The Ultimate Guide to Youth Sports Sponsorship [For Brands]

Learn how your brand can become a community MVP by sponsoring youth sports.

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What is Sports Sponsorship

In exchange for financial support, a sports sponsorship provides businesses with brand exposure during sporting events. Businesses also can gain brand exposure through emails, social media posts, and other communications about the sports team.

Since competitions are live, sponsorships for sports allow businesses to gain brand exposure to an engaged in-person audience. Those benefits are extended to additional sports fans if the competition is televised, as is the case for professional sports.

Sponsoring companies for sports have the benefit of choosing from among an extensive number of sports that are available based on gender and level. For example, youth, adult, and professional sports teams can offer sponsorships in sports as varied as football, soccer, baseball, hockey, tennis, lacrosse, basketball, boxing, and rowing.

A company also may decide to invest in an individual sponsorship of an athlete, typically one who is a standout on the team. Individual sponsorships are more common among professional athletes and Olympic athletes.

Companies That Sponsor Youth Sports Teams

Many companies are using youth sports as an effective marketing channel to reach their target audiences. The best companies for youth sports sponsorship are those that are aligned with the values and interests of young athletes and their families, such as sports apparel and equipment manufacturers, sports drink and snack brands, healthcare, restaurants, and financial services providers.

Dicks Sporting Goods is one of the most active companies in sponsoring youth sports teams, leagues, and events, offering grants and donations through its Sports Matter program. Gatorade, a leading sports drink brand, sponsors athletes and teams in various sports, such as football, basketball, soccer, and volleyball, and provides sports science resources and support. Coca-Cola has been a longtime sponsor of the Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup, as well as youth sports leagues and events worldwide.

Other corporations that offer sponsorship in for sports include Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, Reebok, PepsiCo, McDonald's, and Visa. These companies use youth sports as a way to showcase their products and services, increase brand visibility, and engage with their target audiences on and off the field.

How to Sponsor a Local Sports Team

Sponsoring a local sports team includes several key steps:

  • Choose a team and sport that aligns with the interests of the company’s targeted audience. Many businesses also consider location as a factor.
  • Match the needs of a sports team with the services or opportunities that the company can provide. A printing company, for example, may be an ideal fit for a team with sports sponsorship opportunities for signage or team uniforms.
  • Consider existing sponsors of the sports team. A business may decide not to sponsor a team if a competitor is among the current sponsors or if all the top sponsorship levels are already taken.

Negotiate the terms of the sponsorship with the team.

Effectiveness of Sports Team Sponsorship

Youth sports sponsorship is an effective marketing channel because it allows brands to connect with their target audiences in a positive and engaging way. Sponsorship of sports can generate positive word-of-mouth, increased social media engagement, and media coverage. Brands can also benefit from sponsorships by creating custom packages for youth sports sponsorship, including signage, event sponsorship, social media mentions, and even brand ambassadors.

According to a Nielsen study, sports sponsorships can help brands reach younger and more diverse audiences, and generate higher levels of brand loyalty and purchase intent. Brands that invest in youth sports sponsorship are more likely to be perceived as community-minded, socially responsible, and committed to the development of young athletes. Additionally, youth sports sponsorship can help brands stand out in a crowded marketplace and create a lasting impression on their target audiences.

Youth Sports Sponsorship Examples

Sports sponsorship is a powerful marketing tool, and many companies have taken advantage of it to promote their brands. Here are some of the most famous sports sponsorship examples.

One of the biggest sponsors in sports is Nike, which sponsors some of the most prominent athletes and sports teams globally. Their iconic “Just Do It” slogan has become synonymous with sports sponsorship in sports and is one of the most recognizable branding phrases in the world.
Another significant player in the sports sponsorship arena is Red Bull. They have sponsored a wide range of sports, including extreme sports, motorsports, and soccer. Red Bull’s sponsorship of Felix Baumgartner’s historic skydive from space was one of the most successful sponsorships of all time. They also sponsor several soccer teams and extreme sports events.
Gatorade is another sports sponsor that has made a significant impact, both in professional and amateur sports. Their “Be Like Mike” campaign featuring Michael Jordan became an iconic slogan and is still remembered today. Gatorade sponsors many athletes and sports teams globally, and they are a common inspiration for brands looking to sponsor youth sports.
Companies that sponsor individuals include Rolex, who has sponsored tennis player Roger Federer and golf player Tiger Woods. Puma sponsors soccer player Neymar and track and field star Usain Bolt, while Adidas sponsors basketball player James Harden and soccer player Lionel Messi.

How Much Does It Cost To Sponsor A Youth Sports Team

Sponsoring a youth sports team or athlete can be an excellent way for companies to get their brand in front of a new audience. The cost of sponsoring a youth sports team can vary widely depending on the level of sponsorship and the sport.

Many companies offer sponsorship packages that include equipment, uniforms, and other benefits in addition to logo placement. Aside from youth sports sponsorship packages, some companies also offer grants for sports equipment and facilities, which can be an excellent option for companies that are unable to commit to a full sponsorship. Some companies choose to develop their sponsorship packages and manage relationships with local teams in house, while others choose to work with third-party platforms like TeamSnap to plan, manage, and execute their sponsorship campaigns.

The average cost to sponsor a youth sports team or athlete can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. The cost will depend on the level of sponsorship,the size of the team, and the length of the sponsorship period. For example, sponsoring a little league baseball team may cost less than sponsoring a high school basketball team.

Many sports teams and athletes are actively seeking sponsorship opportunities, and it is essential to choose the right sponsorship opportunity for your brand. Companies should consider the level of exposure they will receive, the target audience, and the return on investment when deciding to sponsor a youth sports team or athlete.

Overall, sponsorship in sportsring a youth sports team or athlete can be an excellent marketing channel for companies to promote their brand while supporting the local community. Companies should weigh the costs and benefits carefully to ensure they are making the right decision for their brand.

Download the Ultimate Guide to Youth Sports Sponsorships