Sport sponsorship is a very valuable tool for businesses and an important support for sport clubs, teams and athletes.

As some may know, a dyadic relationship between sponsors and the sponsored athletes or clubs, where just money and rights are exchanged, is not enough. Sport sponsorship is an engagement platform. That’s right it’s a platform! Functioning as a touch point for exchange and integration of resources. 

Many experts define sports sponsorship as B2B-Interaction (Business-to-Business), as it’s just a small part of the huge network of a sport entity (i.e. sport club, athlete, team). Sport clubs and athletes underestimate the value of their network most of the time. New research focuses on insights into the various levels of the sponsorship network.

Some examples of different networking triangles are:

Asset: Fans

Asset: Media

As sponsoree, it is important to provide co-created value for your sponsor by facilitating cooperation and access to your network. Knowing your network asset and being open for discussions in order to create a win-win partnership is increasing your attractiveness to possible sponsors.

How can you make use of your ecosystem?

  1. Awareness:

Brainstorm a list of all stakeholders you, as sport property, are connected to.

This can/should be done even before engaging with a sponsor, because it increases the awareness of your position in your network.

  1. Definition:

Select from the list (with or without the sponsor) all stakeholders relevant in your relationship with the sponsor.

You can add external parties, who belong in your target group. 

  1. Implementation:

Develop a strategy together with your sponsor on how to reach and make use of these stakeholders.


Be aware that you as sporting property are the mediator between business and your network! If you connect to sponsors ask them about their expected role and the role they expect of you as communicator.

So let’s get started! Be aware of your opportunities and assets!

(This is new research done by the University of Bayreuth)