The winter sports athletes are running, flying and luging again – and besides the athletes, we also see the challenge between brands that are sponsoring in these sports. All those who are interested in a winter sports sponsorship should be well-prepared for ice and snow, too – says Repucom expert Lars Stegelmann.

Why Winter Sports?

Lars Stegelmann, Executive Vice President Commercial Operations bei RepucomDue to the largely clean image of its athletes and its ability to reach a high number of fans, winter sports is a growing industry with excellent opportunities for sponsors. It also opens a number of opportunities for brands to accompany sports from the beginning and help shape the sports and the brand as they grow and develop. For example, ski-cross and snowboarding are very appealing and provide a platform to reach a younger target audience particularly.

The attractiveness of winter sports fans for sponsors is high largely due to the existence of Connection Fans (31%) – a segment that enjoys social activities – and Armchair Fans (25%) – those who love watching sports on TV. In contrast to these groups are Cynics (9%) that have a negative attitude toward sponsorship in general. Compared to Football, it’s a small amount of this critical fan segment – which is, of course, advantageous for brands that are looking for a sponsorship platform in winter sports.

Young athletes, such as Severin Freund who won the first competition in Nischni Tagil (Russia) celebrating the 20th win of his career and being successful at the most important tournament Vierschanzentournee, alpine skier Felix Neureuther or currently injured Austrian ski champion Anna Fenninger, open doors to digital marketing for sponsors. The biggest group of fans, Connection Fans, are largely attained through social media, through fan stories such as “behind the scenes” or through product tests made by the athletes. These allow fans to relate to their stars.