Merchandising is key to any sporting industry. It involves the fans by creating walking advertisements that will be seen all over the world.
Sponsors pay insane amounts of money for a jersey space but are guaranteed to get their money’s worth. Athletes with significant followings are sure to have thousands of fans willing to buy their team jersey and, as a result, walk around advertising their products and pushing customers to the sponsorship companies website.
Merchandising and sports sponsorship is a fascinating industry, whether you’re a participant or a spectator read on to find out why merchandising for sport is so important.
Who Gets What?
More popular athletes tend to get bigger brand deals as the sponsors know that they’ll make a lot of profit off of their name. David Beckham will go down in history as one of Adidas’s most valuable representatives as he managed to earn them millions worth of sales over the years. By the end of his career, the well-known brand estimated that Beckham’s name had managed to sell over 10 million replica jerseys to the eager fans. The industry is booming: making it an obvious choice for any brand looking for some publicity.
Emirates and Chevrolet are responsible for the most significant brand deals in sports history, with some contracts valued at just over €70-million. Emirates are responsible for the most extensive sponsorship; supporting Real Madrid, just overtaking the Chevrolet sponsorship of ManU, and FC Barcelona with Rakuten.
Replica kit is a great business opportunity for the manufacturers and brand sponsoring it. It further increases its exposure to the general public and makes a brand name at the table of global sporting apparel. Between 2007 and 2008, an astonishing $62.8 billion was spent globally on sport sponsorship deals. That is an astronomical amount of money spent on merchandise. But it seems it always turns out to be a successful gamble.
Merchandising in sport can also act as another form of income for the sports teams themselves. Teams such as Barcelona have taken control of their sponsorship with Nike, and it has launched its own company under the name of Barça Licensing and Merchandising.
It now manages its retail, merchandising and licensing rights after being solely controlled by Nike for 16 years. The motivation for the move over to sole-ownership was the idea of maintaining its brand, greater economic profitability and, of course, enabling the fans to get the authentic Barca experience. It also plans on developing new technologies and becoming one of the leading innovators in the industry. With over 7000 products in its range, the turnover each season is roughly €65-million. The venture was quite a success for Barcelona; For sure!
Not only does a replica kit generate income for some, but it also creates camaraderie between the supporters and the players. When the South African team known as The Blue Bulls decided to take the leap and bring out a bright pink rugby jersey, many thought the sales would plummet. But to everyone’s surprise, the sales increased as fans were more than happy to support the team winning at the time.
Sponsoring a team’s jersey is a great marketing tool that will help connect the consumers to the brands. Sponsorship helps brands connect with supporters through their favourite sports and target consumers; increasing their sales and making a name for themselves.
A World where Social Media Rules
With the world as social-media-driven as it is, it seems a bit old-fashioned to still be sponsoring a team kit for branding purposes, but it is the most effective way of getting the company name out there. Social Media and sponsored kits help each other out by creating a place for consumers to buy their favourite team kit and share pictures of the fans in their gear: connecting people from all around the world to their favourite teams.
When looking at all the benefits of selling branded replica kits to fans, it is a no-brainer in the world of advertising. From boosting comradery to increasing your favourite teams or athletes’ profits, buying a team shirt can do a lot more for sport and their sponsoring companies than you think.