Many traditional sponsorship strategies are based on media exposure and in truth Championship clubs can’t offer the same media value as clubs in the Premiership. But what can Championship clubs offer that makes them a serious contender that brands should not overlook?
Nottingham Forest are a perfect case in point. The former double European Champions have a fanbase to rival most mid-table Premiership clubs; they possess a celebrated history and their iconic logo and brand image are assets that make the club recognisable around the world.
Forest can’t compete on a media value footing but what they can offer is real value to any brand seeking to develop their image. Although Championship clubs consistently deliver over £1million worth of media value to their sponsors and are viewed by over 2,000,000 people during televised games, they have had to develop wider reaching community programmes and use their online content to their advantage. With the media swamped Premiership, clubs outside the top flight are not afforded the same intensity of coverage but instead fanbases constantly turn to the club themselves for the latest news.
Clubs outside the Premiership are utilising social media and digital marketing to help provide content for the media. Forest now regularly receives over 370,000 unique visitors per month reading some 4,300,000 pages on their website – a staggering level of activity.
Community programmes have evolved from the days of turning up to a school and taking over a P.E. lesson. This evolution is no more evident than in the Championship and Forest now have a community programme that reaches over 150,000 children through 700 schools. These programmes aren’t just about children but have developed for all corners of the community - from senior citizen dinner dances to using football as a motivation for crime prevention.
Corporate social responsibility is now becoming part of most brands core strategy and football clubs are the perfect vehicle for these brands to participate in already developed, meaningful programmes.
The Championship is now the fourth best attended in European football and any brand seeking exposure, not only in media value but online and through community programmes need to consider Championship clubs as serious contenders for very cost effective sponsorship opportunities.
For more information contact Joe Sharphouse - email:firstname.lastname@example.org