Sport Sponsorship Accessible for All Businesses 5th March, 2012

With new multi-million pound sport sponsorship deals secured almost daily, sport sponsorship may seem to only really work or be available for big brands.  Because of this perception many businesses will not even consider incorporating sport sponsorship into their marketing mix.  However, there are options available for SME’s and they can work better than you imagined.

In this two part series, I explore how small businesses can get involved with sport sponsorship.

Part 1: The Options

Community Projects

Sporting community projects can attract big name sponsors and funding but there are still hundreds of projects in the UK that do not have the funding needed. Although huge multi-national companies such as McDonald’s lead the way in community sponsorship, this can be replicated at a local level by local business. Sponsoring your local football community project can create awareness of your company and build the same brand trust that McDonald’s strives for. Involving your business in community projects also offers a unique chance for small businesses to demonstrate a local CSR programme and show that point-of-difference to your community that will set you apart.

Local Business and Local Sport

Local businesses sponsoring their local sports team is a great way to create brand awareness in your community. Local sports rely on sponsorship to bring in funds that otherwise would not be available. Less popular sports can struggle to attract central funding as well as new players and club members. This was a problem that faced Leicester Hockey Club who in 2008 lacked the financial input to take them to the European Championships in Azerbaijan. This led to a call for help, a call which Pukka Pies duly answered, enabling the team to compete. Pukka Pies have continued their support for Leicester Hockey Club and grown with the team through brand awareness and achievements helping them to success at the European Championships held in Holland.


Don’t be afraid to test new waters. Lesser known sports can be great platforms for sponsorship. Not many people in the UK have heard of the sport Korfball (a mixed sport similar to netball), but that didn’t stop Squashed Newt, a UK based web design company from sponsoring the Welsh National Korfball Team. A growing sport in the UK and with an impending tour to the World Championships in The Netherlands, Korfball became the sponsorship platform for Squashed Newt in spite of the sports low national profile.


Sports sponsorship is the easiest way for local business to market themselves to their own community with guaranteed exposure to their target market. The number of sport sponsorship platforms out there is enormous, but as with major sponsorship deals branding is not enough. Part Two of this blog will explore how you can maximise your sponsorship’s potential and generate real ROI for your business.