Successful sponsorship must show benefits to both sponsors and fans

Not that it’s an easy win. Today’s sports fans are more on the ball than ever when it comes to sponsors; a recent global survey found that while most don't object to sponsorship, more than eight in ten believe that fans are not front of mind when sponsors make deals with players or teams.

So, with a fundamental shift towards a ‘co-creation of value’ among the forces driving the sponsorship sector, the challenge for sports clubs and governing bodies is creating a mechanic to make sure they can engage their fans with their partners and sponsors. Because while it’s very easy for brands to shower sports with sponsorship, it’s much harder to get the fans on side. Today’s fans are, pardon the pun, far more on the ball, asking ‘what’s in this for me?’. It’s therefore no longer enough to just say that your club is linked to a brand; the partnership needs to drive measurable results. Especially as other marketing channels are very detailed on the ROI they deliver.

Rewards4’s platform can solve this problem by getting sponsors engaging with fans and making it very clear what’s in it for them and how they can benefit. In return, sports clubs and organisations are able to grow an engaged database of fans that are happy to receive content from brands and sponsors because they understand it will save them money or provide access to exciting rewards. The payoff to sports clubs and governing bodies? Activating and delivering on current partnerships and attracting new brands and money to their club or sport.

Let’s look at a specific example.  Betfred launched its sponsorship of the Super League in 2016.  The sponsorship provided Betfred with a great ‘fit’ in terms of its geographic and demographic focus, as well as delivering excellent brand awareness.

Since launch, Betfred has been looking for increasingly clever ways to activate its sponsorship and maximise its return from the partnership with the Super League and the Rugby Football League so that it not only delivers measurable business objectives, but also huge fan satisfaction.

This is where the partnership with Rewards4 offered the perfect solution for Betfred.  Our existing partnership with Betfred meant that fans can be rewarded with points for all their bets placed (whether they win or lose).  These valuable points can then be spent back on their sporting passion.  

Through our Rewards4Rugby League programme, new sign-ups to Betfred who placed their first £10 bet during the promotional period received a bonus of £20 in Rewards4Rugby League points. Members could then use these points (during their ticket-buying journey) to redeem against the cost of a Super League Grand Final ticket. With tickets for the Grand Final starting at £17.50 for adults, this was a great value-add for fans. Particularly as points could also be put towards the cost of tickets for the Magic Weekend, Summer Bash, Challenge Cup Final or the Autumn International Tests.

The promotion was run for a limited period at the start of the Super League season and, as a result, Betfred acquired thousands of new customer accounts, driving engagement through relevant rewards which resulted in a win-win for Betfred and its new customers.

Joe Hill, Betfred Marketing Manager commented, “our principal aim for the campaign was to leverage our Super League sponsorship by using the incentives available through the Rewards4Rugby League programme to help drive real value for Betfred. The RFL and the team at Rewards4 were pro-active in creating a campaign that delivered one of our key business objectives - to acquire new customers. The Rewards4Rugby League platform enabled us to make the offer relevant to Rugby League fans and easy for us to fulfil. We are looking forward to repeating the promotion (and extending it to lapsed customers) as more Super League clubs sign up to the programme.”