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    Walk Off Your One-Off

    Arizona is home to some of the best ‘one-off’ sporting events that college and professional sports has to offer. The Fiesta Bowl, Spring Training, Waste Management Phoenix Open and even the NCAA Final Four all fall in the category of extraordinary events that buoy our four major professional teams and two major college programs located in the Phoenix metropolitan area.

    How do local sponsors take advantage of these short-term, high profile, one-off sporting events to attract new customers? It’s not really clear cut and given the differences in duration, demographics and timing of these events there’s really not one cookie cutter strategy that works for everyone.

    That being said there are tactics that you can employ when sponsoring a sporting event that lasts a little over a month, a week or a couple of days. Here are a few:

    1. One-off, short-term event sponsorships should be a part of a broader, consistent outreach. Be sure to promote your affiliation in at least part of your normal outreach (traditional and digital).

    2. Affiliation with said event should enhance your marketing efforts by providing you with promotion driving hospitality assets. (i.e. tickets, access or swag) If you don’t have hospitality as part of your sponsorship, stop reading this and call me immediately.

    3. Activate digitally … but do it right. Impression based digital outreach is nice but most companies need to generate real ROI when they invest in sports marketing. Don’t make the mistake of falling for big (and often times irrelevant) digital impressions. Create traffic driving strategies with your digital outreach tied to your sponsorship of a short-term sporting event.

    4. Use short-term events in ways that bridge, perpetuate or enhance other long-term sponsorships. A Fiesta Bowl sponsorship is a great way to cap off a season sponsorship with ASU or UofA football; spring training is a great asset to set the table for a DBack’s sponsorship; the Waste Management Phoenix Open is like sponsorship bacon … it makes everything better. The key is to be cohesive and strategic with the assets that a short termed event can afford you.

    5. Each of these events has a charitable component to them. The Fiesta Bowl and Waste Management Phoenix Open are robust contributors to Valley charities. Getting involved in that aspect of a short-term sports sponsorship is always a good idea. This will generate goodwill in the marketplace and typically lengthen the duration of your affiliation while deepening your involvement in the event.

    We’re fortunate to have and attract great sporting events. The Phoenix metropolitan area has great weather, great venues, plenty of hotel space and no shortage of places to dine or dance. It’s awesome that we have Spring Training, the Fiesta Bowl and the Waste Management Phoenix Open. We’ll also continue to get Final Fours, Super Bowls and other sporting events that put us on the national stage. Figuring out how to make these national events into local opportunities takes strategic thought, creativity and a good sports marketing agency.

    Fortunately, we have those in Phoenix too.

    I welcome your thoughts anytime through my contact form or directly via email at

    About the author: Ed Olsen is the CEO of Line Drive Sports Marketing. He is a former adjunct professor at Arizona State University and has lots of opinions on all things sports.

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