July 5, 2011
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Successful Sport Franchise Brand “Activation”…

by bryansmeltzer in Branding , Marketing , Merchandising , Sports Marketing 0 comments

Building a successful “activation” bridge between professional sports franchise to globally recognized consumer brands, requires a clear understanding of the “common links” between the two entities. In order to fully understand the commonality, you must know what “drives” the brand from a franchise perspective and vice versa. Once you “liquify” yourself with this strategy, the more successful a “true” long term partnership becomes, as synergies are defined and foundational principles aligned.

From a brand perspective, the franchise activation is sometimes a disconnect, as they feel sponsorship is defined through the players/teams/coaches, not the heritage of the franchise.  The opportunity for the franchise lies in defining the clear alignment between the two, as performance driven brands want vertical alignment with properties who enhance this profile. Brand equity is driven by “influencers” (players, coaches, teams..) and franchises that deploy them on and off the field. Tradition has dictated that brand activation happens through “on-premise” opportunities, however in the age of digital marketing with fan/player/team engagement happening instantaneously, this represents a tremendous upside potential for the franchise. The challenge for the franchise has been understanding what drive these brands, and what progressive marketing strategies are most successful/tangible from a metrics perspective. If digital on-line activation, in combination with tradition marketing programs can be achieved, the franchise will stabilize non-seasonal revenue streams, align with the brand foundation and build a long-term partnership. 

The franchises that embrace this “proactive” approach to brand alignment, clearly outlining synergies, along with activation strategies, will ultimately build additional revenue opportunities currently not realized. 

Understand What and Who “Drives” the Brand…

Build Synergies…

Define Effective, Targeted Strategies...

Enjoy the Ride..!

Bryan Smeltzer


“Product Innovation and Marketing Success Blog…”

The author

I have a passion for living balanced life and a strong faith...each equally important for thriving and excelling…I love crushing mountain bike trails, exploring and finding ways to grow beyond the “status quo”. I am a dedicated, innovation driven team leader with a passion for establishing a disruptive vision and executing a market dominating strategy… Our industry has always been about creating innovative, market driving solutions that enhance performance or provide for a better life beyond sport. It has also been about culture, fit and passion for the brand. When these foundational pillars are removed, the brand starts to crumble. Being part of an industry that bridges talent between product creation, marketing, sales, finance and operations is formula for success, because every function is about building a foundational performance brand. It’s galvanizing when elite athletes wear and endorse our creations, but the real strength is leading the teams that combine their creative forces and technical expertise to make the engine roar. I am always passionate for defining and leading the next industry revolution… Extensive executive level experience across globally recognized brands, each number one in their respective  markets, along with having founded and successfully sold my own branded apparel company. Whether establishing new product lines, building global marketing strategies, leading design/development teams, I have a passion for building and growing brands.  Some examples; • Built Zamst from start up to achieving nationwide North American distribution, and 845% revenue growth over a 3 1/2 year period. • With Gathering Storm, grew TaylorMade/adidas Golf Accessories from $11M to $48M over 3 years. • K-Swiss, global executive management of $38M in international licensee’s and domestic apparel/accessories division. • OAKLEY, built and successfully developed “Athletic Division” NCAA licensed team eyewear/apparel product lines achieving $1.4M in initial season.


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