Whether you’re watching a local junior football tournament or The X Factor, you’re likely accustomed to seeing sponsors’ logos everywhere you go. We’re willing to bet that you don’t even notice them!
To give this relationship the attention it deserves, we’ve highlighted six examples of sponsorship marketing collaborations that have captured the imagination of the world (and produced millions of pounds in the process!).
Whether a major company or a small business, you can learn a great deal from them.
Types Of Marketing Sponsorships
Sponsorships have different benefits depending on the type of sponsorship. In marketing, sponsorships come in a variety of forms:
- Media sponsorship: A media organization, such as a social media platform or local television network, could provide media coverage for an event. The event is covered by the media, and the business gains free promotional chances.
- Financial sponsorship: In a financial sponsorship, a company might provide money to a cause or group. The event organizers may place a sign at the event with the sponsoring company’s details.
- In-kind sponsorship: With an in-kind sponsorship, a firm can sponsor an event or group by providing free goods or services. The donation of food to a charity event by a restaurant is an example of in-kind sponsorship.
Incredible Examples of Sponsorship Marketing
Here are some of the best examples of sponsorship marketing.
1. Coca-Cola and the Olympic Games
Since 1928, Coca-Cola has been a sponsor of the Olympic Games. However, its most recent successful cooperation occurred during the 2016 Rio Olympic Games with the #ThatsGold campaign.
While some sponsors may be satisfied with having their logo shown at an event, Coca-sponsorship Cola’s campaign went well beyond that.
The #ThatsGold campaign was a year-long, multi-platform social media promotion aimed towards adolescents and young adults aged 13 to 20.
Photos and films depicting influencers, entertainers, and (of course!) Olympic athletes were effective in capturing the attention of adolescents prior to, during, and following the games. And it surely accomplished its intended purpose.
The brand’s targeting accuracy was 88%, and it reached 77% of Brazil’s teen population (21 million teens). In addition, the overall campaign generated more than thirty million video views during its duration (according to Campaign).
However, the campaign’s message may have struck the strongest chord with supporters. The campaign, which celebrated life’s major and tiny “gold moments,” ensured that no one was excluded, regardless of their ability to obtain a ticket to the games.
The real-time marketing manager for Coca-Cola, Patricia Pieranti, remarked, “Everyone can be gold, just as everyone can have a Coke… It is not about performance, but the gold that occurs off the podium.
2. PepsiCo and NFL
IEG ranked PepsiCo as the top U.S. sponsor in 2015, based on its sponsorship marketing expenditures of around $370 million.
The NFL Super Bowl, which takes place annually in the United States, is the brand’s most successful event sponsorship endeavor. Pepsi alone invested $100 million in the Super Bowl in 2020. (as revealed by NS Business).
Consequently, why is this collaboration so fruitful?
PepsiCo is a master at selecting sponsorship marketing opportunities that are mutually advantageous and allow it to create long-lasting relationships.
Its multi-year sponsorship of the Super Bowl halftime spectacle is a good example. With PepsiCo’s assistance, the NFL was able to extend the performance from 12 minutes to a considerably bigger platform.
This allowed the NFL to broaden the reach of the show, while PepsiCo could sell its products to a larger audience. Therefore, the transfer was extremely beneficial to both parties.
In fact, halftime shows frequently attract more viewers than the actual game. The 2020 Super Bowl drew 102 million viewers, but the J-Lo and Shakira halftime show attracted 104 million!
By creating long-term partnerships with recurring events, PepsiCo is able to establish deep connections with both customers and event organizers, thereby reusing its sponsorship success.
3. Just Eat and The X Factor
In 2017, Eat entered into a multi-year sponsorship marketing agreement with The X Factor, which, despite dropping viewership, was still one of the most popular programs on commercial television.
In fact, Marketing Week reports that 39 million people watched the show the year before the contract was inked.
The sponsorship arrangement, rumored to be worth over £30 million, centered on classic television idents. These were to show at the beginning and conclusion of commercial breaks throughout the program.
But rather than stop there, Just Eat took things to the next level. The brand created “Chef Factor,” a worldwide search for cooks to star in the idents, effectively paralleling the television show!
In addition, ‘Just Eat’s Xtra Bites’ provided consumers with special behind-the-scenes content and ticket giveaways throughout the series.
We adore how Just Eat infused its own personality into this endeavor, utilizing food-related terminology that is guaranteed to make you salivate, such as: “This year, we’re dishing up an exclusive mix of material with a side of juicy backstage gossip that’s sure to satiate your hunger!”
Families and friends enjoying a night in front of the television are a wonderful match for Just Eat’s target audience, which may be the primary reason for the sponsorship’s success.
The chief marketing officer of Just Eat, Barnaby Dawe, stated, “We are a weekend business, and food plays a significant role in how families watch The X Factor.” So it aligns with consumer preferences.
4. Rolex and TED
Since 2008, Rolex has sponsored TED, allowing the non-profit to continue sharing its compelling speeches with the world for free.
But what made their collaboration in sponsorship marketing so successful?
Rolex was one of the first TED partners to utilize the platform’s strengths by producing a branded, three-minute film for the TED platform.
As advertising against TED Talks on comparable topics, the video highlighted the company’s heritage of design and innovation.
Numerous sponsors seeking to tailor their brand reputation rely solely on association with the sponsee.
Rolex was able to go a step further by generating custom material that would appeal to TED Talks viewers, thereby portraying itself as a point of interest that viewers would appreciate knowing about.
As the collaboration between TED and Rolex grew, it expanded beyond a simple sponsorship deal.
In 2012, they collaborated to create the wildly popular ‘Surprise Me’ feature on the TED Talks app, which has been downloaded more than 200,000 times globally (according to Sensor Tower).
As opposed to having to choose TED Talks based on topic, Rolex and TED’s new feature enables users to find “jaw-dropping” talks based on the amount of time and mood they have.
Rolex’s commitment to investing in technology to improve the world was represented in the cooperation, which also cleverly played on the concept of timekeeping.
5. Emirates and Arsenal
Emirates’ sponsorship of Arsenal is not one of the more imaginative examples of sponsorship marketing, but it is undoubtedly noteworthy. Not least due to the enormous amount of money involved!
In 2004, the airline secured its first sponsorship deal with Arsenal, granting its name rights to the stadium.
The global destination, which attracts 109,000 visitors annually, will be known as the Emirates Stadium until at least 2028, as a result of an extension agreed upon in 2012 with the airline.
But there’s more.
According to the BBC, the airline has been Arsenal’s jersey sponsor since 2006 and recently extended the sponsorship arrangement through 2024 for a record £200 million!
This is the largest contract ever signed by the London football club, and it will also be the longest.
The substantial financial commitment from Emirates is undoubtedly incredibly advantageous to the club’s pursuit of championships.
Meanwhile, Emirates obtains the rights to build global marketing campaigns featuring Arsenal. And because Arsenal is such a widely recognized brand, this opportunity is (nearly) priceless.
However, our favorite part of the agreement is that Arsenal will fly on Emirates planes during preseason visits.
In this method, rather than merely promoting its brand, the airline is able to utilize its expertise to provide transportation for the club and earn tremendous recognition!
It is impossible to determine how much revenue Emirates generates from its sponsorship arrangement.
However, given the airline’s readiness to pay £200 million to prolong its shirt sponsorship contract, it’s logical to presume they’re receiving at least as much value in return (and probably a whole lot more).
6. Nike and Cristiano Ronaldo
Consider again the notion that Emirates and Arsenal’s transaction included a staggering sum of money.
Cristiano Ronaldo is about to become (perhaps) the wealthiest Nike athlete in the world after signing a $1 billion lifetime endorsement agreement with the sportswear company!
In 2003, about the same time that Ronaldo joined Manchester United, the two formed their initial partnership. Since then, he has competed for Real Madrid and Juventus in various divisions and tournaments.
By the time the partners signed their lifetime contract in 2016, he had worn out over sixty pairs of Nike football studs (according to Forbes).
Sporttechie says that while it may appear Ronaldo has won the lottery, Nike may have actually gotten a fair deal.
During the preceding year, the footballer (or should we say influencer) posted 1,703 times on social media, generating a total of 2.25 billion social engagements.
According to Hookit, 347 of these posts referenced Nike or displayed its emblem. In 2016, this activity reportedly created $474 million in media value for Nike.
In other words, Nike needed only one more year like this one to recoup the $1 billion it agreed to give up. Not terrible, correct?
This collaboration exemplifies the overlap between sponsorship marketing and other sorts of partner marketing, which is why we’ve included it in our collection of the best examples of partner marketing.
For example, the Nike tick displayed in the celebrity’s Instagram postings could be interpreted as product placement.
And the agreement’s emphasis on his social media presence may be viewed as influencer marketing (which is in itself a kind of referral marketing agreement). Is your mind already blown?
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Conclusion: Incredible Examples of Sponsorship Marketing 2024
At the end of the day, you don’t have to be one of these huge global names to gain value for your business through sponsorship. This is one partnership type that really does work on all scales.
And as these 6 sponsorship marketing examples show, it can be a fantastic tool for increasing brand awareness and bettering brand reputation.
Whether it’s through the distribution of special items or the offering of cooking lessons, interacting with the audience is essential for building brand awareness.
Original sponsoring schemes definitely have an influence, but the Pepsi example demonstrates that the success of an event sponsorship depends on the activation of that sponsorship.