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How brands can get involved with high profile events like the Olympics
With all the buzz about how social media took off during the Olympics, how brands engaged fans of the athletes and teams, there is one more way businesses can become more relevant during high profile events like the 2012 Olympic Games - sponsorships.
Not sponsorships of specific programming, but sponsoring of actual athletes. I recently spoke with Solve Media, which sponsors both Sarah Robles and Brady Ellison (Team USA members) about how sponsorship can benefit both athletes and brands.
Ari Jacoby, Solve Media CEO: What is so incredible about Solve Media's sponsorship of Sarah Robles and Brady Ellison is that all three of us are far from being celebrities, but have joined forces to achieve a shared Olympic dream and bring home a medal. We also have some things in common, for instance, Solve Media delivers specific capabilities to brands, powering massive brand lift and awareness, and making sure that our ads reach precisely targeted consumer segments. Sarah Robles, the top weightlifter in the US among both men and women, strives every day to power massive lift with her weights; while Brady Ellison, one of the top archers in the world, precisely targets the bull's-eye with every arrow that he shoots.
Kristina: Most brands choose 'big' stars - LeBron James, Kasey Kahn, etc. - for these deals. Your approach was different - why?
Ari: Sarah and Brady are big stars in their own right and in their own sports, they just aren't as well recognized because their sports are not as popular in the US. Although, archery has become one of the most fashionable sports in the country thanks to the Hunger Games' cult following. However, neither of those reasons are why I decided to sponsor Sarah and Brady.
Initially I came across a story on Sarah Robles who was campaigning for the sponsorship she needed to attend the Olympic games. Can you imagine that? Here is the #1 ranked weightlifter in the U.S. and she could barely afford to fulfill her dream of representing her country at the Olympic games. She is our best chance of bringing home a medal in this sport, and was struggling to find sponsors. Soon after, I came across a story about Brady Ellison, the top ranked archer in the world, who was also in need of a sponsor to help with his travel expenses.
Kristina: What is the benefit to an athlete sponsorship/endorsement to the brand?
Ari: As I mentioned before, the benefit of an athlete or celebrity endorsement for a brand is that those stamps of approval are expected to resonate well with the general public and deliver increased sales and revenue for those brands. However, sponsorships are different, and especially our sponsorship of Sarah Robles and Brady Ellison.
This sponsorship is mutually beneficial for Solve Media, Sarah and Brady, and is a great example of how Solve Media is doing well by doing good. We are helping Sarah and Brady fulfill a shared dream for a medal at this year's games. Additionally, we are applying our expertise and creative skills to help Sarah and Brady outside of the arena by developing a new blog for Sarah--already a prolific blogger--creating promotional videos and other multimedia projects, and hosting fundraising events for both of them following the Olympics. In return, Solve Media is the first online advertising company to sponsor two Olympians. This isn't charity; it's business and about believing in a united goal and helping those who strive for greatness.
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