(Blog 2 of 3) – The most amazing athlete sponsorship story!

07 Nov (Blog 2 of 3) – The most amazing athlete sponsorship story!

Part 2 of 3: How Jo’s swim school got true commercial value from sponsoring Josh Beaver

This is the second blog in a series of 3…..if you haven’t read Part 1 yet, click here, then come back to this one!

So, after Jo and Josh formalised the sponsorship, it was time to get into action!

Jo’s business and Josh’s sponsor, Learn to Swim Victoria, have a simple yet effective marketing strategy; they visit local schools and do a short presentation to the students…and give them a little brochure to take home to their parents. This is the main way they get customers.

Jo and her team decided to get Josh involved in the school visits…….and what a great idea!

As you read in the first blog, Jo was one of the editors for my book on how to sponsor athletes…..and would have read about how sponsors often find that their sponsored athletes are a better conduit between them and their customers than a sales person or technical expert.

Josh, being young, friendly, fun, confident and really keen to give back to his sponsors, was an absolute hit with the kids at the first school he visited!

Without doing a sales pitch, but just telling his story as a swimmer, he inspired and entertained the entire school, teachers included! As consumers, we don’t like to be sold too, but we certainly love a good story….one that shows vulnerability, tenacity and a real person doing amazing things!

As a result of this single visit, the amount of kids that went on to become members at Jo’s swim school more than covered the cost of Josh’s sponsorship. In fact, since then Josh has visited a further 2 schools, and his sponsorship has now been covered 3 times over.

Having an Olympic athlete at their school was so incredibly exciting, not just for the kids but for the teachers too….and Jo said they were the most successful school visits they have ever done.

What a great, immediate, measurable result! Anything else is a bonus for Jo’s business!

But…..as I promised, this sponsorship story really is amazing……and keeps getting better!

When Josh first became an ambassador for the swim school, he didn’t really have any social media presence (except the Swimming Australia and Olympic’s Team articles that included him).

Jo’s daughter Zoe quickly offered to help him get a Facebook started……and has been great in helping him with the content! Josh is a really interesting, friendly and engaging athlete, and this will help with his fan engagement and making him more visible for other sponsors as well…..it also allows him to share content about his sponsors, and will potentially send even more customers their way!

So, his profile now has a chance to grow, the swim school will benefit, as he will be sharing content from the activations he does with them, and they in turn now have a much more perse and interesting range of social media content to use!

This second blog focusses on the financial benefits to the sponsor….their costs were not only covered, but in a space of 2 months they have tripled their financial investment! Just goes to show that if you align athlete activities with business objectives and marketing activities that the results are much more easily measured……and the effectiveness of a sponsorship is clear!

So far, this sponsorship has brought Jo’s business:

  • Increased membership and profits
  • Increased social media activity, engagement and content
  • Increased marketing content and brand awareness
  • More engaged staff
  • More engaged swim school members and their parents

And for Josh, it has meant:

  • Increased profile on social media
  • Improved public speaking skills and experience
  • Increased fan base
  • His Dad gets to go to Rio with him
  • A team of dedicated, supportive people at Learn to Swim Victoria
  • Connection’s into the professional sports world (through the donation/speaking opportunity from a major AFL club)

For most sponsorships this would be a satisfactory result at the end of a 12 month period….but we are only 2 months into this relationship……and already it’s a success! There is more to come, and the next blog looks at a very unexpected outcome…..and a great example of how a few simple actions can result in amazing opportunities!

How are you liking this story so far? If you haven’t read Part 1 click here ……..and keep an eye out over the next couple of days for Part 3– “But wait…..there’s more! And now it gets REALLY exciting!”

Visit Learn to Swim Victoria here: http://www.learntoswimvic.com.au/

Connect with Josh: http://bit.ly/29k3BFB

Connect with Jo: http://bit.ly/29nAKAE

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Vickie Saunders

Vickie is the world's leading expert on commercial relationships for individuals, businesses and sports organisations.