with well-aligned companies.
Strategic Consulting – A client will often seek expert advice and direction on overall strategy, integrating a sponsorship into the company’s marketing mix.
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