Sports Sponsorship: Crazy Idea?

Given the way TV and Internet are colliding consider this: many international companies sponsor sports teams (football, rugby etc)or individual sports stars (golf, tennis etc).

As the sportsworld is international, if I’m in Canada watching an event in the UK (e.g. The Open) I will likely see a tonne to irrelevant sponsorships – I will either see sponsors who don’t have a business in Canada or I will see the corporate/parent brand of an international organization which does have a presence in Canada.

In either case, I am a wasted impression. There must be a way to make this more efficient.

What if, instead of stitching on a logo, the person or team being sponsored stitched on a smart patch. The network delivering the television event would be smart enough to overlay the most relevant and appropriate sponsor location: if it was an international sponsor with a Canadian subsidiary, I would see the Canadian brand (and presumably Web address). If it were a company with no Canadian presence, I would see a sponsor which did.

It makes my experience more relevant and makes sponsorship more affordable for the sponsor who can now legitimately spread the cost across all geographies. It also increases the number of sponsors a team or individual can have as there are now no redundant “territories” – as a team or individual, I can have a different and even competing sponsor in each country with a TV network that supports the “smart patch” sponsorship idea.

What do you think – could this ever happen?

7 Responses to Sports Sponsorship: Crazy Idea?

  1. […] 2009-07-19T15:25:27  watching The Open, I had a crazy thought about sports sponsorship today. what do you think? [link to post] […]

  2. […] 2009-07-19T17:06:30  @scoppola your blog post inspired my own today: [link to post] […]

  3. […] 2009-07-19T17:32:05  . @scoppola your blog post totally inspired my own today: [link to post] […]

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  5. Joe Boughner says:


    I think we’re starting to see the beginnings of this with stadium advertisements. I’m pretty sure a few of the ads we see in baseball games (the ads behind homeplate for example) are imposed; the backstop is just green (though I haven’t been to a live game in ages).

    Global also does this (though it’s quite poorly executed) with NFL broadcasts in Canada by inserting static shots of computer generated ads on top of scoreboards etc. going in and out of commercial breaks.

    So no, I don’t think it’s a leap to suggest smart patches on uniforms are that far off. Sports seem to find new and innovative ways to incorporate sponsorships every day.

  6. Parker says:

    I agree with you that we will see this sort of thing soon, and as Boughner said, we’re already seeing it.

    I think that in some baseball stadiums, they already do this with patches of grass. Regional broadcasters are able to insert their own ads onto certain spaces.

  7. Jed Hallam says:

    It’s a bit of a leap in technology but couldnt you utilise augmented reality for something like this?

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