Small business marketing can take many forms, especially in today's digital-centered world. Keep in mind, though, there still could be merit to the old-school way of thinking in the advertising scene, most notably in the local marketing space.
While geographical keywords and local directory listings are effective, putting yourself out there in the community can be a valuable opportunity. Doing good in your city, whether a big gesture or a small one, is well worth the effort, particularly when you want to leave a lasting impression.
If you're seeking a way to combine marketing potential, philanthropy, and community involvement, few gestures mean more than sponsoring an area youth sports team. Here's how your business can win big with this simple, affordable act.
Increases Brand Awareness
Whether you've been in the area for a while or are a brand-new startup looking to make a name for yourself, the more you can do to promote your brand, the better. Sponsoring a sports team is a highly effective way to do this, putting your company right on the backs of many members of the local community. This opportunity places your company logo and name in plain sight, creating new ways for community members to draw associations with your corporate identity.
Expands Your Reach
When you want to reach a new audience, sponsoring a sports team can be great option. With an easy, effective opportunity to place your business name in front of an attentive market, your sponsorship will put all eyes on your business. Your athletes, their families, their friends, their friends' families, and even their competition will all see your name (and logo, if you have one), putting your company in the minds of those who may never have noticed otherwise. Plus, you can put your company name on the lips of dozens in the community. Best of all, once you make your initial investment, the team provides the visibility for you.
Helps the Community
When you want to make an impression in your community, it's important to show that you care about where you live and work. Every company has to start somewhere, and when you emphasize the value in where you launched your brand, those around you will be far more likely to remember you fondly. Your local area is your best bet for the start of a fan base, so the more involved you are, the more credibility you can establish in your neighborhood.
Offers Good Value
A highway billboard can be a huge investment, but a sports team usually isn't. Instead of spending thousands on posting ads around town or skipping an opportunity to advertise altogether due to budget restraints, consider a sports team. Sure, the backs of the players aren't as big as a 14-foot high and 48-foot wide billboard on the side of the highway, but it will still be plenty visible.
Better yet, sports team sponsorships generally only cost a few hundred to a few thousand dollars – a much better rate than most advertising alternatives. While rates vary wildly from one league or team to another, some youth t-ball teams can be as low as $250 to $600 a year. Teen or adult leagues may be more, closer to $5,000 to $10,000. But even this amount can be a bargain over other options.
Whether you know it or not, how you act can build goodwill, influencing customers in your favor. In fact, 85% of consumers have a more favorable impression of a product when it supports a favored charity. Furthermore, 92% are more inclined to switch from one brand to another when a company supports philanthropic causes. When you do good for others, good things happen to you.
If you're on the hunt for an affordable, effective way to give back to your community, foster goodwill, and increase brand exposure, a sports team sponsorship is the perfect way to do it. By providing a minimal amount of funding to help an area team, you can take your marketing game up a notch.