Hidden branding opportunity: School sporting events

Whether it’s a big-time high school football rivalry game or a second-team middle school volleyball match, sports present an excellent opportunity for branding in front of a captive and attentive audience. Yet, it also requires some strategic thought to make certain that the benefits are fully received.

Of course, a “break in the action” is not the time for the principal of the hosting school to stand up, grab a microphone and pontificate about the school’s excellent performance on a recent state assessment test. After all, those in attendance are there to see the game, not to hear a commercial.

Yet, there are a few subtle opportunities to brand that shouldn’t be missed. For example:

  • If a game program is distributed (even if it’s just a sheet of paper with the names of the players from one team on one side, and the other team on the other side), make certain it contains the same information about each team and is organized the same way. In other words, if you list the team managers for one school, for example, list them for the other one, too. This sends a message that you care about the details, and about fairness.


  • Don’t miss the chance to publicize other events – sporting and academic – that are coming up at both schools via a handout available at the door. Doing so reinforces that the district values all types of competition, and that it celebrates those in both athletics and academics.


  • Provide directional signage to guide visitors to restrooms and concession stands – even if they’re just temporary signs that are created by someone with some computer flair that day. You want guests to feel welcome.


The idea is this: Make it clear that you have your act together on even the smallest detail every time you open your doors for guests, and it sends a brand message that yours is a district that takes excellence seriously in everything you do.