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Video: Beyond A Sign: Establishing Full 360 Partnerships

Front Office Sports



(*Hookit is a proud partner of Front Office Sports)

In today’s landscape, a billboard at the ballpark simply isn’t enough for teams to engage fans on behalf of sponsors. With so many different things vying for fans’ attention at home and at the stadium, both teams and sponsors need to think creatively to get the most out of a partnership.

In this webinar, Hookit Chief Revenue Officer Kimberly Cook and Cleveland Indians Sr. Manager of Service Corporate Partnerships and Premium Hospitality Julie Weaver joined FOS CEO Adam White to discuss best practices for activating partnerships from both the team and brand side as well as achieving brand goals with more than an outfield sign.

SEE MORE: Maximizing Sponsorship ROI in a 21st Century Marketplace

Edited highlights appear below:

What challenges are teams and sponsors related to partnerships? (3:35)

Cook: “Sponsors are demanding a lot more than before. With the age of social and digital being so real-time, fans are looking for a more unique experience than they ever have and they want it to be interactive. [Teams need to] be sure that sponsor activations are on-point and doing something more to engage the fans other than just throwing up a sign…We work with a lot of sponsors as well and they’re really looking to take that technology and work with their rights holders to maximize it. It’s a great way to be able to look at it in different ways getting smaller bits of content that people can still get if they can’t come to the game. From a sponsorship standpoint, showing up in an authentic way on a regular basis is really important. It’s all about engagement.”

How are the Indians differentiating themselves for potential partners from other teams in Cleveland? (25:58)

Weaver: “I love the sport of baseball for advertisers. It’s 162 games April through September… with our social channels, which are so engaged and active, it’s really 365. For us, that’s a differentiator. The game of baseball is a slow sport…it’s great for advertisers in that sense because [fans] can look at any kind of advertising or promotions in between innings, so that’s something that we always try to talk about. For us, we’ve been very blessed that we’ve made it to the postseason the last couple years, so we’ve had that higher national audience as well.”

What’s most in-demand for partners right now? (38:39)

Weaver: “It’s kind of a balance… We’re just trying to engage with all of our partners and understand what their needs are and making sure that we’re providing them the right thing. We have to provide that same customer service to our partners as we’re providing to our fans and we know we only have so many shots to get it right… So we have the kiosks, but we also do scoreboard activations as well as a lot of cool check-in offers with various partners via the app.”

SEE MORE: How A.I. is Powering Fan Engagement in 2019

What are some important trends appearing in terms of brand-team sponsorships? (42:51)

Cook: “One of the things that we’re seeing in terms of sponsors asking for KPIs… is trends of performance-based sponsorships across all sports where there’s an engagement level that’s met within an agreement. So putting the right message in the right medium allows them to really allocate more money towards sponsorship because they can prove it. The great thing about the club is if they do better in a certain aspect, whether that’s on the field or on digital, they’re actually rewarded for it at the end of the season by the terms of their contract. So that’s a huge trend that we’re seeing.”

For more from Hookit on the the brand sponsorship space within sports, download their 2018 year-in-review report.


Committing to Content: How to leverage social to connect with student-athletes

Front Office Sports



(*opendorse is a proud partner of Front Office Sports)

It’s not enough for an athletic department to send a few tweets from the team account and call it a day.

At any one time, a program’s coaches, student-athletes, commits, alumni and team account should share a unique but unified message aimed at attracting recruits. This keeps the athletic ecosystem flourishing.

In this webinar, Twitter Sports Partner Manager David Herman, Facebook Head of Sports Partnerships Vincent Pannozzo, Grassroots & Athlete Marketing Expert Zach Soskin and opendorse Founder and CEO Blake Lawrence join FOS CEO Adam White to discuss how college athletic departments are able to build a stronger brand and stronger relationships with student-athletes through social media.

Edited highlights appear below:

On how collegiate student-athletes are recruited in the modern era (3:52)

Lawrence: “My brother is a tight end, a former three-star prospect out of Kansas City. He ended up with nineteen Division I scholarship offers and by the end of it had over 190 different coaches from DI programs follow him. Every single one of those offers started with a direct message on Twitter. I think that gives you an idea of the importance of, for a high school athlete looking to get recruited, leveraging social to connect with coaches. But also for coaches, just to stand out because [my brother] was getting direct messages every single day from dozens of different coaches. His feed was just full of schools trying to capture his attention. “

READ MORE: The MLBPA Has Embraced Athlete-Driven Marketing

What are ways to resonate with recruits? (20:19)

Herman: “One thing to keep in mind is that every user base is different. What’s going to work for one account isn’t necessarily going to work for another. What works for Ohio State might not work for Clemson and vice versa. I think Ohio State does a great job across platforms of having content really fit each platform in each media. They really have taken advantage of our short form video and when you’re scrolling the timeline, you really need that video to have something that makes you stop and look. I think Ohio State really does a great job of grabbing that attention with a short form video, but also really strong motion graphics and visuals. “

READ MORE: NFL All-Pro Gerald McCoy Highlights His Passions Through Giving Back and Partnerships

On utilizing social to connect with alumni playing professionally and vice versa (46:01)

Pannozzo: “[For pro athletes], that college fan base is going to be your fan for life. Once you get to the pros, you might be on a team for 10 years, maybe on a team for one year. So if you bounce around from team-to-team, those followers may come and go. But your college fan base is going to be sticking with you probably long after your playing days are done. So it’s never too early to start building your brand while you’re there. And then looking at it the next 40 to 60 years down the line, you can then go back to your college and benefit off that [experience and fan base] for longer.”

On the importance of premium content on social channels (49:08)

Soskin: “Premium doesn’t need to be defined as ‘shot on the best camera’ or ‘highly edited’. Premium is what’s right for that channel. So something that goes on the athlete channel doesn’t need to be shot on an [expensive camera]…people get so caught up with that…Premium is effective and that’s what matters most. If it’s going on the student athletes’ channel, honestly, if it can be iPhone quality, it’s better. Look at overtime. Overtime has built a massive business on iPhone shooters. It’s incredible. Authenticity is the key in something that’s right for that consumer, for that audience should be way more important than [content being] overly produced.”

(*opendorse is a proud partner of Front Office Sports)

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More than Marketing: Building a Brand for the Present and Future

Front Office Sports



(Varsity Partners are a proud partner of Front Office Sports)

A brand is more than an identity. It also requires a significant amount of time, effort, and knowledge to not only create one, but grow it into something memorable and sustainable. That applies to every aspect of marketing, digital or otherwise.

In this webinar, Tim Rebich, Nick Irwin, and Pearson Cunningham of Varsity Partners and University of Georgia Deputy Athletic Director Josh Brooks join FOS CEO Adam White to discuss the impact of branding on athletics culture, how to better execute brand management and how to build a successful brand through foundational identities and design systems.

Edited highlights appear below:

On the need for a brand identity to be timeless and authentic (4:00):

Brooks: “When you think about brands, you have to think long-term, not just the short term. We have such an iconic logo in the G… Our brand represents a lot when it comes to what Georgia is… and its history. It’s not something that has to be flashy and new. It’s about the longevity of that brand and how does it relate to the state, how does it relate to the city and to the mission of the athletic department and the university. It also has to strike this balance between being cutting edge but also [honoring the] tradition, and we’re a tradition-rich athletic department at the University of Georgia.”

SEE MORE:  Inside the Creative Process at UGA

On empowering fans to create shareable content like photos and videos at venues (24:20):

Rebich: “It’s about being able to tell that brand’s story from where it begins. In [UGA’s] case, that’s Sanford Stadium. We took that methodology… and when we work on anything experiential, we take that approach…We strive to understand where those shareable moments are and [allow people to share them] in a non-intrusive way. If you try to force it, it doesn’t feel natural.”

How important is formal market research when it comes to branding and rebranding? (44:24):

Rebich: “When we go through brand analysis and understanding if there is a juncture point of a potential rebrand, we definitely look at key stakeholders. So we talk to coaches, leadership, anybody that has been involved with the brand for X amount of time. They have a familiarity with it. Then from there, whether it is through holding town hall meetings or whatever it may be, having discussions with people who are secondary level and getting their perspective… along with taking a look at what else there is on the market… you take all that together, and you can make an informed, articulate decision on which way the brand needs to go.”

READ MORE: Exploring Visual Rebrands Within Sports

On enforcing brand standards and guidelines (52:15):

Brooks: “You’ve got to be the bad guy a lot of times and be the police with people. But the first thing is when you come up with the word mark and font that you use for ‘Georgia’ and ‘Bulldogs,’ people want to take that font and put it on everything… But you can water it down too much if you use it too much or use it in the wrong way. One of the things we really had to get through to people was that the ‘G’ stands alone. It takes a while and a lot of conversations to get people to understand that.”

For more on how Varsity Partners spearhead creative strategy for some of the biggest brands in sports and entertainment, visit today.

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Video: How to Better Strategize, Execute, and Measure Your Partnerships

Brands spend more than $65.8 billion globally on sports sponsorships annually. How do marketers properly assess the performance of these partnerships?

Front Office Sports



(*Trak Software is a proud partner of Front Office Sports)

Brands spend more than $65.8 billion globally on sports sponsorships annually. The bar has risen when it comes to the performance needed to justify those expenditures, which puts a lot of strain on all parties involved. With that said, how do these marketers collaborate on the work and properly assess the performance of their partnership portfolios?

In this webinar, CDW’s Senior Manager Brand & Sponsorship Dan Frystak and Tigris Sponsorship & Marketing’s VP Operations, Client Service & Marketing Kelly Baird and Trak Software CMO Charles Reynolds join Front Office Sports CEO Adam White. The group discusses best practices for strategizing, executing, and measuring partnerships along with how you can enable your team to be an even more strategic leader and partner for your business.

Edited highlights appear below:

What metrics do you show to CFO or other execs to prove relevancy when it comes to partnerships? (9:40)

Frystak: “It’s all about compiling various data points that are all going to serve to supplement one another. A good example of this is we will track every single person that we will bring out to a hosting environment for any sponsorship related activation. Whatever the event is, we’re going to host thousands of people every year and we know every single person that is going to come out and we track it to the level of ‘who was the customer entity?’, ‘what was their title?’, ‘what sort of customer are they?’. Beyond that, we try to track what their revenue was prior to CDW hosting and then after…but that’s just one data point. After that, we can do surveying, we can ask our salespeople, we can ask our customers what they knew or thought about CDW before the activation and what they think about it now. All these data points together make this collage that you’ll then be able to draw your insights from.”

READ MORE: Why an Agency Has Turned to Tech to Streamline their Client’s Sports Sponsorship Process

On changes in performance-based partnerships today (34:27)

Reynolds: “The digital migration of everything the last couple of years has just been incredible. If you talk about five years ago, the standard was you could throw an ad up on Facebook and you have some buttoned-up metrics and results immediately. We compete with that as marketers. You’re selling a premium product and experience and you want to be able to tell authentic stories for your brands that you work with, but there’s a big gap. If you’re not using project management versus spreadsheets, how do you get the work done? How do you prove it? How do you collaborate together and stand out in this era of performance-based partnerships. That’s the dynamic that we’re all dealing with right now.”

How emerging technologies are changing partnerships (50:10)

Baird: “Technology is making us all more efficient and time is money. Right now on the agency side, the hard part is trying to assess all the different options out there and what are the different platforms that have it all and what will never be. So it comes down to ‘how well do they talk to each other?’ ‘Are there open APIs?’ ‘Are there things we can automate?’ It’s an evolving process as we all try to figure out what are the tools each of us are using… So on the agency side, it’s more about assessing than helping get to that quicker close and execution process, but I do believe we’ll get there and we all need technology to get there.”

READ MORE: Why the Ravens Turned to a Software Solution to Deliver a Streamlined Partnership Experience

With the current digital landscape, should we expect more athlete sponsorships/partnerships? (54:38)

Frystak: “More and more athletes are becoming their own brands. There’s a lot more partnerships to be had with them directly versus the team that they’re on. It’s a landscape that I think is only going to continue to expand as they have greater opportunity and greater business wherewithal as well as greater social responsibility.”

Trak Software helps brands and properties strategize, execute and analyze their partnerships in one central location. Trak is currently offering a 14-day free trial of their software, plus a 25% discount on their software until May 2nd.

To learn more or schedule a demo, visit their website.

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