If MotoGP is the pinnacle of two-wheel racing, a powerful mix of passion and state-of-the-art technology loved by millions around the world, sponsorship is the way to convey all that potential onto your brand and company.
As with all major sports, MotoGP and motorsports in general can count on a wide and across-the-board audience: divided in a 60% male and 40% woman, it is not only motorcycle enthusiasts who follow the premier class of bike racing. Young and tech-savvy, the MotoGP fan is loyal and very diverse, with a varied background and multiple interests and life paths.
So, if sponsorship is the way to talk to people through sport, how do you target the audience in a sport that really has all kinds of fans?
Tailoring sponsorship programs (or how to adjust your tone of voice)
Gone are the days when sponsorship meant just a sticker on the bike. In this day and age, sport sponsorship is a multi-faceted, tailored tool where fine tuning really is the key to success. But how can just one marketing instrument speak to different people? And, finally, how can you carefully target the audience using such elements?
To help visualize this illusory Mexican stand off, think of the difference between voice and tone. You have just one voice, and that’s highly recognizable for your friends and peers, but you can have multiple tones: one where you’re happy, one where you’re grumpy, one where you’re sad, one where you’re daydreaming.
The sport you are sponsoring is your voice, but how you tailor your sports sponsorship program is your tone. And exactly how you adjust your tone according to your listener, you should adjust your sponsorship program according to your audience.
Choose your benefits and start your engines
Marketing benefits are everything in sports marketing. Choosing the right ones and developing the perfect mix is an art, and also how you target the perfect audience and maximize your investment.
Ego is not your friend here, and should quickly be put aside. While visibility is the most heart-warming, mouth-watering bit for all brand owners and Heads of Marketing around the world (because who does not like his logo on a shiny, fast bike that’s taking to the track on a sunny Sunday afternoon?), it is also highly over-rated. If all you’re looking for is B2B deals, why would you need that expensive, huge logo at all? On the other hand, maybe, you might want the riders to show up during an important trade fair your company is attending, or you need the help of the Team’s marketing squad to boost that social media of yours.
As silly as this might sound, do not go for “standard”: think outside the box, leverage on those activations, throw ideas on the table, ask for custom moves and tools, be creative.
And if you’re ever in doubt, or if this is your first rodeo, you should definitely seek some support from a professional consultant or sports marketing agency.
With a little help from a motorsport agency
In the ever-changing world of sports marketing, vertical knowledge is often key. That’s why if you’re going for football you should rely on football specialists and if you’re going for MotoGP, Formula 1 or Formula E you should go for a motorsport agency.
A motorsport agency would help you carefully mix those ingredients and those benefits to get the perfect balance for your audience, your budgets and your objectives. Plus, they can help you save a lot of time and money by ringing the right person at the right time and already knowing what levers need to be pulled to quickly kickstart this or that sponsorship activation you need.
Again, mind that often these competencies are sport-related and and not geography-related, meaning you can get a sport marketing agency in London even if you’re working for the US and the Middle East, as long as these guys are expert in the sport you want to focus on.
Independency is king
One last thing we want to stress is that you should always go for independent sports marketing agencies, rather than for one-property sellers. Independent agencies usually work with every team, every rider and every organization in order to ensure that their clients get the best service and bang for the buck: they have no strings attached so they don’t care if you land a gig with Team A or Team B, as long as your goals are reached and there’s a smile on your face when you see the reports.
Independency is often underrated in the sports marketing world: people would tend to think that it’s better to ring the official Team and choose a DIY path, but most of the times end up with benefits that don’t really need with an outfit they haven’t really compared to the others.
Pretty much like how you wouldn’t buy a house after having seen just one home, you should not commit to a sponsorship program without having scouted all the field.
Author Bio – Riccardo Tafà was born in Gulianova, graduated in Law at the University of Bologna, and then decided to follow his deep passion for the sport. After attending the ISFORP (public relations training institute) in Milan he moved to England, where he began his career in PR, first at MSP Communication and then at Counsel Limited in London. Soon after that, he moved to SDC, a Belgian outfit headed by Jean Paul Libert, and started working with motorsport: the year is 1991. Following a brief transition to Monaco, where he flanked the owner of Pro COM, a sports marketing agencyfounded by Nelson Piquet, he returned to Italy and began working in the first person as RTR, a first consulting firm, and then sports marketing company. In 2001 RTR wins the ESCA award for the implementation of the best MKTG sports project in Italy in the year 2000. RTR also obtains the highest score among all the categories and represents Italy in the European Esca Contest. Over the years he gets some satisfaction and swallows some bitter pills. But he is still here, he writes in a disillusioned and simple way, with the goal of providing practical advice and food for thought.