Sponsorship, and sports sponsorship in particular, is a powerful marketing and communication tool alowing companies and brands to reach and speak to their target by engaging them in a moment of entertainment and leisure, without however distracting the viewer from their entertainment. In fact, unlike traditional advertising, which constantly interrupts what we are watching, sponsorship is an integral part of the match or race or event that we have decided to watch because we love it; that brand does not bother us and, on the contrary, over time we learn to recognize it and will probably remember it when shopping.
Sport means passion and everyone likes it
Sports sponsorship leverages on the emotion that binds fans to sport and the values that each sport embodies and represents. Sport has always been a synonym of enjoyment and fun, and the passion for sports is shared by fans and spectators across the world without barriers.
All of us are more or less passionate about a sport: we watch it on the telly, we used to sit in stadiums or arenas to watch a football or tennis match, we drop off our children to play basketball, or gymnastics or to go swimming, and even if not we are avid fans we know what happens in the world of sport because it is an area of great interest and following, globally. Sport fascinates and involves everyone, young and old, women and men, there are no distinctions; fans are transversal.
There are clearly differences in the target of the various sports disciplines; football is always the big giant, loved and watched by everyone, all over the world, as well as Formula 1 or tennis. Cricket, on the other hand, is more linked to the British or Indian territory, basketball and American football are very strong in the USA, table tennis in China, rugby in the United Kingdom and Australia, and so on. Each sport then has a specific target that follows it; the public passionate about sailing is different from those who follow cycling, they have different socio-cultural backgrounds and different purchasing power.
Companies that sponsor sport or are willing to do it, must take into account all these variables and the numbers behind the sport industry and make a rational choice based on that.
And motorsports, how is it placed in the sport industry?
Motorsports is very popular all around the world. Engines and speed thrill and excite a large part of the population; technology, innovation, adrenaline, fun, internationality, glamor, exclusivity, are just some of the values that identify the world of the two and four wheels and consequently the motorsports sponsorship opportunities are strategically tremendous for many companies.
Wide television coverage and investments in digital activities make some motorsport disciplines even more popular than others. Formula 1, MotoGP and the electric versions of Formula E and Moto E allow companies not only to show their brand globally, but also to take advantage of a platform of unique tools and contents to build ad hoc marketing activities and engage the target.
MotoGP is constantly growing and offers a diversified range of opportunities.
In this scenario, MotoGP continues to have a dominant place within the panorama of motorsports and sport in general. Born in 1949, it is the longest-running championship ever, it visits 16 countries on 5 continents with 19 grand prix, but it is also the one with the greatest following among young people. The average coverage is very respectable, just think that it reaches over 200 countries with the video signal, 22,208 hours of broadcasting, over 432 million homes*.
The awareness of being a sport loved and followed by young people has meant that Dorna, the organizer of the championship, started investing in digital activities since the beginning and used them as a platform to reach and engage the target at any time whilst trying to gain new fans as well.
Digital, web, app and tv app
The global digital profile of the MotoGP fan is 62% between the ages of 18-34 and 28% between 34-54*. The MotoGP website is available in 6 languages and together with the app it provides the users with a series of unique and exclusive contents such as HD Live and OnDemand, special contents for each Grand Prix, including live multicamera video, Live Timing and audio commentary of each free practice session, qualifying and race. Fans also have access to weekend highlights such as press conferences, interviews, photos, special news, official results, documentaries and more, providing massive coverage of each GP.
Thanks to the app for AppleTV, AndroidTV, FireTV and Roku available for TV, PC, tablet or smartphone, MotoGP ™ also reshapes its video experience to create more accessible and engaging content, giving users the possibility not to miss even a single moment of what is happening during a race.
This incredible amount of content and images offer an unbeatable opportunity to companies that invest in sponsorships in MotoGP; the platform is very rich, you just need to have the imagination and creativity to make the most out of it.
Social media is also constantly growing.
The numbers coming from the social media activities are also excellent and place MotoGP in the first places in terms of visits to the world of sport*:
– 12.2 billion impressions
– 3 billion videos viewed
– 400 million engagements
– 2.5 billion minutes viewed
– 30 million global fans on social media platforms
Facebook is king, with almost 14 million likes, followed by Instagram with 10.6 million followers, YouTube with 4.05 million subscribers, 2.7 million followers on Twitter and 465K on TikTok.
Through LinkedIn, corporate and behind-the-scenes content are also available to share and leverage by partners.
Not just video and digital as fans will return to the racetracks
Due to the current pandemic, we are almost afraid to talk about on-field activities or spectators watching live a sport event. But the grandstands will be soon repopulated with people eager to attend the competitions and races of their idols.
So let’s just go back for a moment where we were in terms of numbers: in 2019 over 2,860,000 spectators followed the races on the circuits, a number that has steadily increased over the years*. The MotoGP audience is a loyal one, they return to attend races over the years, over 70% are under the age of 35, 65% have purchased a product linked to MotoGP and 78% would tend to buy a product associated with MotoGP.
The face-to-face engagement will be back
As a sports marketing agency in London, we have always been involved in designing and coordinating promotional activities for our clients, including those that involved on fields engagement. This is because sponsorship cannot and must not be limited to the sole exposure of a brand on a motorbike but must also be exploited and implemented through the various B2B and B2C opportunities it offers.
The possibility, for example, of hosting your customers or prospects in the VIP Village areas of the MotoGP is fantastic; they are exclusive and amazing contexts where you can do business but in an informal and relaxed context. We have realized in recent months how much we miss the live experience and how beautiful and exciting it is to watch live sporting events and shows in general. We are sure that, as soon as it is possible to return to the circuit in person, there will be even more interest and requests for hospitality and fields activities.
The possibility of interacting with thousands of people over the two days of race, is a plus that platforms such as MotoGP can offer to their sponsors and partners. In fact, in the commercial areas companies can set up real boots or customized promotional areas to engage and entertain the target during the days of the race; from pure entertainment activities, to sampling or selling, the options and opportunities are endless. The context of leisure and entertainment makes any interaction with the public easier and more effective.
Author Bio – Riccardo Tafà was born in Gulianova, graduated in Law at the University of Bologna and then decided to follow his deep passion for sport. After attending the ISFORP (public relations training institute) in Milan he moved to England, where he began his career in PR, first at MSP Communication and then at Counsel Limited in London. Soon after that, he moved to SDC, a Belgian outfit headed by Jean Paul Libert and started working with motorsport: the year is 1991. Following a brief transition to Monaco, where he flanked the owner of Pro COM, a sports marketing agency founded by Nelson Piquet, he returned to Italy and began working in first person as RTR, first consulting firm and then sports marketing company. In 2001 RTR wins the ESCA award for the implementation of the best MKTG sports project in Italy in the year 2000. RTR also obtains the highest score among all the categories and represents Italy in the European Esca Contest. Over the years he gets some satisfactions and swallows some bitter pills. But he is still here, he writes in a disillusioned and simple way, with the goal of providing practical advice and food for thought.