Clever Connections Are Built to Last

Finding the clever connections between your production and your partners brand creates the value of your sponsorship. We paint the full picture in the blog.

I still recall watching an NBA game and seeing a graphic for Points in the Paint sometime in the 1980’s.

The reason I still remember was due to the clever connection the broadcast had for the sponsorship.  This wasn’t just scoring data, this was a sponsorship drop.  This was the DUTCH BOY POINTS IN THE PAINT info-graphic.

My sports marketing mind was triggered.

This was brilliant. McDonalds wasn’t slapping their name on the broadcast, rather this paint company was cleverly connecting their product and the sport.  I still think of it whenever anyone mentions “points in the paint”.  Dutch Boy is in good company when it comes to clever connections, like the Chick-fil-a Fowl Shot, notably from the Suns [below] and Philadelphia 76ers [Free Chicken Courtesy of The Freak].

Clever connections are memorable because they engage our brains in a unique way. When we encounter something clever, it often surprises us or offers a new perspective, which stimulates our cognitive processes. Our brains are wired to notice and remember novel or unexpected information because it stands out from the routine.

Additionally, clever connections often involve linking disparate ideas or concepts, which activates multiple areas of the brain and strengthens the memory trace. These connections create a more robust neural network, making it easier for us to recall the information later.

Emotions play a role in memory formation, and clever connections often evoke positive emotions like amusement or admiration. These emotional associations can enhance the encoding and retrieval of memories, making them more likely to stick in our minds.

Overall, the combination of novelty, cognitive engagement, and emotional response makes clever connections more memorable and easier to recall.

Modern sponsors don’t ask for this combination, they demand it.  And the best sports marketing and sponsorships deliver.

That connection can be hammered home with PA copy, graphics, signage, video bugs, marquee banners, jersey logos, floor signage, audio prompts, pyrotechnics and hundred other ways….but if the CONNECTION isn’t there it won’t matter.

And when you see a good one, they stick.

Recently I saw this in-game sponsorship for a personal fouls, and it stuck to me like paint on hardwood:

That is a Liberty Baptist Church personal foul.  If you commit a personal foul stop by the Liberty Baptist Church and speak with Pastor Branam and ask for forgiveness.

The value of great game presentation is finding ways to trigger fans and lock in a connection between your partners and your show.

Find those connections and you can deliver the value to your sponsors.

Want to learn more about building these triggers?  We had powerful Huddle on the topic with thought leaders Tyler Ferraro and Amanda Greco.  Our group walked away with a few guiding creative principles, including:

  • CLEVER – Connecting the trigger to the sport and sponsor in a clever way is  what makes it memorable.
  • CONNECT – The possible broken windshield from a foul ball connects directly to sponsor and cements the connection
  • MEME MENTALITY – Think punchy quick and clever, like how memes instantly hit the punch line
  • AUDIO – The power of audio can’t be understated
  • SIMPLE – Keep it simple
  • SPONSORS – Connect these punchy hooks directly to sponsor in direct and memorable ways.

Hear the whole hour of insight on huddle looking at quirky and memorable sponsor triggers.

Recap: Quirky Sponsor Hits and Triggers

Related articles

Secret Handshakes

Secret Handshakes are not limited to literal handshakes. We look at how these next level promotions can build a bond with fans and create a sense of exclusivity, camaraderie, and unity.

You Owe Them Your Best

Fans may be seeing OKC Thunder mascot Rumble for the first time or the last time, but they will always see his best effort.