If you are looking to make a case for which organization is "Best in Class" when it comes to corporate partnerships, look no further than Barcelona FC. The football club does an incredible job detailing the assets/rights, opportunities, and events that are available to corporate partners looking to align their brand with the organization.
The club also does a great job incorporating corporate partnership content into their website (through a visible tab on the homepage that offers additional details on supplies, events, clinics, meetings, VIP tickets, image rights, and sponsorship opportunities)... Why don't we see more teams/athletic departments do this in the United States? (on many sites, information pertaining to corporate partners (who are said to be valued so highly) is often hidden/ignored).
As sports marketers, we should be devoting ample time to analyze the practices of our counterparts overseas, especially in European Football. The breadth of U.S. sports owners and businessmen investing in soccer overseas should serve as a strong signal of the quality of sports business and growth potential that exists... Collectively, we need to open up our horizons to gain a better understanding for what principles are being implemented overseas. Hopefully these two (2) Barcelona FC tactics will peak your interest:
Creative In-Venue Branding
Barcelona FC took its Nike partnership to the next level by branding three (3) seated sections of its Camp Nou stadium with the Nike symbol... a great tactic that demonstrates to the media and fans around the world about how highly they value Nike as a partner. This innovative branding piece offers Nike incremental in-venue brand visibility and media coverage, demonstrating the power of the Nike brand with relation to Barcelona FC football. Also, make note of the Nike video board signage - have we seen this anywhere in the United States? Nike traditionally focuses on being engrained at the performance level... a very interesting piece.
FC Barcelona does a great job engraining its corporate partners in all of the team's branding and corporate events. The team picture below demonstrates that the club values its supporting corporate partners so much that they incorporate their brands in the team photo... Where have we seen this done in the United States?
In closing, FC Barcelona does a great job detailing the commitment levels of its partners on its team webpage. Too often, we see teams/organizations just clump all of their corporate partners together on one (1) main page or charge their "supporting partners" for a presence on the website. We need to take greater efforts to due the diligence of distinguishing sponsors based on their spend levels and clean up our corporate partnership programs overall. Less is More!