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Opinion: OOH and Sports is a Winning Formula

With many sporting events lined up over the next few weeks and months, OOH represents a great opportunity for brands to connect with engaged consumers, writes Ciara Gibney.

In 2024, the world of sports is gearing up for another thrilling year filled with excitement and competition. According to the latest Onside Irish Sponsorship survey, the Irish sponsorship industry is projected to grow approximately 7%, reaching an impressive €227 million.

It’s a pivotal year that marks the foundation of a transformative 5-year cycle, with global events like the Europa League final set to take place in Dublin’s Aviva Stadium next week, and the anticipation building for the Ryder Cup in 2027 and men’s Euros in 2028, all poised to elevate the landscape of sports sponsorship in Ireland.

Amidst this exciting trajectory, Out of Home (OOH) advertising emerges as a key player in driving growth and engagement. Despite facing challenges due to the onset of Covid, OOH sponsorship rebounded in 2023, just shy of the benchmark set in 2019. Notably, sports sponsorship commanding an impressive 89% share of this resurgence.

But with big events like the UEFA Champions League Final in London, UEFA Euros in Germany and not to mention the Olympics in Paris captivating worldwide audiences this year, the opportunity for brands to connect with consumers is greater than ever, whether through people travelling to watch these sporting events or gathering at home to cheer on their favourite athletes.

So, how do brands seize the moment and connect with these diverse audiences? It all starts Out of Home.

Increase reach with an omni-channel approach: Paramount for brands looking to maximise their reach and engagement. With consumers spending an average of 70% of their time outside, even more so during the summer. By integrating with digital channels, brands can amplify their reach by a staggering 68%. This powerful combination not only extends the brand’s visibility but also enhances engagement across multiple touchpoints.

Be at the moment of truth: Being present at the exact moment is crucial for those looking to make a lasting impact. Proximity advertising resonates deeply with consumers, offering brands a unique opportunity to capitalise on the context, emotions, and activities associated with these sporting events.

Lean into context with dynamic: Sounds simple, but stepping into the dynamic world of OOH isn’t just about being savvy – it’s about forging genuine connections with your audience. By leaning into dynamic, brands can tap into relevance and spark that connection. Studies reveal that when content is tailored to the moment, you can achieve an average +18% in brain response. And it’s not just about capturing attention, dynamic can help drive real results, with an average +16% uplift in-store sales which leads us to our next point…

Drive sales throughout the path to purchase: OOH not only boosts footfall, creating opportunities for increased sales, but also drives recency through in-vicinity messaging, ultimately leading to higher sales. By closing the loop with impactful in-store advertising, brands can effectively drive sales at every stage of the consumer journey, maximising the impact of their OOH campaigns.

Connect with your audience through brand activations: Brand activations are a potent strategy to keep your brand top-of-mind in the lead up to sporting events. As technology evolves it’s becoming much easier to create large-scale experiences that captivate audiences. Blending traditional techniques and exciting new elements can really amplify creative ideas. According to Eventtrack, 72% have a positive view of brands that offer high-quality event content opportunities, while 74% stated that engaging with branded marketing experiences increased their likelihood of purchasing the products.

With this year abuzz with excitement and competition, it offers brands a prime opportunity for engagement with their consumers. The above OOH strategies can not only help brands amplify sponsorship deals but also extend brand’s impact beyond the actual event itself – proving that OOH + Sports truly is the dream team for both brand engagement and growth.

To learn more about how you can maximise OOH and sports synergy, reach out to a member of our team today.

Ciara Gibney is Marketing Manager at Talon Ireland.

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