Sports Sponsorships’ Effect on Brand Image

Sports sponsorships are a well-liked marketing tactic that companies use to reach their target markets and enhance their brand reputation. A brand associates itself with the positive values associated with sports, such as teamwork, competition, and excellence, when it sponsors a sports team, event, or athlete.

The image of a brand may be significantly impacted by sports sponsorships. A University of Maryland study, for instance, discovered that sports sponsorships can raise brand awareness by up to 25%. 85% of consumers have a more favorable opinion of a brand after seeing it sponsored by a sports team or event, according to a Nielsen Sports study.

Sports sponsorships can have a variety of effects on a brand’s image. First, sports sponsorships can aid in boosting brand recognition. A brand is exposed to a large audience of potential customers when it sponsors a well-known sports team or event. The brand’s and its goods or services may become more well-known as a result of this exposure.

Second, sports sponsorships can contribute to the development of brand associations. A brand starts to adopt the positive values associated with sports when it is linked to a well-known sports team or event. A brand may be perceived as successful if, for instance, it sponsors a winning sports team.

Third, sports sponsorships can facilitate the development of emotional ties with customers. Sports can evoke strong emotions in spectators, who frequently develop close emotional bonds with the teams and athletes they support. When a brand is supported by a well-known sports team or athlete, it can draw on these sentimental ties and foster favorable associations with the brand.

Examples of how sports sponsorships have affected the perception of brands

Here are some specific instances of how sports sponsorships affect the perception of a brand:

  • Support from Nike for the US Olympic team. Since 1984, Nike has supported the US Olympic team. Nike has benefited from this sponsorship in developing a strong brand reputation linked to athleticism, excellence, and patriotism.
  • The support of professional athletes by Gatorade. Sports enthusiasts and athletes alike enjoy drinking Gatorade. LeBron James and Serena Williams are just two of the professional athletes that Gatorade sponsors. These sponsorships have aided Gatorade in developing a strong brand identity connected to excellence and athletic performance.
  • Extreme sport sponsorship by Red Bull. Energy drink Red Bull is well-liked by young people and people who are active. Many extreme sports, including skateboarding and snowboarding, are sponsored by Red Bull. These sponsorships have aided Red Bull in creating a strong brand identity connected to adventure, risk-taking, and excitement.

How to build a profitable sports sponsorship

The right team, event, or athlete should be selected when creating a sports sponsorship. The brand should select a group, occasion, or sportsperson that reflects the values and demographics of its target market.

It’s crucial to meaningfully activate the sponsorship as well. This entails developing events and content that draw in fans and foster a favorable perception of the brand. A brand might, for instance, support a fan competition, produce special content for fans, or host a meet-and-greet with an athlete it has sponsored.


Sports sponsorships have the potential to be an effective branding strategy. Brands can take advantage of the positive feelings and associations that are connected to sports by supporting the appropriate teams, events, or athletes. The right partner must be selected in order to create a successful sports sponsorship, and the sponsorship must be meaningfully activated.

Other pointers for developing a fruitful sports sponsorship

Here are some further pointers for developing a fruitful sports sponsorship:

  • Set specific objectives for the sponsorship. What goals do you have for the sponsorship? Do you want to boost sales, create positive brand associations, or raise brand awareness? Once your objectives are clear, you can create a sponsorship strategy that supports them.
  • Pick a compatible partner. Teams, competitions, and athletes in sports are not all created equal. Select a business partner who shares your target market’s interests and brand values.
  • Bring the sponsorship to life in a significant way. Make experiences and content that interest fans and foster good feelings toward the brand.
  • Analyze the sponsorship’s impact. Monitoring your sponsorship’s outcomes will help you determine what is and is not working. Over time, this will enable you to refine your sponsorship approach.

You can develop a sports sponsorship that aids in your brand marketing objectives by using the advice in this article.

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