A Look Inside A Sponsors Mind

29 April 2008

Have a look around the court of any national or club basketball side in Europe and you'll quickly come to understand what an important role sponsorship has come to play in the sport.

Companies are keen to associate their name with that of successful teams, be they EuroBasket Champions Russia or EuroLeague Women Final Four hosts Gambrinus Brno.  This is a fact that was not lost on the organizers of the first ever FIBA Europe Seminar for National Federations.

After a morning hearing from people working inside the world of sport, be it basketball or football, delegates from 30 European federations got a glimpse inside the mind of someone on the other side of the fence. 

Caroline Drischel, a Sponsorship Branding and Communications Specialist for Swiss bank UBS, shared her knowledge and experience with those on hand to give them a better idea of what motivates sponsors and how to attract lucrative sponsorship deals.

"Sponsorship, especially sports sponsorship, is a very emotional and tangible tool which can support deep brand awareness," said Drischel.

"The companies profit because there is an emotional link and a shared value between the property (the federations) and the brand."

Drischel offered insight into the marketing theory which drives sponsorship and offered many examples of how large international companies have used sponsorship to drive brand awareness and engagement.

"ING has spent a lot of money on a Formula One sponsorship deal and they have managed to double their brand awareness as a result."

Surprisingly Drischel did not see a lack of success on the court as an impediment to sponsorship opportunities, depending on the company's goals.

"Success matters when you go for awareness, if you go for awareness then you need to be present in the press, people need to be talking about you but if your company cares about brand engagement and not brand awareness then success is not a key driver."

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