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Using Brand Protection for Sports Sponsorship

Corporations should make brand protection an integral part of their sports sponsorship packages, not only as a way to make sure their brand integrity is maintained, but to ensure the teams and events being sponsored are meeting their obligations of the sponsorship contract.

Large corporations will often be involved in several sports sponsorships, as well as many high dollar sponsorship packages. Consider what goes into sponsoring an NFL team, a motor sports team, or even an entire sporting event. Often hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent per year on a single team or event.

A London Underground train decorated to promot...

A London Underground train decorated to promote London’s Olympic bid. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For example, anyone who watches the Indianapolis 500 this weekend will notice several things related to sponsorships:

  • Everything has a name — the Izod IndyCar series, for example.
  • There are sponsor names on a driver’s car and his or her firesuit. Some spots on the car and suit have more value than others — side pods on the car, and larger sponsor patches up near the driver’s face, as well as the driver’s hat.
  • The drivers will use the name of the sponsors and their cars, like James Hinchcliffe referring to “the number 27 GoDaddy car” in interviews.

While teams will do everything they can to honor their sponsorship agreement, the companies still need brand protection to make sure that the agreement is followed exactly. An agency that specializes in brand protection can monitor whether a team has placed their logos in the correct places, is using them properly, and not overusing them or misusing them.

A brand protection agency can also police a sporting event to make sure that sponsor messages aren’t being overused or misused. In fact, the 2012 London Olympics actually hand “brand police” provide sponsor and brand protection, by making sure someone wasn’t misusing the Olympics name, or sneaking in sponsorship messages when they weren’t allowed.

The brand protection agency can even provide auditing documents when the event is over, or on regular intervals of the contract, to help ensure all aspects of the contract are being properly followed.

Corporate sports sponsorship is an important marketing investment. To be sure companies are getting their return on investment, they need to work with an agency to make sure everything is being done properly. A brand protection agency can provide the necessary documentation and support to help corporations know their obligations are being met.

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