The way companies achieve profitability and visibility by financing several activities is older than the companies themselves. More than 70% of the investment in sponsorship is aimed at the world of sports. Banco Santander knows this well.
Everything is invented, even what we think of as very modern. We all are familiarized with the term sponsorship and we know that any type of company economically supports sports, actions and events of any kind and condition. However, we usually don’t know that this relationship, preceding protection and current financing, goes back to the origins of our civilization. It is incredible, but the Grecian merchants already did it and the relationship between Roman emperors and the gladiator games was very close to our current term of sponsorship.
The most intelligent and pragmatic businessmen always looked at sport as the ideal scenario to achieve economic profit in exchange for linking their companies with playful activities massively consumed by the public. Epic brands such as Kodak or Coca Cola didn’t hesitate to sponsor the first Olympic Games of the modern era, Athens 1896, in exchange for including their spots in the official program, showing that this entrepreneurial dynamic is not as modern as we could think. In fact, Kodak finished its Olympic sponsorship in Beijing 2008, after 112 years of continued relationship only aborted by the digital revolution which staggered the American giant.
In fact, it is estimated that more than 70% of the current sponsorships are linked in some way to the sport, according to the advisory firm IEGE. Especially football, which has been consolidated in the past few decades as a global phenomenon. One must bear in mind that the popular sponsorship of football team T-shirts dates back to 1973. By this year, Eintracht Braunscheweig surprised the world with the name of a company stamped in their sport equipment. It was Jägermeister, a German brand of alcohol well known by the young people, which paid around 30,000 euros.
Coming back to the real world, the Japanese company Rakuten pays every season 55 million euros plus some variable not at all testimonial based on titles achieved, to FC Barcelona for Messi and his teammates to show their name on the T-shirts, which are seen by people from all over the world. And when we say “all over the world”, it is nothing exaggerated.
Banco Santander: sponsorships of worldwide reference
For every company in the world, sponsorships became a powerful and efficient tool to consolidate the brand and connect it with the groups of interest of every company. As one of the most reputable firms in the world, Banco Santander is totally aware of it and it focuses the sponsorship on a very specific field. The bank opts to sponsor sport events because of the emotional link between people and sports, because the values that football transmits are positive and because most of the people are passionate about sport.
Even though Banco Santander sponsored the F1 for eleven consecutive seasons, currently the entity focuses on football because of evident reasons of profitability and globalization.“We love sport. The sport of the weekend, the game we share with family and friends, the feeling for your colors and the sport of the spectacle. We go on supporting the sport because it is a way of contributing to the prosperity of the communities where we operate”, the President Ana Botín said when she announced in 2018 that Banco Santander started the sponsorship of the UEFA Champions League.
Despite the entity supporting the Spanish professional football through La Liga Santander and La Liga SmartBank and the maximum competition of the king sport in South America through the sponsorship of Copa Libertadores, the real crown jewel is UEFA Champions League, the most important and ambitious Continental football competition. It includes the 10 best sport brands in the world and gathers an audience of more than 4,000 million people all over the world. The final, whose last edition was celebrated in Madrid, is the most watched sport event with an audience of more than 160 million viewers.
This momentous sponsorship is included in an initiative of the global sponsorship called by Banco Santander Football Can. It is based on the idea that football is the most popular sport in the world because it is capable of helping people to prosper in a unique way. The goal is first assuming and then boosting the dominant role of football as engine of prosperity and social change.
Santander carries it out by a series of new initiatives: since the participation of the Bank in the Common Goal, the project carried out by Juan Mata, the Spanish football player of Manchester United, which is aimed at football players donating 1% of their wages to solidarity initiatives; the starting and consolidation of Liga Genuine, with the participation of 30 Spanish teams made up of people with intellectual disabilities; or the endearing and exciting adventure of Mahia Macías, the Uruguayan girl, heroine in the Uruguayan football for leading a children’s team who made her dream can true when she met her hero in Madrid.
They are only some examples of the modern and global conception of Banco Santander to make known its brand through initiatives one step beyond of the usual sponsorship, which started more than 2,000 years ago in ancient Rome.