By Emily Sampl//Contributor | Thursday, March 8, 2018
When Mark Frank, the events and marketing director for the TAC Titans and Triangle Aquatic Center, joined the club back in 2016, there was no program in place related to sponsorship for the swim team. Frank, a long time marketing and sponsorship professional, decided to change that, and it paid off with the team earning the Best in Sponsorship award at last year’s #SwimBiz marketing conference.
“Before I got here, there was no effort for sponsorship,” he said. “We had sponsors for the facility, but not the team, so we put a program in place. We assessed the needs of our sponsor partners and created individual relationships with each from scratch.”
Using traditional marketing platforms like heat sheets at swim meets, banners in the facility area, scoreboard ads and social media, Frank helped the TAC Titans take their sponsorship opportunities to the next level.
“Our unique situation is that the facility owns the team, and it’s the only year-round program in the facility, so we can have much more in the way of permanent signage,” Frank said. “That goes a long way in that we have the facility to fall back on.”
While the facility plays a huge role in providing sponsorship opportunities, so do the swim meets the team hosts there.
“We offer sponsor tables at meets, which all teams can do,” Frank said. “It’s a huge opportunity for the sponsors to come out and talk to our patrons and put out info about their company – that’s been one of the biggest successes for our team. With the sponsor tables, you can almost guarantee an immediate activation with that sponsor – they can sign up right on the spot.”
Some of the swim meets themselves are even sponsored – the Strategic Systems Big Southern Classic and the Mercedes Benz of Cary Tar Heel States meet. Later this year, the team will also have the opportunity to live stream its meets, providing even more opportunities for sponsors who are not already visible within the facility.
Having only been a part of the team for nine months when he attended last year’s #SwimBiz Conference, the event helped to kickstart new ideas and opportunities.
“I loved the conference – Matt Farrell’s group did an outstanding job. I went to all of the marketing events and they were great. All clubs can get a lot out of it,” he said.
Frank has been asked to present at this year’s conference, where he’ll share his biggest tips and advice for driving sponsorships for your team.
“Keep an open mind and create assets for the sponsors that will help them see the benefit of partnering with the club,” he said.
Make sure to register for this year’s #SwimBiz conference, April 8-10, to kickstart your team’s marketing strategy!
Also, we want to hear about the best and the brightest promotional efforts in 2017 from the swimming community. Be sure to nominate your club for the #SwimBiz Club Marketing Awards by March 15th!
- Best Use of Social Media
- Best in Sponsorship
- Best in Fundraising
- Best in Multicultural Marketing
- The SwimToday Award
- Marketing Club of the Year