Cross-border payments companies are facing an ever-more competitive market and one way many are seeking to maximise their marketing efforts, both B2B and B2C, is through sponsorships with major sporting brands.
The value of sports sponsorships: Brand recognition, thematic associations, community connections
Looking at key examples of cross-border payments sports sponsorships announced over the last 18 months, there are a number of trends that run across such deals. By far the leaders in the space, with budgets way above the rest, are Visa and Mastercard, who dominate and typically alternate across the biggest events and sports.
Some companies use sports sponsorships as a way to increase brand recognition and positive thematic associations (think fast hi-tech racing, fast, digital payments for example), others to be visible to a major international audience. One such example is MoneyGram’s title sponsorship of the Haas F1 team. This not only sees the company’s branding showcased to a global audience in the billions, but the countries in F1’s circuit also make up 80% of the company’s transaction value. In addition, CEO Alex Holmes highlighted the brand’s presence in the Netflix documentary series Drive to Survive as a further benefit when we spoke to him in November.
Other sponsorships are seeking to leverage B2B relationships as well as a service offering. Most Premier League football clubs have a money transfer partner and will often also handle the FX for the club too.
While brand recognition is naturally a benefit of all sponsorships, some companies pair it with community-specific connections, such as Remitly’s sponsorship of LAFC or Western Union’s sponsorship of the Denver Nuggets.
Sports sponsorship can require deep pockets, though. What is often not accounted for is the additional spend required to activate the sponsorship – i.e. hospitality for clients, customer engagement and competitions. Industry rule of thumb is that to really leverage a sports sponsorship, expect to spend at least the same amount again on your activation budget.