“What’s In A Partnership?”

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With over 1/3 of Australians involved in community level sport* it is no surprise that sporting club partnership presents an attractive option for businesses. 

Partnership is enormously important to community level sporting organisations.  The costs of running any sporting club are significant and not always visible.  Insurances, venue hire, equipment and marketing costs are only some of the costs incurred by most clubs – costs that in most instances are not fully covered by membership or playing fees.   Without partnership, the vast majority of sporting clubs would not be able to operate.

When done well, partnership can offer real value to both the club being sponsored and the business providing the partnership support.  But what are the factors that lead to successful partnership?

First and foremost, a partnership must be just that; something that offers real and measurable value for both parties.   At the outset, both parties should ensure that the potential partnership arrangement is one that fits with their values. 

For the Club, the potential partner should be one whose product or service is not in contrast to the ethos under which the Club operates; or in simple terms, is a brand that can be proudly displayed on the Club’s merchandise or website.  Partnership may provide a direct financial boost to a club or take the form of the provision of goods or services which can be used either to offset operational cost or add value to a club’s operation.

For the business, a partnership is a marketing investment like any other and therefore should show a measureable return on investment.   It is therefore important to ensure the club’s membership and others to which the brand will be exposed (ie. competitors and spectators) aligns with the sponsor’s target market.  A key benefit of partnership is often exposure to these audiences via the club’s website, playing gear, signage, website and social media channels so it is therefore imperative to ensure that value will be derived from such exposure. 

Partnership also offers a business the opportunity to align itself with the values of a sporting organisation, to be seen to be supporting their community, and to build goodwill with employees (by supporting causes important to them) and their wider target audience.  

Waverley Meadows Netball Club is currently represented by 18 teams and 180 players in the Waverley City Netball Association. In total over 3,500 netballers take the court at the Waverley Netball Centre each week.

Our Club is recognised for its focus on best practice leadership in sport and the development of our players, coaches and committee members.  We are proud to measure success in a holistic manner that encompasses player and committee personal development, a sense of family and community and development of leadership skills across our Club.

Our efforts are underpinned by a strong and longstanding partner base for whom we constantly strive to deliver return on investment.  The Club has an entrepreneurial and forward thinking committee that understands that partnership is a marketing investment and needs to offer our partners return on their investment.  To this end, our partners are showcased on our contemporary website and active social media channels, club signage and communications.  We offer a flexible and progressive approach to partnership and welcome partnership enquiries from like-minded businesses.

If you feel your business could benefit from association with WMNC, please do not hesitate to contact Club President, Tim Jerram at waverleymeadowsnc@yahoo.com.au.

*Link for statistic: http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4147.4.55.001Main%20Features9Mar%202008?opendocument&tabname=Summary&prodno=4147.4.55.001&issue=Mar%202008&num=&view= 


Meirav Dulberg