Health organizations increasingly pursue sports sponsorships, spending millions for things like stadium naming rights. It must be worth it, right? Not necessarily. If you're thinking of jumping on this trend for fear of missing out, hold on.

Don't just do it because your competitors are doing it

Whether it's your logo on a soccer team jersey or a multi-year, seven-figure sponsorship deal, you should always be able to justify it, measure it and afford it.

  • If you're taking money away from growth and revenue-driving initiatives to sponsor an expensive golf event, your patients, employees and business partners may wonder if those dollars could have a greater impact elsewhere.
  • If you're expecting the sponsorship to drive business growth, be aware that might not happen. Sponsorship ROI is hard to measure. Be sure to have solid goals, objectives and a metrics-for-success plan before you pay to sponsor the seventh inning stretch.
  • Affording it seems obvious, but organizations have been forced to back out of deals because they're overextended. Keep in mind, sports sponsorships are very public deals.

Do it because it supports your marketing strategy

If you just entered a new market or have a rebranding effort underway, your budget may have dollars earmarked for a major amount of brand exposure. A popular sports sponsorship could allow you to reach not just one, but several audiences you currently target.

If your physicians are set on the idea of a sports sponsorship, consider how it might align it with your existing marketing tactics. Here are a few ideas that may help you extend the value:

  • Demonstrate community involvement. For example, you could partner with a local team that supports your health and wellness message, such as heart health and cancer awareness.
  • Promote healthy lifestyles. Perhaps a popular sports event partner will help promote a fitness challenge, a football safety program or fall prevention.
  • Promote areas of expertise. Sports medicine goes naturally with many sports sponsorships. Pediatrics might go with youth baseball, swimming or basketball.

We highly recommend you examine any sponsorship opportunity through the lens of strategy, potential ROI, differentiation, long-term affordability and potential impact on community health.

Cox Healthcare Marketing can help you spend your budget where it gets the greatest return. Contact us today.