In my line of work, we accept the fact that nearly everything can be bought. In fact, you can even have your logo tattooed on the back of a boxer.
However, it’s also critical that the placement makes sense. Both for the brand, and the consumer who desperately craves authenticity. This article from the New York Times does a great job of showcasing how intrusive advertising “drop ins” can be in a sports broadcast, yet at the same time how essential they are for sponsors to get value. A “drop-in” (for those unaware) is when a sponsor’s brand is integrated into the broadcast itself. “This medical injury update is brought to you by MedStar Health, the Official Medical Partner of the Washington Nationals”, as an example.
For any brand considering sports-related advertising, here are three tips on how to get the most value out of a “drop-in” segment:
- Be Authentic. If you’re in telecom, a “Call to the Bullpen” drop-in makes sense. If you’re in health care, it probably doesn’t. Find something that naturally fits in with your brand or product – if you can’t think of a natural fit, ask the property (or your agency) to help create something that does. You’d be surprised how creative you can be, no matter what your brand is or the sport you’re sponsoring.
- Be Unobtrusive. For drop-ins, it’s all about branding. But saying too much can get in the way. Try to keep your drop-in brief – include the brand name, resist the urge to get in a messaging point as well.
- Own Something. For one of our clients, we included as part of their college football deal that every time the ball gets into the “Red Zone” their name would be included (i.e. the Sponsor Name Red Zone). This not only became part of the radio broadcasts, but also included in-stadium LED signage, was included as part of a student promotion, and cleverly named to naturally become part of the college’s lingo. We did this because we knew that many of this particular college’s football fans also listen to the team broadcast while in the stadium. Look for opportunities to take ownership across different forms of media as part of your “drop in” strategy, and ask for elements that are not currently being sponsored instead of being included in a rotation of various sponsors.
What’s your favorite “Drop-In” sponsorship?