We will know we’ve turned a corner when we see usinesses supports older athletes .
One older team of sportswomen, out of the US, secured corporate sponsorship. The team of women, all in their 80’s, play basketball for the San Diago Splash.
What is remarkable about this?  It signals a shift in the thinking of companies on how and where to spend their marketing dollar.
The coverage of the deal focussed on the history of the company with the vintage of the team.

 “Our brand purpose is with its heritage, and the best things being passed on,” Carpenter told Adweek. “So just seeing these ladies touching people of all ages lined up with how we think about our brand.”

 Source Adweek

To be fair it’s not a lot of sponsorship dollar but it does go to help the teams in many ways.

Business sponsorship should support  older athletes (master) and their events?

Older people are participating in more and more sports yet to a large extend they are invisible. They are getting some coverage of their exploits and achievements.

These athletes are role models and an inspiration to others, young and old. What better way to promote healthy aging than to support them and their teams. Business can only benefit if they align their product with these athletes.

With an aging population it’s not hard to see the marketing potential of older athletes. It makes sense to link some brands to exemplars in this demographic.

Why not extend sponsorship to older or ‘master’ athletes

In Australia (2002) businesses donate approximately $480 million a year to local events. This sponsorship is good exposure for the brand. Why, because we see the business as a community participant and supporter.

in the US they spend $62.8 billion globally . This gives you an idea of the size of the sponsorship market for older or master athletes and events.

Why is there not more sponsorship of older or master athletes? They are role models for the baby boomers and help spread the active ageing message?

One article I read spoke of how the athlete seeking sponsorship should prepare for a sponsorship ‘ask’ – they suggested the following approach …

“Provide a personal bio:

  • Who you are
  • What’s your sport and competitive highlights to date
  • How you rank in the bigger picture and what your upcoming plans and goals are

Provide detail of what can you do for them (note, this might be a relatively small list but be creative and provide what you can):

  • Social Media opportunities – see our follow-on article Social Media for Athlete Sponsorship
  • Potential to push their brand through any channels you have access too
  • Networking connections you can provide 
  • Logo on tournament clothing 
  • Assistance with building their customers experience
  • Maybe even hands on work in their business in some form or another”

source: Precision Atheletica

So it is possible to get sponsorship for older or master athletes or teams but its not easy.

I’d love to hear what you think the reasons are. Also what you think could be done to increase their chances for sponsorship.

Also if you have some great examples you might have come across of brands sponsoring these athletes in your travels let me know

I predict that we will see more Master athletes and events being  sponsored as our community ages.

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