I am not exactly passionate about a professional sports team. However, if I was to pick one to discus, it would be the Washington Nationals. I am from Maryland and close to the DC area. Normally, people are split between the Nationals and the Orioles. Since there are two professional teams near one another, it is important to stay on top of marketing strategies and sponsorships.
The Washington Nationals have numerus sponsors, some bigger than others. A few of their big partnerships/sponsors are obviously the Major-League Baseball association and then they are also partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Another big sponsor seems to be under armor. Although in baseball it is normal to have different brands for different products, it seems to be the under armor is their overall big athletic wear sponsor. Baseball is different than most sports because there is not one company that dominates over all the others for its athletic gear, such as bats, gloves, shoes, etc.
One thing I found interesting was their advertisement for potential corporate partnerships. The Washington Nationals share that they want to gain and develop new partnerships. The have a tab that shares different partnership five possible levels.
- Level 1: Pinch Hit Sponsor – $500
- Get one mention in the Gala program
- Level 2: Base Hit Sponsor – $5,000 or $3,000
- Full page advertisement, or half page advertisement
- Level 3: Double Play Sponsor – $10,000
- Club tickets, field & pregame passes, name recognition during Gala, full page cover advertisement, and mentioned in Gala program.
- Level 4: Field of Dreams Sponsor – $20,000
- Group photo & meet with player, sky club tickets with food & drink, Southern club tickets & field passes, signed bat, acknowledgement during Gala from main stage, logo & name recognition during gala, full page color advertisement, mention in all broadcast & print media.
- Level 5: Diamond Sponsor – $50,000
- Prime seating for 30 guest, meet players and couch, photo with player, suite, diamond club tickets, opportunity to throw first pitch, autographed framed jersey, acknowledgement on Gala stage, logo & name recognition on Gala stage, full page cover advertisement, mention is broadcast & print media.
As you can see, there is a wide amount of diversity among the different levels of sponsorship opportunities. This keeps a level playing field for not only the bigger businesses, but also the smaller ones who are just trying to get their foot in the door.