The critical failure of federated models for sports sponsorship

It would be fair to say that, with a view to effectively commercialising a sport in Australia, if most national sports organisations had the chance to start again from a blank page, they would not end up at a federated structure.

The reasons are varied, but simple. and to highlight just a few: 

Firstly, brands just can't own the sport. There is no exclusivity, no real alignment value. No halo effect. National bodies and State organisations competing within the same categories. Speaking to the same people. 

Secondly, you compromise the ability to deliver critical mass of consumers to a brand. To maximise engagement. The whole truly is greater than the sum of the parts.  

Finally, there is a constant question over the ability to actually deliver and service a sponsorship at the grass roots level. And to present the sponsorship consistently. 

Dealing centrally in a coordinated and holistic fashion will also open brand leveraging budgets that just don't exist at franchise and state levels.

Federated structures detract from the ability to deliver consistent, engaging, solutions oriented partnerships to a critical mass of consumers. 

Federated structures detract from the ability to deliver consistent, engaging, solutions oriented partnerships to a critical mass of consumers. 

This is before even considering operational efficiencies, marketing and messaging, and coordinated strategic development.

Change will require a lot of selfless administrators to acknowledge their pivotal role as a custodian of the relevant sport, charged to leave it in better shape than what they found it.  But change is required (and fortunately there are a few sports leading the charge).