Think Global, Act Local

soccer%20ball.jpgThink global with your partnership decision making. Each of the major sports leagues in the United States have taken proactive approaches to drive their businesses, so it essentially time for you to mirror their actions... An article from Adweek (4.7.2008) entitled "Farther Afield" drove the thinking to post this article, as it made a collection of interesting points:

Looking at Sponsorships with a Global Focus

  • The sponsorship industry in the United States is expected to grow significantly through 2010, climbing to $12.4BN in the U.S. (up 17% from $10.6BN in 2008)
  • Similar sponsorship growth is expected in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa; sponsorships and related fees are projected to climb 16% to $10.7BN by 2010
  • Sponsorship deals in the Asia-Pacific region are expected to grow by 26% to $9.6BN by 2010

The extended reach of American Sports

  • National Basketball Association (NBA) - A global brand
  • Major League Soccer (MLS) - The game of soccer is a global brand - the MLS is looking to expand its reach through the SuperLiga tournament (held in July-August '08) and attracting global superstars like David Beckham
  • Major League Baseball (MLB) - An international brand with limited appeal
  • National Hockey League (NHL) - An international brand with limited appeal
  • The NFL is neither international nor global – it is an American sport with a long learning curve ahead – but it’s operators are determined to make it a global franchise

Leagues are taking steps to extend their reach

  • The NHL is featuring its second annual NHL Premiere event, an international series with four (4) games in Prague and Stockholm.
  • The NFL featured a game between the Miami Dolphins and New York Giants at Wembley Stadium (England) and recently announced that the Buffalo Bills will play one regular season game in Toronto, Canada over the next five (5) years
  • MLS created the SuperLiga tournament, pinning American and Mexican men’s national soccer teams
  • The NBA will host a 2008 European Tour, playing regular season matchups in Paris, Berlin, Barcelona, Spain, and London
  • Major League Baseball held a two-game opening day series in Japan (Oakland Athletics vs. Boston Red Sox)

Sponsorship Involvement

  • Pacsi, a Tokyo-based tire company, invested in the NFL international series because its company’s marketing is broken up into Asia, the Americas, and Europe
    • Through the deal, Pacsi received field-level signage (not offered in the U.S.)
  • Bridgestone and American Airlines have been very active sponsors in international deals
    • Bridgestone was the title sponsor of the Bridgestone International Series (the Dolphins-Giants matchup at Wembley)
      • Bridgestone received advertising units on Sky TV, on-air billboards during the telecast, pre-game tune-in spots the week prior, and game day advertising
      • The game was broadcast in 200+ countries and in 21 languages via 31 media partners
      • Signage received a combined 3:35; valued at $1.6MM in comparable exposure value
    • Bridgestone also signed on as a partner of the NHL Premiere event
    • American Airlines uses its partnership with SuperLiga to target younger, upscale Hispanics who are inclined to travel (particularly among individuals who reside in the U.S. but were born abroad)
  • Pepsi and EMC sponsored logo patches on the sleeves of Red Sox and Athletics’ players during the MLB’s two-game opening day series in Japan