Sports Sponsorship: An Alternative Marketing Strategy


Sponsorship – Now For Everyone

Traditionally we see sports sponsorship as a large corporate activity for the biggest businesses in the world. From stadiums to major events, large corporations will pay big bucks to associate themselves with the sporting world.

Sponsorship pays massive dividends for these businesses, it’s a huge industry at around $50 billion a year worldwide. However the participation and potential benefits of sports sponsorship to small businesses does not get highlighted enough.

We want to show the small business owners, managers and marketers that sports sponsorship should be considered a strategic business move. It is not a hand out but an investment that will help to achieve commercial goals.

Social media has made publicising and advertising sponsorship deals easier than ever. With one post you can announce your union and reach an engaged audience. While results of sponsorship are not as quantifiable as Facebook ads, the returns can be of magnitudes greater.

At PledgeSports we’re making serious athletes, teams and events readily available for you to sponsor. Our campaigns receive around 20% of funding from small to medium enterprises buying sports sponsorship rights.

The Perfect Marketing Channel

In a world that moves at a frightening rate small businesses are struggling to differentiate themselves from their competition. With traditional marketing channels being fleeting and expensive, and newer routes such as social media being cluttered and overwhelming, small businesses need an alternative. Sports sponsorship is a solution.

For local and regional businesses to succeed they need to garner attention from target markets, relevant networks and media outlets in their catchment areas. They need to be seen.

Providing sponsorship to a local sports team or athlete is the perfect way to achieve this. It’s a long term relationship that isn’t forgotten in the flurry of Google Ads or the pages of a magazine. It is long-standing enough to overcome the constant stream of advertising online and offline and instead becomes recognisable and memorable, solidifying a business’ position within a community.

That’s not to mention the advantages of association:

  • Being seen alongside your sponsored sports team/athlete every time they’re mentioned in the media (a benefit that grows with their success)
  • Celebrating their success with them
  • Increasing social media followers by leveraging your athlete/team’s influence
  • Increasing website visits


Brand perception is key, especially when marketing to a relatively small and well-connected population like a state or county.

Regional sports sponsorship deals allows a business to be perceived by potential and current customers alike as compassionate and develops the good will of the community.

Intangible benefits like loyalty and pride produce repeat customers. This can be considered an inexpensive but valuable alternative to bland adverts and less time consuming than constant social media updates.

The return on investment of sports sponsorship is difficult to measure but it is massively impactful. Big business has used it for years, but today in our hyperconnected world it is a perfect marketing channel for smaller businesses.

It affects more than just sales but brand image and reputation. It allows a business to reach more specific markets and become more relevant within them.

And ultimately sports sponsorship helps businesses to build and maintain competitive positions in local markets and increase the bottom line.

Set yourself apart from competitors. Sponsor sport and reap the rewards.

If you’re interested to read more, we’ve got an economics paper that discusses the point in more depth here.

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