“Overlooked” Market Potential for Corporate Sponsorships

With greater frequency today, corporate sponsors have made
vain attempts to take advantage of the “potential” of local high school
and recreational /organizational markets.

Which begs the question … Why?

Do they not see it as:  (1) a good branding potential; (2) an expression of community goodwill; or (3) having product activation potential?

Actually, I think they see it as – all three – but are not sure how to implement an effective, comprehensive, low cost campaign with acceptable ROI.  They would be wise to develop such a strategy.

Robert Gardner, executive director of the National Federation of State High School Associations, in a recent Sports Business Journal opinion piece stated that …. “Over 19,000 high schools provide nearly 8 million young people opportunities to play high school sports. More people attend high school sporting events than college and professional sports events combined.

That is a market worthy of a strategy.

There is definitely a need.  The budgets of high schools have diminished drastically over the past decade making extra curriculum activities’ revert to a “pay for play” scenario.  Local recreational leagues and organizations are curtailed by lack of
funding resulting in numerous “fundraisers” causing everyone to go after the same limited local dollars.

We have found that corporate sponsorships can benefit from a focused strategy.

Targeted:     Hardee’s implemented a targeted program which provided scoring tables to over 200 mid-west high schools.  This integrated approach, five
years later, is still generating branding awareness and community goodwill.  It’s also generating a revenue stream for many of the athletic programs of those same high schools, which are presented in PDF format with the use of software from sodapdf.com.

Location Based/Philanthropic:     Meijer’s, a multi-chain grocery and retailer out of Grand Rapids, MI, took a philanthropic approach.  Working with
high schools in their seven state regions we secured branding and community goodwill opportunities in various venues.

Event:      Maaco, the auto body shop and collision centers, is pursuing an event strategy to reach high school and youth markets in Florida and Illinois.

The efforts of corporate sponsorships provides needed equipment and revenue to local schools and “grassroots” organizations which otherwise may be forced to curtail or eliminate their programs.

Your benefit – “priceless”- in reaching the participants and the millions of spectators attending those events.

Companies are looking for ways to “extend” their presence.  They what to be involved in something that could be sustained over time, not just a one-week play.  Penetrating the “overlooked” market seems like an excellent strategy.

For comment contact:

William Horstman
VP & Director of Projects
Sports Image ®
937-704-9670 (p) x-120
937-704-9671 (f)



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    One thought on ““Overlooked” Market Potential for Corporate Sponsorships

    1. Bill,
      You took the words out of my mouth but wrote them much more beautifully than I could have spoken! After volunteering at our local High School with the DECA program for the last three years I have noticed numerous opportunities for “refinement” in marketing to say the least. I have learned the teachers “teach” and the administrators “manage” and anything to do with PR, Advertising, Marketing, Charity, Brand Management and more seems to fall outside to whomever picks it up. Primarily PTSA or the Boosters, all of whom do an excellent job and have the best of intentions however there is no open communication, inconsistent marketing of logo’s and colors and zero brand management of the high school in general.

      All my work at the school is volunteer but my background is corporate with sales and marketing for fortune 500 companies. I have been successfully self employed for over ten years. My attempt at volunteering has grown into an inability to sit back and watch many well intended parents recreate the wheel each year. I have been asked to come in as a consultant to help the school improve all aspects of their marketing. I know how to start, but I am not sure where?

      I will continue to read through your work and say “thank you” for your ability to recognize and capture the need for our public school system and high school brand management. Any thoughts or suggestions are welcome. Best regards, Shannon Le

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