Sponsor Sports

SPONSOR SPORTS WITH LEAGUESIDE

LeagueSide connects your brand with people in the happiest moments of their week by making community sports sponsorships easy to execute and measure at scale.

soccer player wearing branded jersey

Sponsor sports to build brand awareness

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Reach families in the happiest moments of their weeks by sponsoring youth sports organizations. LeagueSide’s platform makes it easy to find leagues to sponsor by location or demographic in our network of over 20,000 sports organizations. From there we’ll handle all the coordination, execution, and measurement of your sponsorships.

Become the neighborhood hero

LeagueSide has a national network of 20,000 sponsorable youth sports and adult leagues, clubs, and tournaments across the country.

We’ll handle the heavy lifting

LeagueSide handles all the coordination, execution, mesasurement, and proof of performance for your sponsorships.

Measure the roi of community involvement

Our team will work with you to develop and measure KPIs like increased likelihood to choose your business, direct in-store profit, and other custom goals.

Sponsor sports

Businesses and organizations sponsor sports at all levels for the mutual benefit of the athletes, the community, and the sponsoring entity. Sponsorships can include financial support for sports gear, uniforms, equipment, and facilities. They also can include in-kind support, such as providing volunteers to serve concessions or organizing a fundraising event on behalf of the sports organization.

Most sports sponsorships include a formal or informal written agreement that outlines details related to the benefits that the company will provide the sports group within a specific timeframe. The agreement also can specify the benefits that the business will receive, such as a corporate logo on sports uniforms.

Sports sponsorship categories

Sports sponsorship categories can vary, depending upon the needs of the team or organization, a business’s marketing budget, and the sponsorship levels available. For example, the following are the most common forms of youth sports sponsorships:

  • Team: A business may provide funding to cover the costs of uniforms, transportation, competition fees, training, and other sports-related expenses. In exchange, the sponsoring company may request that the team’s uniforms display their company’s logo. Businesses also can request brand mentions in team-related announcements.
  • Facility: Sports teams may need renovations of sports arenas or other facilities. A company can support these types of projects in exchange for brand awareness through temporary signage during the construction process. They also can invest in permanent signage. 
  • Events: Many sports groups can benefit from fundraising events. A business can provide in-kind support by providing free food or sports memorabilia during a competition.
  • Competitions: A company also can sponsor existing sports competitions or create new competitions that generate brand awareness in a community as well as support a sports organization. Branding opportunities can include the name of the competition, programs, and trophies.

In addition to these sports sponsorship categories, businesses may have the opportunity to choose among varying sponsorship levels, including:

  • Title sponsor
  • Main sponsor
  • Official sponsor
  • Supporting sponsor

How to sponsor a local sports team

Sponsoring a local sports team includes several key steps:

  • Choose a team and sport that aligns with the interests of the company’s targeted audience. Many businesses also consider location as a factor.
  • Match the needs of a sports team with the services or opportunities that the company can provide. A printing company, for example, may be an ideal fit for a sports team with sponsorship opportunities for signage or team uniforms.
  • Consider existing sponsors of the sports team. A business may decide not to sponsor a team if a competitor is among the current sponsors or if all the top sponsorship levels are already taken.
  • Negotiate the terms of the sponsorship with the team.

What Is Sports Sponsorship

In exchange for financial support, a sports sponsorship provides businesses with brand exposure during sporting events. Businesses also can gain brand exposure through emails, social media posts, and other communications about the sports team. 

Since competitions are live, sponsorships for sports allow businesses to gain brand exposure to an engaged in-person audience. Those benefits are extended to additional sports fans if the competition is televised, as is the case for professional sports.

Sponsoring companies for sports have the benefit of choosing from among an extensive number of sports that are available based on gender and level. For example, youth, adult, and professional sports teams can offer sponsorships in sports as varied as football, soccer, baseball, hockey, tennis, lacrosse, basketball, boxing, and rowing.

A company also may decide to invest in an individual sponsorship of an athlete, typically one who is a standout on the team. Individual sponsorships are more common among professional athletes and Olympic athletes.

Effectiveness of sports sponsorship

To many marketers, a sports sponsorship is an effective method of marketing because it is perceived as more genuine than more traditional forms of advertising. Through a sports sponsorship, a company can generate goodwill among engaged sports fans and communities by supporting their favorite team or event.

In addition, sports sponsors can receive positive exposure during an event that brings together like-minded sports fans in a community environment. Employees and customers also are more prone to have a favorable impression of a brand that supports a team or an athlete.

Future of sports sponsorship

Sports sponsorships have been core to the support of teams for decades, with the focus increasingly expanding to include more teams and more sports types at numerous levels, including youth sports. That trend will continue as more teams gain the support of their fans and communities.

Live sports will remain at the core of sports sponsorships. Most sports fans prefer cheering on their teams in person over watching the game televised if given the opportunity. Yet, sponsors can gain additional exposure through digital channels, such as posts on the team’s social media platforms, email communications, and other communication channels.

Also, due to marketing advances, agencies that specialize in sports sponsorship are providing more effective ways to measure the impact of sponsorships at all levels, from youth to professional.

Sports Sponsorship Examples

Some of the best sponsorships in sports are designed to ensure that sports activities and competitive sports are available to youth, young adults, and adults in communities of all sizes, from rural to urban. With the various aspects involved in managing a sports team and hosting competitions, including coaching, training, uniforms, facilities, concessions, and travel, many teams will have numerous opportunities for businesses to sponsor and financially support their organization.

Many companies that invest in sports sponsorship marketing recognize the benefits of engaging in sports activities, including promoting healthy lifestyles and teamwork, as well as building a sense of community.

Sports sponsorship examples

Companies that invest in youth sports sponsorship, for example, can provide financial support to the team and individual athletes in numerous ways, including the following:

  • Team uniforms
  • Scholarships for athletic camps
  • Travel expenses
  • Equipment
  • College scholarships
  • Coach and referee expenses
  • Equipment
  • Maintenance of field, facilities

Gatorade Youth Sports Sponsorship

Many people are familiar with Gatorade as a sponsor for major professional teams, including US Soccer, NBA, WNBA, and NFL. The brand also has sponsored numerous sports organizations and events at the amateur, collegiate, and professional levels.

Gatorade has committed throughout the years to support youth sports through sponsorships, including the Gatorade Youth Partnership, which provides sports drinks for community events or programs that focus on youth. Other Gatorade programs include the Player of the Year program, which recognizes high school student-athletes for academic achievement and athletic excellence.

Liberty Mutual Youth Sports Sponsorship

Liberty Mutual also has had a long history of supporting youth sports through various programs, including the Liberty Mutual Play Positive Program, which included tips for parents and coaches, and a Community Grants Program. Through its focus on youth sports over decades, the insurance company has given sports teams across the nation millions of dollars in grants.

Why Do Brands Sponsor Sports Events

Brands sponsor sports events for numerous reasons, many of them related to the ability to positively connect with an audience of loyal fans who align with their targeted demographics. They also are viewed favorably for strengthening bonds within a community.

Whether a team involves youth sports, adult sports, or amateur and professional sports, a brand can rely on the audiences sharing specific demographics that align with their marketing objectives. These demographics can include gender, income, location, marital status, and education. As a result, a marketing team can more effectively penetrate a specific market.

Companies sponsoring sports events for advertising purposes

By launching campaigns among individuals that share specific demographics, companies sponsoring sports events for advertising purposes can significantly increase their reach within that community. 

Unlike digital campaigns, live sporting events offer the opportunity to make more personalized connections and build trust more quickly among attendees. In-person events are valuable in building respect and community ties among the audiences.

Why do companies sponsor events?

In the same way that companies sponsor athletic teams, companies sponsor events for the ability to reach a targeted audience with specific demographics that serve as a match for the brand’s values, goals, products, and services.

Events can provide numerous advertising and promotional opportunities, including pre-event communications, banners, advertising, program notifications, videotaped mentions, testimonials, and social media posts before and after the event.

For that reason, companies sponsoring events can leverage numerous channels to build an engaging marketing campaign, solidifying brand awareness within a specific timeframe.

Are Sports Sponsorships Worth It

When setting their marketing budgets, marketers may be required to answer the question, Are sports sponsorships worth it?

For decades, companies from small businesses to enterprises, including Fortune 500 companies, have dedicated funding to sponsorships for sports events. Sponsorship in sports has been particularly prominent at the professional level. For example, many companies spent more than $5 million for one 30-second advertising spot during the 2022 NFL Super Bowl, which attracted an estimated 208 million viewers. Individual athletes, such as NBA stars Steph Curry and Lebron James and tennis stars Roger Federer and Serena Williams, also are the subject of numerous sports sponsorship articles.

Through association with popular teams and athletes, companies gain brand awareness and market penetration.

While these major endorsements indicate the value that brands gain from being associated with popular athletes and teams, the benefits of a sports sponsorship in the categories of youth sports, amateur sports, college sports, and other sports organizations also are extensive.

Many companies consider the support given to youth, high school, and college teams and athletes through sports sponsorship will help them establish a positive image among sports fans within the community. It also helps them to tailor content to a specific demographic since the audience typically will have similar traits.

How much does it cost to sponsor a youth sports team

An extensive range of opportunities is available to sponsor youth sports teams at different levels and in different forms. As a result, businesses of all sizes should be able to find sponsorships that fit their marketing budgets.

For example, a business can select the most prominent sponsorship level offered by a youth sports team, which may entitle them to feature their brand on all uniforms, banners on the field, and premium mentions in promotional materials. A company with a smaller marketing budget can choose to sponsor a team for advertisements during one event.

In many cases, youth sports teams will outline options through a benefits of sports sponsorship PDF that can be downloaded from their websites.

Businesses also can be creative in proposing options that align with their brand. Youth sponsorships can be tailored to be mutually beneficial to both parties.

Start sponsoring youth sports teams