Collegiate Marketing—How to Make Game Day Work for Your Business
Author: Brenda Hermanek, Director of Corporate Sponsorships and Media
Marketers are always looking for unique and effective ways to promote products or services. One innovative means to reach more customers is through collegiate marketing. With collegiate marketing, businesses can work with college level sports to inspire customer relationships that could last a lifetime.
The Foundation of Collegiate Marketing
According to insights revealed from the largest information and analytics platform of college sports fan data, collegiate sports aficionados outnumber the followers of any professional league or franchise. They represent the largest and most affluent fan base in the US, crossing all genders and ages.
College sports fans are passionate about the teams and sports they champion and enjoy the sense of community generated through team affiliations. By incorporating your brand with that of the college franchise, your business becomes a part of that community.
As fans see your support of their team, their loyalty can extend to your company, turning those fans into dedicated customers and ambassadors. Best of all, customer affinity isn’t confined to college students alone. Team fans often transcends age groups, as alumni continue to seek the comradery of university sports throughout their lifetime.
Advantages of Collegiate Marketing in Action
There are a number of ways that companies can use collegiate marketing to interact with loyal fans and begin the process of turning those fans into dedicated customers. In fact, one of the biggest advantages of a collegiate sponsorship is that it allows a brand to engage with potential customers through numerous channels.
From physical assets, such as signage, logos on jerseys, and in-venue advertising, to on-site activation and sampling or integrated digital and social media campaigns, a collegiate sports sponsorship can garner a company mega brand exposure. Additionally, by utilizing so many different multimedia channels, you have the opportunity to reach fans and customers at multiple touchpoints.
Common research indicates that a consumer must see or hear your brand message 7 times before acting. Collegiate sport sponsorships make it possible to boost the visibility of your brand message for greater engagement and conversion.
Collegiate Marketing in Action
One of the biggest advantages of partnering with a college team, individual, or sports property is the opportunity to not only build positive brand association, but also to activate and enhance the fan experience. As you invest in collegiate sponsorships, you can provide fans in your community with unique opportunities. Some examples include:
- Students love free gear featuring their favorite team, so why not offer free co-branded products, such as t-shirts or hats, featuring your logo with that of the sports franchise. Fans gain access to exclusive team items, and by wearing the apparel, they’re promoting your brand.
- Campus exclusive promotions benefit students with special offers, and by promoting that offer at a game, you’re showing support for the team while getting your product or service in front of a wider audience.
- A uniquely packaged item featuring your logo and that of the college sports franchise will always garner special interest from fans, but you can ramp up the excitement with a special unboxing of the product. Just partner with a college athlete to open the item on their own social media channels, and you’ll generate extra excitement around your campaign.
- Work with athletes utilizing their social media community to raise awareness around products that could benefit the fan base. For example, FNBO recently partnered with student athletes to showcase collegiate cards in different advertising campaigns. We saw a 41% increase in checking account applications following these posts.
No matter how you decide to utilize collegiate marketing, sponsoring a college athlete or team provides year-round access to target demographics and could even bring your company media attention, extending the reach of your campaign and brand.
The articles in this blog are for informational purposes only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations. When making decisions about your financial situation, consult a financial professional for advice. Articles are not regularly updated, and information may become outdated.