Budget cuts have been particularly hard for many high school sports teams during the recession. Even the door-to-door fund-raising campaigns and additional fees paid by players aren’t always enough to support a football or hockey team for an entire season. This financial situation opens a new opportunity for marketers who want to form a connection with local consumers.
Writing for Sports Business Journal, David Bourne highlighted how Farmers Insurance has begun to establish marketing relationships with high school athletic associations. These relationships are often formed by independent agents as they get banners in front of consumers at the games or purchase ads in programs. In addition, local agents may strengthen the bond by volunteering in the schools. These sponsorships have worked so well some agents are extending deals to other budget-strained departments such the band or theater groups.
A small sponsorship for a single season at a school often costs a marketer between $2,000 to $3,500. A statewide sponsorship of a single high school athletic sport costs about $20,000. And Peter Fitzpatrick, president of Home Team Marketing, says “I see burgeoning interest in youth sports.”
Given the continued financial pressure on local schools and the need for marketers to reach local markets, sponsorships of school teams and events is likely to increase.
[Source: Bourne, David. From media to stadiums, the dollars are flowing to youth sports. SportsBusinessJournal. 2 Aug. 2010. Web. 20 Aug. 2010]