Engagement Marketing and Building Brand Affinity through Sporting Events

These articles were first published in “Entrepreneurs’ Digest”, a magazine by the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (ASME).

Engagement Marketing and Building Brand Affinity through Sporting Events

Branding and marketing are the essential foundations of every successful business. Many companies started out their businesses by first creating a brand name and slowly building their branding over time. Conventionally, companies communicate their brand and promotions through traditional marketing mediums such as television, radio and print advertisements. 

A growing number of companies, however, are venturing into sports sponsorship to build brand affinity by engaging and forging personal connections with captive audiences participating or spectating at sporting events. With brand affinity, it means your customer has made an emotional connection with your brand.

In this issue, we hear from juice cleanse company HICJUICE and tyre manufacturer Bridgestone on what made them decide to step into the foray of sport and how sponsorship in sporting events worked for them.
HIC at PUMA Night Run

Sporting Events as Engagement Platform for Online Start-up

HICJUICE was set up in December 2013 after the founders saw the opportunity to introduce cold pressed organic juice in Singapore. As a home grown brand starting up in the e-commerce space, their initial marketing strategy was focused on gaining brand awareness through viral marketing. 

“With no physical shop presence in the beginning, we definitely need to look at other opportunities to let people notice our brand and build our brand awareness. Going into sporting events is one such strategy,” said Ms Li Lihui, Managing Director of HICJUICE.

Since its birth, HICJUICE had partnered with several running events, namely the PUMA Night Run Singapore, SGX Bull Charge, Great Eastern Women’s Run and Venus Run, all of which entitled HICJUICE booth spaces at the events.

“We see such booth spaces not just as physical spaces for us to do product sampling but more importantly, they act as a platform for us to interact more with our customers, offering an opportunity to gather feedback and also address enquiries from our customers,” Ms Li remarked. 
 
After launching its first retail shop at Suntec City Mall in 2015, HICJUICE continues to tap on sporting events to engage their customers by sponsoring the PUMA Night Run 2016 come August.

Creative Engagement through Sporting Events

Bridgestone, the tyre and rubber manufacturing company headquartered in Tokyo, has inked a deal as an official Official Worldwide Olympic Partner from 2014 through to the 2024 Olympic Games. 

For Bridgestone Tyre Singapore, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation, its marketing strategy is also in tuned to be focused on sport. “The reason why we sponsor sporting events is to get our brand out there so that Bridgestone is constantly on consumers’ minds when the time comes for them to change their tyres,” said Mr Andrew Goh, Senior Marketing Executive of Bridgestone Tyre Singapore, which had partnered Spartan Race Singapore for two consecutive years since 2015.

Besides providing tyres for the event’s obstacles, Bridgestone sees a need to engage event participants in an intimate manner and create user-generated contents. “In the first year, we had a trick-eye Instagram photo booth where participants take pictures and post their pictures on their own social networks,” said Mr Goh. 

For the second year with Spartan Race, creativity was key as Bridgestone attracted more participants to their booth with a Bridgestone Tyre Challenge Contest. “We used our tyres and made them into a barbell. Participants came to our booth and did barbell curls in order to win attractive prizes. The response was overwhelming,” added Mr Goh.

Bridgestone Spartan

 
Making the Connection

Branding and marketing is no longer simply a matter of putting up a signboard or placing an ad on the papers. Instead, marketers want to take greater advantage of the engagement opportunities to build brand affinity with sporting fans who have emotional attachments to the sport events that they participate in. By establishing strong personal connections with customers, they will be more likely to spread the word about the brand in a positive way. 

With brand marketers increasingly focusing on engagement and building affinity, it’s no surprise that companies like HICJUICE and Bridgestone are turning to sports sponsorships to reach their target audiences. 

Tagronaut


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