Sports Storytelling and Sponsorship Values

Jun 22, 2023 Sponsorship Innovation

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Blog - Sports Storytelling and Sponsorship Values

Shows and documentaries that feature specific sports have thrived on big streaming platforms like Netflix in recent years.

For example, the Box to Box Films series Formula 1: Drive to Survive debuted on Netflix in March 2019. Originally ordered as a one-season series, the show was renewed for a fifth and sixth season in May 2022.

In just a few short years, this show has popularized a sport that maybe wasn’t top of mind for the general public. When engaging miniseries and documentaries are created, the public is excited. Not only do they tune in to watch the shows on streaming platforms, but their interest in the series also increases their interest in the actual sport itself.

As a result, sports viewership increases, less popular sports get more fans, and each sport ultimately brings in more revenue and more sponsorship.

The Link Between Sports Storytelling and Sponsorship Values

Sports fans watch games because they bring competition, passion, and athletic greatness together. Everyone has some memory of a great sports moment; whether that’s Michael Jordan’s infamous flu game, Doug Flutie’s hail mary, Carlton Fisk waiving a home run fair in the World Series, or something similar, these moments leave lasting impressions on all of us.

When brands and rights holders are able to launch strategic sponsorship initiatives with sports teams, they can connect with captivated audiences and build emotional connections with these individuals. As a result, they can amplify their brand impact and grow their overall customer base.

At a high level, sports storytelling is about creating narratives that transcend innings and games. It’s about shining a light on what it means to be human—triumphs and failures, comebacks and collapses. At one time or another, all of us have experienced what it’s like to win and what it’s like to lose. We connect to these feelings on a core level because the outcomes are authentic.

As the Formula 1 series reveals, fans are attracted to stories that are genuine, unfiltered, relatable, and real. Brands that are able to adopt an authentic storytelling approach can connect with audiences on a deeper level, building trust and loyalty.

How Brands Can Use Authentic Storytelling to Showcase Sponsorship Values

Sponsor brands can be authentic by telling stories about the personal journeys, trials, and tribulations of athletes. These stories can highlight the athlete’s dedication, resilience, and the sacrifices they’ve made to get where they are today. By investing in these kinds of stories, sponsor brands can demonstrate to sports fans that they care about the traits and values these athletes possess, thereby creating a strong emotional bond with their audience.

In addition to highlighting the ups and downs of individual athletes, sponsor brands can also showcase sponsorship values by telling stories that highlight teamwork and unity. No matter where we are in our lives, we all need to get along with other people—whether it’s with family members, coworkers, neighbors, or even strangers.

By producing authentic stories that showcase collaboration—that, together, we are more than the sum of our parts—brands can demonstrate that they believe in the power of working hand in hand, which resonates with all of us.

Demonstrating Sponsorship Values in the Digital Age

Sponsor brands now have more ways than ever before to connect with new customers using the power of sports storytelling. Brands can use social channels such as Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat to share things such as behind the scene footage, compelling stories, and other creative content featuring well-known athletes. This way they can connect with fans where they live online and otherwise ensure their brand narratives resonate on a deeper level.

Of course, brands can’t simply decide to invest in sports storytelling and expect great results automatically. Instead, they need to figure out which teams, leagues, and athletes will drive the best reach and engagement for them. And the easiest way to do that is by investing in a sports sponsorship intelligence platform that enables you to easily see which deals are most worthwhile, without any heavy lifting.

For more information on what brands can do to use sports sponsorship marketing to get to the next level, check out 5 Tactics Every Modern Sports Marketer Must Have.

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