Giving Back To Get More

Why Brands Are Giving Back To Fan Communities  

63% of modern consumers prefer to engage with brands and companies who stand for causes that represent their own values and beliefs. This is especially the case with sporting organisations and their sponsors.  

For most people, supporting a sports club is a lifelong commitment. Their club and the community that comes with it becomes a part of their identity.  

Because of this, fans want their club to engage with the right causes that they care about. By doing this, sporting organisations can deepen the emotional connection built with their fans and followers. However, it’s important to pick the right causes for the right communities.  

Good Causes Front and Centre  

Many shirt sponsors opt to make a good gesture to fans by giving up their space on the kit to promote a good cause instead.  

Southampton sponsor swapped their logo on the ‘Saints’ kit with the clubs charity foundation on numerous occasions.  

England captain Harry Kane has taken this kind of gesture one step further. He purchased the rights for the Leyton Orient shirt sponsor and in place of a traditional commercial partnership, the shirts are used to promote several good causes.  

The home kit will feature a thank you message for those who were frontline workers during the pandemic. The away shirt has the Haven House Children’s Hospice, and the 3rd kit supports mental health charity ‘Mind’.  

With awareness growing around the importance of good mental health, more and more sporting organisations have chosen to promote mental health charities like Mind in an attempt to spread the messaging to fans.  

Starting From The Top 

It’s not just individual sports clubs who are helping give back to good causes. The English Football League has also signed a deal with Mind. 

As part of the deal, the Mind logo will feature across all the kits throughout the English Football Leagues. Alongside this, they will promote their ‘On Your Side Champions’ and tell the stories of people they’ve met through the partnerships. 

These types of deals aren’t exclusive to football. The Rugby Football Union and their healthcare partner ‘Simplyhealth’ have begun working with the Mental Health Foundation to help promote the importance of good mental health.  

As with the EFL and Mind deal, the rugby union teams and players will be getting involved to help spread the messaging further and give back to the club’s fans.  

Supporting Fans To Support Us  

Brands and sponsors are continuously looking at new ways to give back directly to fan communities. One of the best recent examples is with the partnership between Mastercard and the National Women’s Soccer League in America.  

This deal included numerous activations along various touchpoints to help engage and give back to fans.  

Examples of this include programmes to improve fan’s matchday experiences. Opportunities such as the ‘VIP Game Day Experience’ programme offers supporters a new way to experience the games in a luxury environment.  

Alongside this though, the sponsorship also included programmes to help give back to the fans who support the league and their sponsors.  

Mastercard’s ‘Girls4Tech’ programme, which helps offer more opportunities for women in science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) based jobs, was integrated and promoted within the partnership.   

What Does This Mean?  

A study into the corporate social responsibility commitments of sports clubs found that all of the 2019/20 Premier League clubs were invested in sustainable and green initiatives.  

However, only 4 of the clubs had reports on the matter and only 1 included that information in their annual report.  

More sporting organisations and their sponsors are becoming actively involved in CSR activities however rarely are they promoted or praised enough.  

The PlayOn Agency are a team from the sporting fan community with many years of business experience in building trust to create great brand reputations. To discover more about how they can help you to have a powerful impact on your biggest emotional stakeholders click below! 

Cameron Osborne


Get in Touch

I am text block. Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.