Sports sponsorship “practice” that can be perfect

We have seen a major rise in sponsorships/partnerships involving teams, leagues, and organizations and a host of charitable, humanitarian and other socially-related causes. Those are efforts that we highlight here often. Children’s causes, education, equality, disease eradication, etc. We are thankfully seeing the addressing of these issues by our favorite sports entities.

One item that we haven’t highlighted, maybe because we don’t often see it, are such relationships in which the sports property integrates the relationship directly into its day-to-day existence as a sports property and not a business.

Barcelona’s Unicef shirt sponsorship. That is the most high profile example of this, i.e. a sports entity explicitly aligning itself with a humanitarian or social campaign. We don’t know of too many others. (if you do, please tell us!!)

While there may not be efforts comparable to Barcelona’s – most U.S. sports leagues don’t allow jersey sponsorships, yet – maybe there is a trend starting in the U.S. that follows to some degree what we are seeing with FC Barcelona.

The NFL’s Denver Broncos announced that as part of its expanded partnership with health care provider HealthOne, the team will donate $1 for every fan who attends training camp to a foundation benefiting the Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children. The foundation provides support directly to sick children and their families.

The Broncos are 1 of almost 20 NFL teams with practice jersey sponsorships. Maybe we will see more partnerships that publicly and proudly promote causes that fans are beginning to expect from the entities they support, including their favorite sports teams.