So you have finally locked in that lucrative sponsorship deal with a premier sports team, how are you going to successfully use your marketing budget to take full advantage of your giveaway night? Depending on the product/services your company offers, there are a number of options out there. Do you give out a free sample/special discount to everyone in attendance, or do you give a select few a grand prize, and count on the thrill of possibly being that lucky person to entice the consumers. Having been involved in a large number of sponsor giveaways, I find that engaging fans during the game is far more effective than handing out a coupon or a piece of swag, as it generally ends up in the nearest trash can outside the stadium.
Fans are at their peak engagement level while the game is being played, this is the best time to strike. It may cost a little extra money, but having your product featured on the court, ice, or field will provide a chance to get your key messages out to an already attentive audience. When the game is over most of the fans are in a rush to get out of the stadium to beat traffic and are not paying attention to key messaging. These in-game promotions can also provide content for future use in advertisements and promotions, which for many big brands is the focus for 2014.
At a cost 2-3 dollars/item, a giveaway for 20-40,000 fans adds up very quickly. From my own promotional experience, I’ve found the consumers tend to feel slighted when given coupons, or in their words “useless items”. They likely paid a hefty ticket price; they expect a giveaway to be a high-end item. It places both the team and the sponsor in a bad light when giveaways are poorly executed, and can be easily avoided with a solid and well thought out sponsorship strategy. I hope to see more brands placing importance on truly creating an experience for consumers on their game nights in the future.