In the sports industry, it’s not uncommon to move fast to acquire key and important sports sponsorships. We focus on negotiating the right cost and elements of value in the deal, all while trying to beat our competition to the asset.

But then what? Once we own the trademarks and marketing IP, are we properly maximizing this asset in line with the overall marketing strategy for our brand?

So often, we find that agency partners do not really know the overall strategy of the brands they are working for. Is it because this information – the personality a brand is attempting to communicate to their consumer base – is not shared by the brand to the agency?

Regardless: the first thing an agency needs to know to be able to effectively activate on a brand’s behalf are the strengths and weakness of that brand, and its opportunities. Targeted customer demographics, regional strengths, ethnic reach and competition should all be shared in order to best serve sales and market share growth.

Once a marketing message is established, how that message is communicated becomes critical. Whether via a commercial message, end aisle display, packaging, etc.; this detail is critically important. You can have the greatest sports asset in the world, but if the creative message is “off message”, it won’t do you much good.

There are no real awards for being a top sports sponsor. There are shareholder rewards if these sports sponsorships grow the business. To get there, we all need to communicate fully – advertisers, sports partners, agencies and creative teams – to make maximize sponsorships, and ensure that they resonate with the right consumers.