Benefits of On-line Activation

Activating sponsorships in today’s world is not easy.  What works for one brand or sponsor may not work for another.  Numerous challenges may exist such as a lack of resources, insufficient lead time or distribution issues.  Because of these challenges and the continued momentum in the digital space, more and more sponsors are turning towards on-line programs to support their partnerships.

On-line activation is attractive for several reasons.  It provides a vehicle for fans to interact with the sponsor’s product or brand in an engaging environment.  It allows sponsors to tap into team affinity through content integration or special offers on tickets, events and merchandise.   It may also serve as a tool for lead generation or consumer research. 

In addition to being turnkey and low maintenance, on-line activation is usually much more efficient when compared to the cost of producing point of sale materials, entry cards, distribution, back end fulfillment, etc.   The days of being able to create these off-line assets and then process everything are becoming more difficult.  A well executed on-line sweepstakes may generate up to ten or twenty times the number of entries along with possible leads via an email opt-in.

Unfortunately, on-line advertising is often looked at as just another form of media.  It’s purchased systematically by impressions, click through rates and CPM’s.  What value is placed against brand interaction, a qualified lead or a forward to a friend email?  These are often the most worthwhile results, but often looked at as “added value” or disregarded by media buyers altogether. To take things a step further, what is it worth to add a follower on Twitter or to be liked on Facebook?  Sometimes these things can’t be measured by a standardized format like banner ad impressions.  However, these assets are crucial when looking to support a sponsorship or promotion on-line. 

Unlike more traditional sponsorship assets, an on-line program is also one of the most measurable things a sponsor can do.  The results are available in real time.  You can see how many people viewed, participated, opted in and in some cases follow the visitor’s path to a sale.  If you are lucky, it may become viral and take on a life of its own.  At a time when marketing budgets and sponsorships are under more scrutiny, on-line activation is a highly effective way to utilize these assets and achieve measurable results.  This will continue to become a more prevalent piece of sponsors’ involvement with sports and entertainment properties.