The irony of Layton's comments regarding local businesses declining the sponsorship opportunity as it is not like football is that those athletes and the network any branding would reach are most likely extremely valuable/desirable than a premier league footballer for a local Derby business. 

I have had first hand experience of this with my triathlon/cycling team. As an example funding a British National Road Race Team that does not receive a lot of TV time (usually at antisocial times) might seem like an odd use of expenditure. However if the main focus of the sponsor (bike shop, local business) is to reach a potential client base this can be highly valuable. I know that those attending races, joining training rides, young riders aspiring to the teams all have networks who will require solicitors, new bikes, building development, accountants etc. at some stage. The consideration we focus on for all partners initially is:

  • Geography of Reach - the team is based in Surrey, trains locally and races nationally. Value for a brand decreases the further their business is geographically located (online sponsors can be different).
  • Quality of Reach - the team has a junior road race team, we hold open training sessions and the majority of the 'budget holders' (parents of children or adults) are within a demographic that require your service. 
  • Volume of Reach - importantly breakdown the ability of each individual within the team to reach a network and how this rolls up into an entire team. A savvy partner will review the individuals within any partner opportunity rather than just the brand, particularly if the brand is small.

This is a reminder that corporate sponsorship opportunities should look in detail at the quality of the reach rather than the volume itself. Of course, volume is extremely valuable at this level too but the association of your brand with the quality of network can make the impact increasingly more powerful.

This can certainly be applied to almost all marketing campaigns across B2B and keeps those vanity metrics in check.