The 3 Cs of Effective Media Partnerships

by Wayne Guymon – January 2013

How do sponsors stand out from one another?

As advertisers’ marketing and branding objectives expand beyond simple metrics, properties must find new ways to deliver results.  Selling strictly media buys or signage assets is no longer sufficient.  By developing integrated partnerships, properties can help an advertiser’s messages stand out in a crowd.

Grasping opportunities to communicate to all of a team’s fans means spending advertising budgets more efficiently.  Commercials and signs tell part of the story, but true integration comes from investing in the 3 C’s of brand communication.

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The 3 C’s of Brand Communication for Sponsors

  1. Community programming,
  2. Customized features, and
  3. Charitable programs.[/dropshadowbox]

By taking the message these additional steps, the client reaches even further and fans receive a clearer message. As Tyler Epp, Vice President of Corporate Partnerships with the San Diego Padres, stated, “Driving revenue is more than just media numbers and spreadsheets.”

Virtually all advertisers have a community based initiative they support, whether supporting the military, civic pride, youth-based programs or health initiatives.   By activating these programs through teams and properties, they can effectively communicate to a fan base without coming across as boastful.  They can demonstrate to their constituents, both internal and external, their pride in supporting these initiatives.

One client that I worked with while with the Oklahoma City Thunder who really grasped this concept was US Fleet Tracking.  US Fleet Tracking is an Oklahoma City based technology company that wanted to demonstrate a message of pride in their community.  By partnering with the Thunder on both in-arena and in-broadcast assets, they are able to drive their message home.  US Fleet Tracking took the message one step further by creating integrated commercial spots featuring Rumble, the Thunder mascot.
Cindy Hunter
Cindy Hunter

“Looking back, it was a huge risk for us to invest at such a level with the Thunder.  But now I can state that the cost has been returned to us immensely.  The credibility we received as a “real partner” in the city for our sponsorship has led to people thanking us for our support in a sport and team that they love, ” said Cindy Hunter, Owner/Vice President, US Fleet Tracking. “General fans are appreciative and other sponsors have reached out to us on collaborative endeavors.  The in-arena signage has bred name recognition, while the television assets allow us to explain our products and services as well as highlight the different industries we serve.”

US Fleet Tracking also collaborated with the Thunder to promote the 2-1-1  Crisis Hotline to communicate its care and concern for community through this non-profit organization.

As an integral partner with open lines of communication, the Thunder and US Fleet Tracking were able to move quickly to mobilize fan passion when the Thunder made their first trip to the conference finals in 2011. Customized shirts sponsored by US Fleet Tracking were designed to blanket the arena for the first game in the series. Cindy still sees these shirts at every game and often around the community.

By taking this approach of integrated partnerships, companies stand out from their competition.  Utilizing integrated assets increases a fan’s loyalty to a brand by capitalizing on the goodwill associated with their passion toward their home team.

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