Business of Sport: Sponsorship of the Inter Regionals
27th February 2018
The Inter Regional Championships is a true volleyball festival. With hundreds of the country’s brightest young volleyball talents playing and a packed house creating a riot of noise and colour in the stands, the competition showcases everything which is great about our vibrant and dynamic sport. For anyone who has been to the event, it is easy to see why it has been chosen as one of Volleyball England’s best products.
As the first piece in the ‘Business of Sport’ series explained, the Volleyball England marketing and commercial working group is looking to develop sponsorship deals for its events. The group chose three competitions it believes are currently the most attractive to commercial partners: the Inter Regional Championships, the National Volleyball League and the National Cup Finals. Business articulations, which express what makes the competitions special and commercially valuable, have been created to provide to any potential partner.
The Inter Regional Championships Business Articulation can be downloaded here. So why was this Inter Regionals chosen as one of Volleyball England's best commercial assets? Here, we take a look...
Why the Inter Regionals?
The competition is buzzing and breathless. There’s 108 matches featuring around 400 athletes and coaches, over three days of the late May Bank Holiday, all played out in front of the biggest crowd of any Volleyball England event. The atmosphere is electric as every inch of the National Volleyball Centre, in Kettering, is packed to fit in four courts and seating for the crowds.
The event creates waves online too, as results from the competition garnered over 1000 unique page views in 2017 while social media engagement were also well in excess of Volleyball England’s usual benchmarks.
The championships have a captive family audience of parents and children so a sponsor gets a great exposure for their brand. With opportunities for naming rights, co-branded content, products giveaways at the competition, on-site merchandise and sales promotions a commercial partner can connect with this audience in multiple ways.
The championships are integral to unearthing talent which gives the event prestige. Virtually any player who has ever donned an England vest will have taken part in the Inter Regional Championships at some point.
With public funding for national governing bodies being reduced, securing a commercial investment in the event will help sustain the event which is a vital platform and experience of competition for the sports’ rising stars, some of which will go on to attend universities with volleyball academies, represent England and even become professional players.
What sponsors would it appeal to?
The Inter Regional Championships encapsulates values of excitement, fun, health and well-being that many brands want to share.
With so many athletes taking part who at an important stage of their education too, the competition could be a handy shop window for academic institutions who want to showcase their sports-related qualifications.
While the value of fitness could appeal to a multitude of different businesses, from sportswear and sports technology brands, to healthy eating and lifestyle brands who want to tap into a vibrant market which being in shape and performing at the peak is part of their natural psyche.
Reflective of volleyball as a sport, the Inter Regionals is a family event. Brothers and sisters will be playing with parents, family and friends cheering them on. This could see a sponsorship deal appeal to accommodation providers who will want to cater for the influx of people into the town for the event.
The event could be a platform for any corporate organisation that wants to promote activity and diversity as part of its corporate responsibility programme. Volleyball is one of the most inclusive sports there is – with sitting volleyball providing able-bodied and disabled athletes to line-up alongside each other.
Commerciality is the hot topic on the Volleyball England website – and something that involves the whole of the core market. Building commerciality is also something you can do for your own club as we demonstrated in the previous piece in the ‘Business of Sport’ series which gives top tips to securing deals for your own club from someone who has done just that.
You can download the business articulation for the Inter Regional Championships here. If you would like more information or have any questions about the articulation, please email Marketing and Communications Coordinator Michael Hallam. Look out for more in our ‘Business in Sport’ series as we look at the other events that are being pitched and open the discussion about whether volleyball should be welcoming to gambling companies as potential partners and look at what innovations could attract a bigger audience to the sport.