Sponsorship Success: Why Consumer Brands Need More Than Just a Logo on the Track

You may not know this, but I used to work for a NASCAR race team. It’s where I learned about the grocery business, but that’s a story for another time. 

We were good at marketing for our sponsors, but our race team struggled. One season, a new team showed up in the garage and immediately outperformed us. Desperate to find an explanation, our team noticed they were using a purple coil spring.

Now, if you don’t know much about racing, understand this: springs are crucial. They play a significant role in aerodynamics and grip for the race car, which are important if you want to drive fast. Were the springs better, I don’t know. What I do know if that they had a purple powder-coating that made the spring visible. It was a clever marketing move by the manufacturer. Our team contacted our supplier and purchased multiple sets of these purple springs.

As you might have guessed, we performed worse with the purple springs. We associated them with our competitor’s success. We saw they were using them, but we didn’t realize were making 8 to 10 other adjustments on their cars that also contributed to their performance.

I often think about that spring when discussing sponsorships with brands. Sponsorships by design are highly visible and attractive to brands looking to connect with targeted audiences. They are a great way for brands to connect with fans, build brand enthusiasm and drive sales. But they are also complex and require a significant investment of time and resources. When you talk to brands who say, “We tried sponsorship, but it didn’t work for us” you will often find a brand that invested in what they could see and underestimated the importance of having a solid plan to support their investment. 

Just like a finely tuned race car, sponsorships demand a well-thought-out marketing strategy to succeed. That may sound daunting to a marketer when your team is already stretched thin, but don’t let that drive you away from an opportunity. You don’t need purple springs. You need a plan and the support to execute it.  

At The Market Share Group, we remove the headaches associated with major omnichannel marketing initiatives and help brands create sponsorships and experiences that are targeted, effective and fun! 

Let’s make it happen.