Does sports sponsorship pay? - Business Works
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Does sports sponsorship pay?

Rod Jackson, CEO, aap3 Not many companies would look twice at investing in a business only just emerging from administration, having been near its lowest ebb in decades.

But in a classic case of 'who dares wins', IT Services and Recruitment provider aap3 is reaping the rewards from signing up to sponsor Southampton FC – which has since soared out of League 1 and into the lucrative limelight of the English Premier League.

Promotion for the club was a distant dream, however, when aap3 Chief Executive and Saints fan, Rod Jackson uniquely spotted the opportunity. When it was first considered, the club was languishing halfway down League 1 and still reeling from the financial crisis of the previous 2009-10 season.

It had been docked 10 points and was on the latest in a string of managers – but now, less than two years later and after two successive promotions, the shrewd investment has paid off in style as Saints prepare to return to the Premiership after seven years away.

"We had a link with the club through the Saints' charity foundation, but the year the club came out of administration they had no shirt sponsor as their previous sponsorship deal had come to an end," said Rod. "So we entered discussions with them, even as they were halfway down League 1."

"Promotion was way off, but we backed our instincts and had faith in the new ownership and were rewarded. Saints won promotion into the Championship that year and, with our logo on their shirts, they succeeded in a second successive promotion, this time into the Premiership."

"We saw a great chance to raise our profile in the most popular sport in the world and our loyal backing for our home team has been rewarded with a global reach for our brand."

The partnership has proved ideal: aap3 has its roots in Southampton, but is a global player with offices in Europe and the US; Saints are at the heart of the city but their games will be watched around the world as they take on some of the games' giants – including Manchester City as the season opener.

The company's brand was seen by a cumulative audience of 9.5 million from the 11 times Saints' matches were broadcast live in the UK and a cumulative 26.67 million from highlights. With Premier League exposure, this will only grow.

The company also has a presence on the club's official website, match programme and a host of other benefits included in their sponsorship deal.

"The benefits for our faith in its team include the company's logo appearing prominently on the front of the first team's home and away shirts, as well as taking pride of place at St Mary’s Stadium. The results of the sponsorship have already been impressive, with the combined media exposure gained from Saints' 2011-12 Championship season estimated at an equivalent advertising value of more than £2.54 million in the UK and $5.45 million worldwide."

To find out more or to contact Rod, please visit:,

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