The peak of excitement for a car buyer is the moment they drive their new vehicle off the lot. What better feeling is there for a customer than to drive away with something better and newer than what they arrived in. The emotions are high!

Sports is all about emotions too. The highs of championships, the tribal feeling of belonging to a group and the loyalty one has toward their favorite team or school.

There are obvious benefits of having a presence in the local community but it can also provide free publicity, boost sales and increase retention. Best of all, it’s a welcoming marketing initiative – people can skip commercials but they can’t fast forward through “Your Dealership Name” on the front of a youth baseball jersey.

Car dealerships across the United States are seeing the benefits of sponsorship. Recently, the Brunswick Auto Mart in Ohio signed a 15-year contract as a sponsor for the high school field allowing maintenance and other costs to be covered so school dollars can be used for the classroom. A car dealership helping with education costs? Who wouldn’t want to support them?

Here are three ways that sponsoring sports can create a positive emotional experience with your dealership long after the customer drove off the lot.

  1. Positive Community Impact

As a local company, your dealership can show that it understands the needs of the community. When you sponsor a local sports team, event or field, you aren’t just advertising, you’re showing you know what’s important to the community and the benefits of team sports.

In an era where the consumer is looking for brands that go beyond sales and shows a positive impact in the world, your dealership will have a slew of customers who support you because you support what’s important to them.

  1. Additional Advertising

Car dealerships can also use the opportunities through sponsorship to increase their brand awareness and showcase new products.

Brand awareness could be anything from a name on the jersey to a billboard or ad on the scoreboard.

If you’re looking to showcase your inventory, you could bring cars to test drive or present the types of vehicles that may entice those in attendance of a sporting event. What better way to show the conveniences of a vehicle for transporting equipment and team members than having it available for all the parents to see?

In the case of Brunswick High School signing the 15-year contract, Athletic Director Pietro Demonte said, “(We) reached agreements with local auto dealers, helping the businesses reach newly-licensed students who might be in the market for a car.”

Sponsorships can also bring media mentions i.e. free advertising. When local newspapers and blogs write stories about the game or major sponsorship ventures, they share your involvement exposing you to more potential customers who are glad you are doing your part in the community.

  1. Cost Reduction

How much is a direct mail campaign? A commercial?

First of all, advertising via local sports sponsorships is considerably less expensive while enjoying considerable, consistent exposure to a market that is close in proximity to your dealership. By advertising through a direct and emotional means like sports, it gives your potential and current customers a connection to your business – more than almost any 30-second spot between local morning news segments could provide.

Second, there could be tax incentives. With many youth sports being listed as a non-profit group, your sponsorship could even be a means to a tax break.


According to NAYS, the National Alliance for Youth Sports, Inc, “What the company may find is that their sponsorship also goes a long way to strengthen the bond between their brand and their community.”

You don’t have to stop at the local youth sports level. There are many higher-level teams and sports eager to have you as their sponsor – Soccer clubs, minor league teams, and 5k races to name a few. Dealerships near major universities can often take advantage of sponsorship opportunities through the colleges or universities who, in turn, allow them to use the school logo on their advertising.

A sponsorship for a local sports team or event is a magnificent way to help retention rates. When a customer sees your car dealership taking an active role in the community, they are more likely to want to keep giving you business.

There is a reason the Detroit Lions play at Ford Field, the Anaheim Ducks play at the Honda Center and Toyota is the official vehicle of the Chicago Cubs – cars and sports go well together and car companies know that they can get their brand in front of tons of customers when they pay for sponsorships.