The Benefit of Sponsoring Intramural Sports on Campus

Sponsoring intramural sports on college campuses is a smart marketing investment. Sponsoring teams and events can lead to increased sales, heightened brand awareness, and customer loyalty. And sponsorship is not just reserved for large brands—small and local shops can also use it as a marketing tactic to improve their standing in the community. The best place to start? Intramural sports.

Intramural sports are a college student’s outlet to relieving stress and creating memories on campus. For your brand, they’re the gateway into the collegiate social scene. From branding opportunities to social media curation, the options for promoting your company are endless.

Below are the top four reasons why we love intramural sport sponsorships.

Increased Reach on Campus

Students want to connect with their peers, be active, and have fun. Of the 75% of college students who utilize campus recreation facilities, 80% of them participate in intramural programs—that’s a lot of students! By sponsoring intramural sports, your brand is able to authentically connect with students on a large scale. If you want to have the widest reach, consider sponsoring sports with large teams, like soccer, basketball, and volleyball.

group of Gen Z students marketing Adidas on campus

Endless Branding Options

If it’s not moving, put a logo on. The branding possibilities are seemingly endless when it comes to intramural sports. If you’re like me, one of your favorite parts of intramural sports is the uniform. Most participants will wear their tees outside of the league, and if you’ve branded them, this will increase your brand’s exposure on campus. Budget dependent, you can supply the teams with cotton or Dri-FIT tee shirts.

In addition to uniforms, every sport has its own necessary equipment. More equipment, means more items to brand! Depending on how much you’re able to spend, you can brand as little or as many items as you would like. Even the smallest amount of branding can have an impact. For example, if you were to sponsor a volleyball league, you have the option to brand the tape of the net, game balls, poles, pole mats, referee stands, and referee flags.

Providing low cost promo items that are relevant to the sport is another great way to get not only the players but also the spectators involved with the brand! Our favorites include water bottles, sunglasses, hats, and sweatbands.

Shareable Moments

College students love to share their experiences on social media. Whether it’s the opening game, playoffs, or epic sport fails, students are constantly posting to social during intramural sports. Your branded uniforms, equipment, and promo items increase your chance of being featured in these social posts.

Creating a branded hashtag will also increase your brand’s exposure and makes it easy to track what students are posting to social. And let students know you want their content! If students know your brand will share their content, they have a bigger incentive to post and share the brand experience and drive awareness.

marketing to college students for Adidas

Intramural Sports are FUN

If you’re looking to make your brand feel more fun and accessible to college students, intramural sports are the way to go. This is a great way to integrate brand into authentic lifestyle moments and help foster student relationships on campus.

Want more? Check out these blogs

How can YMC help?

Want to bring your brand to campus? Finding the right partner is key to your success. Here at YMC, we’ve been helping brands connect with 15- to 29-year-old consumers for two decades—we’d be happy to share our wealth of knowledge with you. Contact us today!

6 Branding Moments for Spring Break Marketing

Spring Break is one of the largest and most anticipated events of the school year. It’s also a marketer’s dream—it’s one of the few instances where hundreds of thousands of college students flock to a handful of Spring Break destinations throughout the United States and Mexico. The students who travel to Spring Break are influencers back on campus and online, and this presents an incredible opportunity for brands to reach Gen-Zs via Spring Break marketing.

Formulating an effective branding strategy that breaks through the clutter of Spring Break can be challenging, but when done correctly, can result in a gaining the attention of the collegiate market. With 20+ years of Spring Break marketing experience, we have narrowed down the seven best branding moments.

Interior and Exterior Hotel Branding

As more and more brands join in on branding a Spring Break experience, it can be tough to break through the noise and make a memorable experience. One solution is the use of interior and exterior hotel branding. This allows your brand to be the very first thing that the students see when arriving. By incorporated your brand in every aspect of their trip, you increase the chance of a student recalling your brand long after Spring Break. Some of our favorite hotel branding opportunities include flags, elevator wraps, beach chairs, kabanas, and buses.

In-Room Branding and Product Placement

A student’s hotel room on Spring Break is their hideaway from the madness. This also makes it a great branding space as students will be more receptive to your brand with less outside factors competing for their attention. Ways to incorporate your brand into hotel rooms include key cards, linens, toiletries, mirror clings, beach bags, and hotel TV channel takeovers.

Daytime Beach & Pool

Hello Sunshine! The majority of a student’s Spring Break consists of daytime activities at the beach and pool. Although sunbathing on the beach for hours sounds like a dream, it is not enough to entertain energetic Millennials and Gen-Z students on Spring Break. Instead, they’ll be looking for activities to partake in such as interactive stage contests and games. Offering Spring Breakers brand performances, volleyball, or cornhole allows your brand to be apart of the action.

Additionally, these students want to be the envy of their friends back home. They’ll be capturing and posting to social media the whole time. Correctly branding items will allow for you to be featured in these moments. Better yet, if students are successfully entertained, they’ll likely include your activation into their plans for the week.

Beach Street Teams

Hosting back-to-back beach or pool parties can be expensive and repetitive. Instead of waiting for students to come to you, try guerilla marketing! This allows your brand to create a more personal connection with students. Have a team of brand representatives hit the beach with promo items or travel-sized product to distribute. Ensure that the promotional items are relevant to Spring Break (such as koozies or sunglasses), but most importantly, make sure you’re hired and trained the best brand reps for the job.

Nighttime Events, Concerts, and Parties

When the sun goes down and the beach clears out, students will be ready to party. Hosting a nighttime beach or pool concert is a tried and true way to keep your brand visible. Not only does it allow your brand to draw students in at night, but it also generates excitement during the day when they see the stage set-up in the daylight. Be sure to brand all elements of the stage as well as cups, glow sticks, and other party elements (you’ll be seeing them on social media if you’ve done a good job). If you’re in a location where weather can be a hit or miss, hosting an indoor party at one of the hotel clubs or banquet rooms is a safe bet.

Massive Sampling and Trial Initiatives

Allowing students to sample your product while on Spring Break is a great way to create brand fans. Remember to give out small, travel sized samples so students can bring them on a plane. Giving away samples during the first few days of Spring Break also allows you to gain student feedback.

Want more? Check out these blogs:

How can YMC help?

Whether you have the perfect campaign already conceptualized or you’re considering Spring Break marketing but have more questions, finding the right partner is key. Here at YMC, we’ve been helping brands connect with consumers at Spring Break for two decades and would be happy to share our wealth of knowledge with you.

6 Ways to Sponsor a College Football Tailgate

GAME. DAY. Football tailgates are fast paced, lively environments and are often a huge part of campus culture. Catching the attention of students in the middle of the madness can be a trying task. However, when tailgate sponsorships are done right, they can be the gateway to creating collegiate brand fans!

Here are six ways to ensure your tailgate sponsorship is a hit:

Create Shareable Moments

Sharing content to Instagram and Snapchat is top-of-mind for college students, especially during a tailgate. Since a student’s social following consists of both their on-campus and hometown networks, finding ways to naturally incorporate your brand is a huge advantage. Utilizing branded photo booth prop-signs is one way to create a shareable moment for students to utilize on their platforms. Leveraging the growing popularity of polaroid photos amongst Millennials, and supplying Instax cameras and branded FUJIFILM is another way to ensure that your brand will be featured on social media. A more subtle approach is to supply relevant promotional items as they can be utilized in photos as well.

Incorporate an Interactive Activity

Students attend tailgates to have fun! Keep it light by providing an activity students can participate in that positions your brand as the life of the party. Cornhole, jumbo pong, and ultimate frisbee are just a few examples of popular tailgate games your brand could provide. Not only are these games elements easy to transport and cheap to produce, they can also be branded!  

Make Sign-Ups Easy

If your intention is to capture emails at this event, or opt students into your loyalty program, make sure the sign-up process is quick and easy! The attention span of students during tailgates will be short. If the sign-up process is long, students will likely give faulty information to cut down on time. If your system requires a specific password, be sure to reiterate this information to the student before they sign-up to cut down on time.

Incorporating an incentive in exchange for an email is always a smart move. It increases interest and can help reduce the number of fake sign-ups. Offering a reward that can be utilized in-store and online, or a discount with their first purchase, is ideal as these can be emailed out after the event. If you chose this route, be sure to wait at least 24 hours to send a the initial email or SMS message.

Try Guerilla Marketing

If you’re working with a tight budget, guerilla marketing could be the best bang for your buck! Some venues require payment to reserve a table or promote a brand on campus, but guerilla marketing lets you get scrappy. Not only is mobilizing a street team an easy way to avoid cost, it’s also a great way to ensure you reach the maximum number of students. At a table, you’re restricted to one location. Guerilla marketing allows you to go out and interact with students, rather than waiting for them to approach you! Just make sure you’ve hired the right campus reps to be the face of your brand.

Keep It Casual 

Students will be hesitant to interact with people taking themselves too seriously during a tailgate. To make sure that you don’t stick out in the wrong way, have all members of the team dress casually (it’s a tailgate—no one should be wearing a button down unless it’s an SEC frat). Additionally, provide value and don’t be salesy when speaking about your brand. No one attended this tailgate hoping to be sold something.

Branded Tailgate-Themed Promo Items & Product

Providing promo items that are tailgate-relevant can make an impact on campus all season long! Some of our favorites include footballs, hats, bottle openers, koozies, and stadium cups. Color coordinating the promo items and product with the home team’s school colors will increase the chances of students holding onto them for later use. Be sure to keep the items small as student won’t be able to bring large items into the stadium.

Want more? Check out these blogs.

How can YMC Help?

Want to bring your brand to campus but aren’t sure how to get started? Finding the right partner is key to your success. Here at YMC, we’ve been helping brands connect with 15- to 29-year-old consumers for two decades—we’d be happy to share our wealth of knowledge with you. Contact us today!