Member Insights: “When it comes to maximising sponsorship investment, it is essential to explore every avenue”
By Community | October 13, 2022
Ben Phillips is very experienced in the world of sports technology, he has previously worked at Infront and InCrowd. He is now at Outbox, a leading white label ticket supplier.
When it comes to maximizing sponsorship investment at sporting events, it is essential to explore every possible avenue of delivering a brand’s message to the fans they are seeking to communicate with. As the consumption habits of sports fans evolve, the availability of alternative communication channels that sports organisations can offer, as well as brands’ decisions to adopt new sponsorship opportunities is also evolving.
Historically, live sporting events have been a lucrative avenue for brands to gain high level exposure to large audiences via traditional in-venue inventory, such as LED/ big screen display advertising programme sponsorship and on-site activation. These methods of communication to fans offer incredible brand exposure and the chance to deliver your message to a large audience at a very high level, but are generally more difficult to quantify and are often considered to be less targeted.
As the ability to collect and understand fan data has evolved in line with advancements in technology, opportunities for brands to deliver more personalised and target messaging have emerged. These data-driven methods of communication offer unique opportunities for sports organisations to deliver targeted sponsorship products which allow partners to communicate directly with fans throughout their event experience, starting the moment they decide to purchase a ticket.
What makes ticketing unique from every other element of an event, is that no matter who a fan is or what access they have, whether they are a general admission or hospitality guest. The single common factor that binds every fan attending an event is that they hold a ticket. And in that, hold a direct channel of communication between the event, its partners, and each individual fan.
With the increased availability and adoption of digital ticket fulfilment, the ability to better understand who fans at each event are, has never been greater. Alongside enriched fan data, digital ticketing has also opened opportunities for brands far beyond the traditional methods of simply placing a logo on a ticket or confirmation page.
Branded ticket allocations to reward customers and create positive brand sentiment
Brands can take advantage of sets of event tickets which they can offer exclusively to their audience as part of a sponsorship agreement. This is nothing new, but allocating and distributing tickets digitally enables brands to collect additional customer data, whilst event organisers can maintain visibility and control over ticket allocations.
Fully branded ticket journeys to create a deeper association between a brand the event
White-labelled digital ticket solutions offer the opportunity for brands to create personalised ticketing journeys for their customers. Keeping their brand and its association with the event at the forefront of the fan journey and maximising value for both the brand and the event organiser.
Personalised branded messaging pre and post event, directed specifically at those who had a ticket
Full visibility of the data for each ticket holder at all stages of the ticket journey, even when a ticket is transferred or shared multiple times, means event organisers and associated brands can share highly targeted messaging, tailored to each individual fan regardless of whether they attended or not.
Opportunities to surprise and delight by enhancing attending fans experiences through the ticket with exclusive offers and promotions
The use of digital tickets can extend far beyond entry to a venue, into other areas of the event experience such as merchandise or food and beverage. Leveraging this functionality, brands can share real-time, targeted offers exclusively to ticket holders which will enhance their overall experience.
For event organisers, the benefits of utilising an effective digital ticketing solution stretch beyond the direct and personalised messaging opportunities it can create for brand partners.
New and unique sponsorship packages (to expand existing agreements or create new brand partnerships)
Adapting the method of ticket delivery and ticket journey tracking means sports organisations and event organisers can offer targeted sponsorship products that expand their existing offering.
Diversification of ticket distribution to a larger addressable audience by leveraging partner channels
With the ability to digitally control and manage sponsor ticket allocations, event organisers can make their tickets available to brand new, expanded audiences via their partners communication channels.
Enhanced data collection opportunities as a result of reaching new, untapped audiences
By reaching new audiences through partner channels, event organisers open the opportunity to grow their future addressable audience by collecting data from potential fans who they are yet to reach independently.
Expansion into closed, ticketed events in the virtual world
By embracing digital ticketing alongside the emergence of Web3, event organisers can begin to explore closed events in the virtual world which require ticketed entry. These events offer huge opportunities to target and gather data on brand new audiences, whilst offering even more opportunity for sponsors and partners to be associated with unique sporting experiences.