Stadium (and Arena) Naming Rights. Jersey Patch Partnerships. Both are topics that - more than ever - elicit a wide range of commentary among brand, property, agency and media executives throughout the sports industry and, more than ever, require a non-traditional approach to delivering true business value and quantifiable ROI. They are also topics that our clients ask about repeatedly, whether they have (or are considering) a deal of their own, or not. We know it well, having forged the first global sustainability naming rights partnership between Ball Corporation and Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, with what became Ball Arena in Denver.
Given the depth of teams that have reaped the financial benefit of these two types of high profile deals - and the momentum here in the US remains as strong as ever - Peter’s Playbook Volume 4 is rooted in a key question: How does a brand reimagine and refresh their naming rights platform - or jersey patch partnership - even years after its initial launch?
You’ve got questions. Here are some answers …
#1: Let’s Get Social
With the depth of naming rights partnerships dating back decades - and jersey patch deals among three of the “core 4” major sports properties increasing in influence over the past 5-6 years or so - it’s important to first ask how you are using your ever-more-influential social media channels to tell a reimagined story about your brand. Or company. Or partnership. Social provides the most relevant pathway to refresh and reignite, with the venue or jersey serving as a notable, iconic backdrop to your latest message, whatever it may be. Community and purpose-based programming. Perhaps even subtly, at times, the venue or jersey can put a spotlight on your latest campaign. Given the investment in the partnership itself, your social media can (cost effectively) keep things fresh and top-of-mind, such that your partnership isn’t merely a static platform that consumers look at as they drive down the interstate or turn on the TV.
#2: It’s Time for a Refresh
This one may seem obvious but your venue or patch, let alone your activation area, signage, promotional execution and technology need to also evolve and continue to be reimagined. You’ve got a new ad campaign? A new target? New tone? Or even a new tagline? Perhaps data has shown that what was once grabbing consumer attention at the outset is no longer. That’s why it may be time for an overall refresh.
#3: Let’s Go to the “Videotape”
Ah yes. One of my favorite topics. KPIs. Measurement. Third Party Tracking. So, here we go. Are you consistently monitoring and evaluating your partnership metrics? Brand exposure. Earned impressions. Leads generated. Website traffic. Actual business earned. Year over year. Game over game. What are the trends? What’s jumping off the dashboard? Yes, brand exposure can be a bit squishy, but it’s often at the core of Naming Rights Partnership - and Patch - value. Have you analyzed what’s TRULY showing up - in focus - on TV? Is it 100% readable? Is it clear? What can you see as you drive by the venue or watch TV and game highlights? How is it resonating with avid fans, casual fans and general consumers? When the bright lights are turned on, are you maximizing your visibility across all media outlets? If not, it’s time to look at some adjustments as to what levers to pull. Bigger signage. Different angles of “friendly cameras” from rights holders. Upgrading your LED lighting. A different background. It all adds up. Simple? Yes. Impactful. You betcha.
Any way you look at it, this is a topic that remains on the front burner of our clients’ minds, and thus ours. Thinking about a naming rights - or jersey patch - partnership? You’ve come to the right place.