Many sporting events create partnerships with brands to secure either their involvement in the event or simply their support for it. Partnerships of this type are becoming increasingly organic.
It is not merely a question of associating the brand's name with the event or sponsoring it to make it viable - it’s much more than this! In such a digital world as the one we live in today, it's increasingly more important to take advantage of opportunities like this to make contact with people and allow them to experience the brand differently.
For sure, care must be taken in choosing an appropriate brand to the event in question. One that identifies with the event and will make for a good partner: a win-win situation. An excellent example of this is the Heineken Champions Cup, which today everyone refers to simply as the Heineken Cup. Nowadays, nobody can remember how the connection between rugby and this particular brand of beer came about, but the fact is that the brand's DNA is now so firmly entrenched with the event that they are seen as one and the same. You can no longer have one without the other.
Getting close to costumers
Proximity is a hugely important part of brands' relationships with their customers and having a digital presence does not invalidate the worth of a strong physical presence. On the contrary: people want to be in touch with brands and off-line campaigns, and events are an excellent way of forging that relationship. The fact that campaigns can be highly customisable and direct makes the potential impact huge, especially if the presence or event is something out of the ordinary.
Sporting events as networking
Another convincing reason why brands feel the need to attend all kinds of sporting events is the potential for networking opportunities. Events like these always draw large numbers of people, from sponsors to those in charge of the clubs and institutions involved and even partners. So they bring together many decision-makers who take the opportunity of these group gatherings to make new contacts more informally and casually.
At Move Sports events, we make a point of having a space that actively encourages this contact between sponsors and partners. This is because we believe that, while the focus is on the actual tournament and physical activity, fostering this kind of conviviality in a favourable environment will ultimately help create new professional relationships.
Specifically, during our yearly Portugal Rugby Youth Festival, we make sure to have a Fun Zone, a Coaches Corner and a Lomu's Lounge:
- The first one is an area to relax, focused on the young ones, a safe place for them to unload their energy safely and, as the name says, to have some fun. It is also the preferable area for the brands to communicate, interact and connect with the community.
- The Coaches Corner is directed at a more technical debate. We aim to provide the tournament's team coaches, former rugby players and some guests a space to watch the games and chat from a privileged spot. It's a place where they can eat something, exchange ideas and methods and, above all, watch the games and get to know some potential new talents.
- The Lomu's Lounge is the place where Move Sports and the tournament sponsors offer lunch for a few special guests just beside the main pitch. This is a real good opportunity for networking between the different companies.
As a plus, there are many brand activation campaigns exclusively happening in these three spots.