November 30, 2014
Are you considering sponsoring an endurance race but you are not sure it is worth your investment? Here are the advantages of becoming an endurance race sponsor, tips on how to have your brand name stand out from other sponsors at any given race – based on my experience!
Amateur endurance race events attract people who are largely financially well off.
You may choose sponsoring races that specifically fit the demographics of your target population (e.g women races)
Endurance races often cost thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars to produce, thus the need for sponsors’ financial backup. While race owners and/or producers benefit from the sponsorship - the race is a very useful platform for the sponsors as well - businesses seeking to leverage their brands, sales and business opportunities.
If you are a brand owner, there are many marketing solutions at your disposal. But the biggest challenge you face is how best to target your audience.
Endurance racing events offer a unique opportunity to easily target an audience relevant to your brand, mainly because:
In return for your financial investment as a sponsor, you expect to enjoy a wide range of benefits that allow you to:
Create brand awareness, visibility and preference – the brand is "tattooed" into people's awareness
Reinforce a positive image and PR of the brand - by attaching your brand name to the already existing positive identity that endurance races have, you improve your own brand image.
Allow the public to connect to your brand on a personal level – race producers allow sponsors to become personally involved in the race (e.g the CEO racing, a racing team of the brand, representative of the company handing out gifts to the winners)
Prompt sales and usage
Help develop brand loyalty
Yet, at any given race there are many sponsors and your brand will probably just be another one competing for attention amongst all the others. In this case, wouldn’t you, as a race sponsor, like to learn how to help your brand stand out above others? If so, I suggest utilizing a combination of two forms of popular media – race photography and social media - to your advantage.
Photography is one of the most sought-after memorabilia at an endurance race. Everyone wants their moment of fame captured. And in the fast moving modern world of today, photos need the support of the social media in order to get the wanted effect of publicity, recognition and fame.
Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are just a few of the growing number of online social communities out there on the web. Over the past years these platforms have proven to be of great marketing value that can be leveraged to advertise your business.
An innovative technology developed by an Israeli company called Pic2Go utilizes photography & instant social media sharing, to provide sponsors a fast, efficient and most importantly – cost effective advertising tool
. The technology uses barcodes printed on the racing bib, to automatically tag people in photographs during a race. Once all race photos are scanned, each participant automatically receives a branded personal photo album directly (and for free) to their FB wall. We call this model – Sponsored Race Photography.
This technology has been used in many endurance events around the world, allowing the sponsor to receive unusual amounts of publicity, at times even more than the main race sponsor itself.
Gillette has sponsored
the use of the barcode technology in numerous large and small endurance events with great FB exposure success. However, during the 2013 Land Rover Malta Marathon
, something quite outstanding occurred. As the title suggests, Land Rover was the main event sponsor, yet Gillette sponsored the Pic2Go photography, using the barcode technology. The branded albums reached close to 1 million FB impressions within just a few hours (mind you, the Island's population is just over 400,000 people). Ultimately, it was Gillette that enjoyed all the branding attention
and was perceived to be the race's main sponsor rather than Land Rover!
The next year, Vodafone became the main sponsor
of the Malta Marathon, and impressed by Gillette's success, they too had decided to employ the Pic2Go technology. At the end of the event, they had passed 1.1 million FB impressions!
It is safe to say that sponsoring endurance race events has many benefits. Yet, there are ways to have your brand shine above others at these events, and for you as a sponsor to receive the best returns for your financial investment. It is important to seek existing popular trends and learn how to use them to your marketing benefits. Photography & social media are a wonderful example of popular trends used at endurance races. Employing them together as promotional tools in a unique and innovative way can easily and cost effectively allow your brand to reach a large and targeted public, and at times even "steal" the attention entirely away from other sponsors!
Written by Tamar Barneis - Media and Content Manager at Pic2Go