Playing in the big leagues
Tuesday 13 December 2011
Sports team and event sponsorship has become ubiquitous in the world of big corporate marketing, but until now has remained a closed shop to smaller companies. However, with the great power of sport to unite and excite people, it’s natural that businesses of all sizes would want a piece of the action for their brand marketing strategy.
Enter VirtualSponsorship.com, created by digital incubator and digital networking group Digital Entrepreneur in partnership with racing driver Euan Hankey to help professional sportsmen and women find sponsorship from both individuals and small to medium sized businesses. In return the business or individual can take advantage of the sponsorship in their professional social networking strategy.
“Having been involved in digital marketing ourselves over many years, we realised early on in this game that social media only worked for business if what they had to say was of interest to their audience,” says Duncan Gledhill, founder of Digital Entrepreneur and Emailmovers with his brother Jamie. “No matter what different methods we tested we always came back to this core truth. We therefore struck upon the idea of allowing small to medium sized businesses the opportunity to virtually sponsor professional sports stars for a low monthly fee so that they could headline their social media articles with a sports theme whilst at the same time helping sportsmen and women to raise funds to compete at a professional level.”
“With VirtualSponsorship.com we can give small businesses something to really shout about at the core of their social media strategy.” Gledhill continues, “These companies may not necessarily be able to justify a traditional sports sponsorship package costing many thousands of pounds right now but still need something like that to get people talking about their brand on the various different social networks. With VirtualSponsorship.com we can offer them something to shout about that will interest many of their customers and get the viral loop started with a bang. How do you fancy a racing driver telling your Facebook fans and twitter followers that his success was down to sponsorship from your small business?”
Porsche Carrera Cup Championship driver and former Formula BMW Rookie Champion Euan Hankey is equally enthusiastic; “I believed in the concept behind VirtualSponsorship.com so much that from the moment I heard about it I wanted to be involved at every level. As a professional racing driver it is vital for me to raise enough funds to race but this can take time. A model whereby I receive monthly payments for virtual sponsorship means I can focus on delivering fantastic race results to the small business owner to help his business win the attention of his social media audience – after all, it is all about team work”
For more information, videos and advice for SMEs, visit www.freshbusinessthinking.com
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