10 December 2012

Risk and opportunity: Key points for every Sochi 2014 sponsor to consider

Last week the PBN H+K team welcomed Andy Sutherden and Rowland Jack from Hill+Knowlton London’s Sports Marketing and Sponsorship team to Moscow. Andy, as Global Head of H+K’s Sports Marketing offer, and Rowland, International Sports Consultant, were in Moscow to meet potential and existing clients as well as WPP partners working in the Sporting marketing arena.
Andy and Rowland’s insight-led approach – a result of Olympic Games past and present – leant heavily on the recent London 2012 Games where Hill+Knowlton worked for sponsors such as P&G, OMEGA, adidas and Visa. As Andy was quick to point out H+K provides value to clients not only by maximizing the activation of their sponsorship deals but also by protecting their reputation from the intense high-profile media scrutiny that surrounds the Games. Sponsorships can be fraught with reputational risks especially if the risks are not identified and managed early.

The P&G Mum's campaign during London 2012 was a huge commercial success and was built around the role of Mums in creating Olympic champions.

Hill+Knowlton also helped adidas activate their Olympic campaign with an appearance from David Beckham at the Westfield mall in the Olympic village.

Important first questions that should be put to clients investing in Sports sponsorships include:
  1. What are the motives in choosing that particular sponsorship?
  2. Who is funding the sponsorship? I.e. Which part of the business? And are those parts of the business closely aligned on the goals of the sponsorship?
  3. How will the sponsorship be activated and on what platforms?
  4. How do we measure success?
Building on these points Andy and Rowland talked about the main issues currently defining the Sports Marketing world today post-London 2012, which all have relevance in the lead up to Sochi 2014.
  1. Sponsorship covers reputational risk as well as opportunity. Any brand working in the Sports Marketing area must have trained spokespeople, a crisis & issues response plan, a robust Q&A document as well as key media materials.
  2. Globalization – as the world becomes increasingly connected, Sports offers a high-profile platform on which to be seen as ‘international’.
  3. Governance – so important in the world of sport, the governance of sporting events has often been questioned in the recent past. How do clients and brands ensure that they get value for money and maintain focus on their goals?
  4. Fragmentation of media consumption makes it harder than ever to reach a large audience. As this trend increases so does the potential appeal of sports sponsorship. Sports content works well across all different media channels (print, broadcast, online).
With the Sports Sponsorship market growing by more than 5% a year and with two of the world’s global sporting events taking place in Russia over the next 6 years (Sochi 2014 and the FIFA World Cup 2018), companies doing business in Russia will see increasing opportunities in investing in Sports Marketing. For those companies with well thought out communications and activation plans the rewards will be high.

Related contacts :

Michael Zdanowski
Director, International Projects, Moscow

phone: +7 495 775 0077 / +7 985 974 0813
email: michael.zdanowski@hkstrategies.com