Like many of you, we watched the launch and chatter surrounding Chelsea FC’s global jersey launch Uber promotion with a smile (if you haven’t read about it yet, click here).
Beyond how appealing this was for fans, it must have been equally appealing for Yokohama Tires – Chelsea’s new jersey sponsor. For every jersey delivered by an Uber driver, and every organic share of the new jersey design, Yokohama Tires was placed squarely into the narrative. This sort of favorable social engagement is a boon for jersey sponsors, and it’s part of a new segment of emerging value in these deals.
Look at blogs like Footy Headlines, Football Shirt Culture, Todo Sobre Camisetas and more, and you’ll quickly see how hungry soccer fans have become for early photos of an upcoming season’s jersey. In most cases, the sponsor logo becomes part of that conversation, where fans let their feelings be known about the corporate fit and the way a brand may accentuate the Club’s mission. More and more, jersey sponsorship is viewed endemically for the brand and – when used properly – there is tremendous opportunity for authentic connection points with fans.
Our proprietary research of fan recall on soccer sponsors routinely puts jersey partners atop the list, and that’s totally what you would expect. But, with the advent of sentiment tracking, it’s a relatively new phenomenon to explore just how powerful these deals can be for a brand.
Finding unique ways to amplify key points of fan interest, including the subculture surrounding jersey releases, is something we will continue to track. Especially as Clubs, brands, and partners continue to up their game in such creative ways.