7 Ways To Engage Sports Fans & Drive Sponsorship Sales

Captivating ideas for raising revenue and boosting your brand.


Change happened fast in the way teams, companies, and agencies market to sports fans. Gone are days when television ruled for connecting with audiences. Cable subscriptions are falling with more people consuming sports entertainment digitally. Social media usage has grown.

Combine all that with a general lack of trust in advertising, and it’s no wonder the brands that deliver authentic, engaging fan experiences are the ones moving forward and reporting the best returns.

Check this rundown of some of the coolest, new ways America’s top agencies and sports teams tapped Britten’s 360° branding capabilities to get noticed in this new experiential economy.

1. FOAM PROPS & SCULPTURES

Advanced 3D foam-sculpting technology has taken attention-grabbing signage to a crazy-creative place. Selfie-signs, logos, and towering pro and college team mascots make for eye-catching spectacles that stop fans in their tracks and get them reaching for their phones. If you can imagine it, FOAM3D™ can take any idea and turn it into a crowd-pleasing reality.

Foam’s versatility was on full display at 2019’s Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational, a week-long event unlike any other tournament on the LPGA tour.

Leading up to the 72-hole team event, tournament organizers aimed to increase golf fan engagement and hype several, onsite experiences—namely the Welcome Center and a portable STEM Learning Center for younger fans of sports and science. Promoters made the biggest social splash by using three-dimensional hashtag letters, an event logo, and selfie signs at key focal points for the internationally televised Golf Channel broadcast.

2. SPONSORED BACKDROPS

An easy way to turn a bare wall or blank space into a crowd-stopping photo-op, step-and-repeats are always a huge fan favorite—especially when sports stars like Magic Johnson (above) are in the house and happy to strike a pose.

Media banner walls played heavily into the VIP celebration at the Rose Bowl Hospitality Village.

Marking the 100th anniversary of the largest bowl game in the country, the Village branding package included hundreds of individual banners, long runs of colorful fence scrim, decals, wayfinding signage, and VIP tent media backdrops adorned with large murals and event sponsor logos. Britten also shipped four 18′ tall EventTruss™ towers that were positioned around the corners of the ESPN-sponsored complex.

3. PADDED SIDELINE ADVERTISING

Here’s something new: an advertising solution with real, on-the-field functionality. Collapsible, padded Sideline Signatures™ get the job done by delivering premium advertising real estate that protects players against injury while keeping staff, the public, and the press at a safe distance from the action.

More and more athletic departments are increasing their revenue by “sidelining” brands for every fan watching in the stadium and on TV. How much, you wonder? Programs report charging anywhere from $1k to $4k per banner, depending on the market.

These light-weight, a-frame panels can be arranged in any configuration. Quick-attach banners can also be easily removed in seconds for quick-changeouts of single-game sponsors.

4. CUSTOM-CONTAINER ACTIVATIONS

Designed to be set up in a high-traffic venue over a semi-permanent timeframe, custom shipping containers can be wired for music or Wi-Fi, equipped staircases and upper-deck patios, or stacked for multilevel, interactive activations and experiential zones. With infinite configurability and customizing options, the possibilities are only limited by your imagination and budget.

That versatility was on full display in 2019 when Major League Baseball sponsor, Bank of America, wanted to plug its new Extras Program with a fun and interactive fan experience at the annual MLB All-Star game in Cleveland, Ohio.

Enter the “Tube Town playground”— three, BoxPop® 20’ shipping containers with stairs and upper-deck systems. A fourth unit contained a LED digital screen for showing historic baseball highlights. Eight, multicolored pneumatic vacuum tubes were placed in the center that delivered candy and prizes to children. The second activation, “Bank the Ball,” was a giant Foam3D™ construct complimented by Foam3D™ sculpture, signage, flags, EventTruss™ structures.

5. STADIUM & FIELD GRAPHICS

If you want to show serious team spirit or transform a bare surface into a can’t-miss branding opportunity, two solutions stand out: BannerStretch™ frame system and customized vinyl decals.

The Buffalo Bills picked BannerStretch™ for displaying homefield pride at the back of the New Era Field end zone/scoreboard and above the stadium’s north and south entrances. Specially constructed for large format graphics outdoors, the system delivers hang-it-and-forget-it dependability and stunning, outdoor messaging that never sags or wrinkles.

Customized vinyl decals deliver a second, popular outdoor branding option that takes windows, walls, and even floors from “blah” to “brilliant” in minutes. Engaging customers and boosting brand awareness with messages that stick was the goal of AdventHealth’s 2019’s rebranding effort at the Daytona International Speedway.

Vinyl outlasts traditional decals that peel and crack with age. With ViewThru™ technology, window decals can be custom cut—any size, any shape—with bright, full-color graphics and logos that will not obstruct the occupant’s view.

6. ENTRYWAY TRUSS STRUCTURES

When the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers needed help managing the homefield crowd, stadium managers went with EventTruss™—the industry’s most versatile, modular system——to grab the attention of football fans while also being conducive to security monitoring on gamedays.

Paired with semi-portable rotating flagpole systems and wayfinding signage for foot traffic, the 49ers entrance/exit structures served as functional and highly-visible event branding.

(Click here to read the case study.)

7. FLAGS & LIGHT POLE BANNERS

Feather flags deliver the perfect, go-anywhere marketing tool. They’re eye-catching, light-weight, easy to assemble, and also deliver the added benefit of using the power of Mother Nature to turn heads. The NCAA used dozens to make spectators look twice at “Grapple on the Gridiron,” the first ever wrestling match hosted in an outdoor football stadium (the Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, IA).

Pole banners are another easy, yet high-profile advertising solution that delivers a lot of flash and a lifetime ROI. To celebrate the new construction of Baylor Stadium (now McLane Stadium) in Waco, TX, promoters did it up right for Bears’ fans by lining the Umphrey Pedestrian Bridge with dozens of colorful pole banners (hung on patented BannerSaver™ brackets).

Located on the north bank of the Brazos River, the stadium is one of the few in the country where fans can arrive by boat. Pole banners let “sailgating” fans motoring into the cove that adjoins the stadium know that they had officially entered “Bear Country.”