Map Sports

The Importance of Sponsorships that 'Fit'

For any athlete, maximising his or her earning potential during their sporting career is important to help set up a life after sport. While the most obvious source of income – especially for a rugby league player or other team sports players – is their playing contract, for many athletes sponsorship opportunities may also provide an additional income.

However there is more to sponsorship than simply finding a business interested in using sport as an advertising vehicle. When negotiated effectively, sponsorship can be beneficial for both parties involved, providing increased awareness of both the sponsor and athlete and generating good will among the community.


Why Businesses Sponsor Athletes

Many different businesses sponsor sport at different levels. From sponsorship of the local football club by the neighbourhood butcher, to large multinationals sponsoring the world famous big name athletes, sponsorship and sport go hand in hand.

Understanding why a business is interested in sponsoring you as an athlete is so important to helping to better give the business a positive experience as a sponsor, and increase the likelihood of them renewing each and every year.

In short, sport sponsorship allows businesses to connect with potential customers, build a relationship with those customers, and provide a positive brand experience.

Sponsorship is, however, quite unique from other marketing vehicles such as advertising and public relations. Sponsorship provides direct and targeted access to consumers that advertising cannot, while at the same time leveraging off the good will of the sport or athlete involved.


The Importance of the Correct Sponsorship Opportunities

For both the athlete and businesses involved in any sponsorship it is important to understand the importance for ensuring that the deal is a “good fit” for both parties.

It has been shown through academic studies that consumers associate brands and the athlete/sport they are sponsoring closely. This means that if a consumer has a negative view of a sport or athlete, they will then feel the same of the sponsoring brand. This also applies in reverse, if a fan has a negative association with a brand, those bad feelings can be transferred to the athlete they are sponsoring.

Because of this it is important for both the business and athlete to align themselves with opportunities where the other party has similar core values, and where the consumer will have a positive brand experience.

For an athlete this is particularly important as for many, upon retirement from sport, it is their high profile and brand within the community which is used to help create business opportunities for life after sport.


If you would like to learn more about how you can leverage your sport profile to attract the best fit sponsorships, contact Map Sports at or + 61 2 8705 5464.