Let me tell you something about AFL sponsors: they aren’t getting their money’s worth.
Whoa, whoa, whoa – don’t break out the hot oil just yet. Let me just tell you a quick story.
A few months ago, I was talking about footy with two guys (yes, one was the boyfriend) who LOVE footy. I don’t mean they follow their team – I mean they will watch any, and every game, that’s playing… and then they’ll watch it again on replay. And then they’ll watch the highlights. As well as The Footy Show to make sure they didn’t miss anything. And then read the talking points to be extra sure.
Yea. These aren’t casual fans.
So imagine my surprise when I made a comment about Hungry Jacks being an AFL sponsor and they said, “Really? Hungry Jacks sponsors AFL?” I was flabbergasted (people do not use that word enough). I reminded them of commercials and things and they still drew blanks. Bells didn’t even ring when I reminded them that it’s called the “Hungry Jack’s Goal of the Year.” Out of curiosity, I asked them about the AFL’s other sponsors and their respective club’s sponsors and they couldn’t come up with much – if I remember correctly, each of them named one or two… but no more (they both knew Carlton – they love that robbery/false police chase commercial).
What does this tell me, the AFL and sponsors? It tells them that sponsors aren’t getting much out of their sponsorships. If two young guys, especially avid football fans like these, can’t identify AFL sponsors, who could?
Okay, it must be noted that men (in general – not all men) don’t have the best memories and most of them are too wrapped up in the game to pay attention to other things. So some people shrug this off. But leagues, teams and sponsors shouldn’t.
What the sponsors should do is figure out how to hit their target audience who are, primarily, these guys. Car companies, alcohol companies, insurance companies, banks… 25 year old guys are their ideal! They’re just starting to make the big bucks and you wanna get ‘em now and keep them for life!
It’s all about activation. Yes, the face painting is cute and the kids love getting free stuff. But honestly… if you’re someone like Toyota… why do you care if kids like you? You’ve got to wait another 15 years to cash in on that. It helps that their parents will like you, but that’s a bit of a long shot.
Sure… I’ll share some ideas on how to best activate and get these guys involved… but it’s something to think about. What are you getting out of your sponsorship?