Dean Akinjobi: The importance of creative sponsorship activations

CEO of Football Media, Dean Akinjobi has emphasised the different ways that brands can activate sponsorships while also discussing how important creativity is to maximising football partnerships.

Giving an interview at last month’s Betting on Sports Conference, Akinjobi discussed the importance of creativity in regards to sponsorship activations and touched on the opportunities available. 

He stated: “I think it’s really important that they are creative with the sponsorships because the competition you have in the Premier League alone and even in the championship, there’s so many betting sponsors that are shirt sponsors. 

“With regards to creativity it’s about the activations so you can have a presence on a general shirt sponsor but it’s about how you activate that and there’s many opportunities through which to activate your sponsorship.” 

Akinjobi also revealed how non-official channels could be a useful tool in terms of furthering the potential of an activation as he drew on past experiences with working alongside football clubs.  

He added: “There’s also channelled opportunities, fansites and across social media that are non-official club channels, but a way to engage with audiences that are on the longer tail.

“I think its highly important that it’s not just a branding exercise, there’s a way of engaging with fans across multiple channels that are club based but also channels that are fansites.

“I think some of the activations going forward will involve high levels of engagement and high levels of social. Some of the things we do is we’re quite focussed on how you engage with fans using different types of creative and where those fans are so it’s not just about engaging fans on one channel.

“For example, we have a huge network of fan sites and we’ve done activations with some of the biggest brands in betting and in football with various football clubs so it’s seemed to work very well, the two work synergistically with each other.”

As well as the potential surrounding the creativity of sponsorship activations, the CEO also discussed the importance in ensuring that brands comply with regulation restrictions as he touched on the recent cases of 32Red and Paddy Power.

Akinjobi concluded: “If you’re looking at the betting industry in general, we see a huge crackdown on the likes of 32Red with Wayne Rooney and the PaddyPower ‘Save Our Shirt’ campaign, so I think betting companies and sponsors in general are going to have to become more and more creative with the way they go about activating their sponsorships.

“It’s about how you engage with fans on multiple platforms but also if you’re coming up against potential future restrictions you’ve got to work a bit harder and a bit more savvy.”