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Sponsorship Opportunity

In: Business and Management

Submitted By blaine
Words 1343
Pages 6
Sponsorship Opportunity
—Australian Poker League (APL)


Research by Carter (2007) indicates that “sponsorship should no longer be seen as simply a media investment. It is important to raise awareness of the brand, but to make the most of sponsorship nowadays - and to really stand out from the crowd - sponsorship deals must be a real partnership between parties, adding value to customers by deepening their customer experience”. Lockyer (2003) agrees that smart sponsors capitalize on the opportunity to make an emotional connection with consumers, and to tie sponsorships directly for achieving corporate goals. According to the reasons above, there is a superior sponsorship opportunity for the National Australia Bank Group (NAB) to achieve corporate goals and strategies. The opportunity is to be the major sponsor of the Australian Poker League (APL) 2007/08 season.

NAB Background Overview

The National Australia Bank Group (NAB) is an international financial services organisation that provides a comprehensive and integrated range of financial products and services (, nd: a).
The NAB’s corporate purpose is to generate sustainable satisfactory returns to shareholders. The strategies are focused on the turnaround of the Group and building new avenues for growth (, nd: b).
By comparing Appendix One and Two, the benefits of the APL sponsorship opportunity fully fit in with NAB’s mandatory requirements and general criteria. By sponsoring APL, NAB would be the first bank in Australia to associate with the APL. With the appropriate marketing plans, the first-mover advantage is unpredictably huge and going to be a great help for the corporate goals and strategies, which are “new avenues for growth” (, nd: b). APL Sponsorship Opportunity Identify

In relation to Appendix Two, “the Australian Poker League (APL) is the newest and hottest major entertainment-based sponsorship property in the Australian market. Established in 2005, the APL already has over 200,000 members right across Australia. It attracts over 250,000 participants every month at over 4,000 events in 700+ venues”. In addition, the APL presents a list of benefits for sponsors. By evaluating benefits list in the Appendix Two, it is suggested by the author that the most direct benefit is brand association. As Di Vito (2006) claims that, “Poker is booming in Australia, becoming a favourite reason for friends to get together”. By associating NAB with the picture of families and friends getting together, the barrier between NAB and customers would be reduced. Customers would make more use of NAB as a creditor, once they connect NAB to family and friends. The participants in the APL are people with disposal income. They are potential customers for NAB.

Academic Review

“Communicating with customers and prospective customers just seems to keep getting harder” (Becker, KM 2006). Conrad (2007) points out that “as two mainstays in bank marketing, TV spots and direct mail are losing their effectiveness. It's getting harder and harder to get someone to watch a commercial. And direct mail is losing its ability to attract busy consumers”. Banks discover that sponsorships are usually better than traditional advertising (Conrad, L 2007). However, bank is highly attuned to whether a sponsorship deal generates new business (Conrad, L 2007). In order to “really stand out from the crowd” (Carter, M 2007), sponsoring Poker is a genuine option for NAB. There are evidences that “Poker is everywhere these days. The sport has taken over the airwaves throughout the world and is pushing the game to the forefront of the sporting landscape” (Friedman, M 2005). Feschuk (2006) agrees that most of poker games are almost as exciting to witness as certain types of comas. However, as Carter (2007) argued, “sponsorship deals must be a real partnership between parties”. Leigh (2004) offered three useful tips for ensuring a successful partnership, which are “Deliver what you promise, Adjust to each sponsor's needs, Keep sponsors up to date”. Another issue needs to be pointed out is media relationship. Saxton (2005) declares that the good media relationship has been one of the major reasons for the success of sponsorships. Saxton (2005) also provides good tips for good media relations, which are “creating one's own image, only answering what is asked, and remembering that media opportunity is time in the spotlight”.

Analysis and Discussion

NAB is currently sponsored Australian Football League (AFL), Football Federation Australia (FFA), British Council Australia, Lions Youth of the Year Quest, Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation, The Australian Ballet, and Fifteen Foundation (, nd: a). The APL sponsorship opportunity is apparently a complement for NAB’s existing sponsorships. After all, there is still a segment of population not fans of football or ballet.
As it mentioned earlier, the first-mover advantage is unpredictable vast once NAB decided to sponsor APL. The value of brand association benefits is also changeable with the proper promotion on sites and good media exposure. At this point, a good media relationship is crucial. Nobody wants to associate with gambling, casino, or bankrupt, but “play for fun”, as it mentioned in the Appendix Two. The tips of Saxton (2005) should be the first assessment for both sides dealing with media. With success brand association, there would be prospective customers doing business with NAB. However, as Carter (2007) argued, NAB and APL must be a real partnership to make the sponsorship work. The three tips of Leigh (2004) should be the fundamental considerations for both sides. In general, professional and effective communications between two partners are essential.

Conclusion and Recommendation

To summarize, the APL sponsorship opportunity is a golden opportunity for NAB, as NAB would benefit from first-mover advantage, brand association and others listing in the Appendix Two.
There is a suggestion on NAB’s general criteria. One other thing should be considered, that is, to place a high priority on the level of professionalism of the key contacts within the association with whom they will be dealing (Leigh, E 2004). In additional, there is another suggestion on ATMs, which NAB could request that its ATMs would be the only ones installed in the 700+ venues, as Alpha Bank did in 2004 Olympics.


Becker, KM 2006, ‘TODAY'S MARKETING TRILOGY: DO-NOT-CALL, DO-NOT-FAX, DO-NOT-SPAM!’, ABA Bank Compliance, Washington, vol.27, iss. 5, pp. 18-26

Carter, M 2007, ‘Sponsorship branding takes on new name MARKETING: Advertisers are making deals work harder by creating new consumer experiences to add value to their brands, says Meg Carter; [LONDON 1ST EDITION]’, Financial Times, London (UK). pp. 12

Conrad, L 2007, ‘How to Win Fans and Influence Consumers’, USBanker, New York, vol.117, iss.2, pp. 20

Di Vito, P 2006, ‘: Media Release: Liquid Ideas’, MediaNet Press Release Wire, Sydney, pp. 1

Feschuk, S 2006, ‘Fat men? In hats? Deal me in’, Maclean's, Toronto, vol.119, iss. 10, pp. 88

Friedman, M 2005, ‘Find Your Televised Poker Action’, Poker News, viewed 20 Mar 2007, <>

Leigh, E 2004, ‘Cultivating Corporate Relationships’, Association Management, Washington, vol.56, iss.9, pp. 65-70

Lockyer, SE 2003, ‘To Activate Sponsorships, Banks Spend More Than Money’, American Banker, New York, vol. 168, iss.81, pp. 12, nd: a, ‘Company Overview’, National Australia Bank Group, viewed 20 Mar 2007, <,,32714,00.html>, nd: b, ‘Annual Report 2006’, National Australia Bank Group, viewed 20 Mar 2007, <>, nd: a, ‘Sponsorships’, National Australia Bank, viewed 20 Mar 2007, <,,81019,00.html?ncID=ZBA>, nd: b, ‘Sponsorship Guidelines’, National Australia Bank, viewed 20 Mar 2007, <,,81805,00.html?ncID=ZBA>

Saxton, E 2005, ‘Sponsorship Marketing’, National Dragster, Glendora, vol.46, iss.11, pp. 55

SponsorshipHQ, 2007, ‘Sponsorship Properties’, SponsorshipHQ, viewed 21 Mar 2007, <>

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