In this blog post, we delve into a fascinating conversation with Ishveen Jolly, the founder of, a platform that bridges the gap between brands, agencies, and professional athletes for sports sponsorship opportunities. OpenSponsorship has revolutionized traditional non-digital sports sponsorship by leveraging influencer marketing and digitizing the process. We'll explore the ins and outs of sports sponsorship, its advantages over influencer marketing, and how you can harness its potential for your brand.

Why Sports Sponsorship?

Ishveen Jolly's journey into sports sponsorship was deeply rooted in her passion for sports. Having grown up as a student-athlete and later becoming a management consultant, she realized her heart was in sports. Ishveen saw sponsorship as a powerful form of marketing that allowed brands to associate themselves with the world of sports, evoking emotions and garnering attention from enthusiastic audiences. For athletes, teams, and events, sponsorship emerged as a significant revenue stream.

Embracing Influencer Marketing:

Initially, Ishveen was skeptical of influencer marketing when it entered the scene. She believed that athletes were more than just influencers, with their legacy and achievements setting them apart. However, she eventually acknowledged the power of digital influence in the social media realm, which sports was lagging behind in. Embracing influencer marketing allowed for shorter, more relevant, and tactical deals, making it a win-win situation for brands and athletes alike.

Sports Sponsorship vs. Influencer Marketing:

When comparing sports sponsorship to influencer marketing, certain fundamental principles remain the same. Both involve paying influencers or athletes for assets that brands can use for promotion. However, the key distinction lies in the amplification factor. While influencer marketing relies heavily on follower count, sports sponsorship draws attention from not just the athlete's followers but also sports enthusiasts and local communities, lending an air of authenticity and greater potential for engagement.

The Anatomy of a Sports Sponsorship Campaign:

A sports sponsorship campaign typically revolves around deliverables, which determine what the brand offers and what they receive in return. Common offerings include cash, products, royalties, or equity. The receiving end may involve social media promotions, appearances, logo placements, testimonials, and feedback.

Utilizing Sports Sponsorship for Business Growth:

Incorporating sports sponsorship into your marketing mix requires a thoughtful approach. If you're a digital marketing agency specializing in Facebook ads for real estate agents, you can use athletes to boost your local market presence. Seek an athlete with a reputable name and create content that genuinely represents your brand's vision. Consider incorporating Q&A sessions, voiceovers, customer meet-and-greets, and sales events to enhance your brand image.

Getting Started with Sports Sponsorship:

If you're contemplating sports sponsorship for your brand, understand that higher investment typically yields better results. Don't be afraid to allocate a substantial budget to work with athletes who have a significant following or legacy. Leverage the athlete's name and reputation to gain access to media coverage and PR opportunities, which can amplify your message and reach.

Measuring Success:

Measuring the success of a sports sponsorship campaign involves tracking various metrics, such as social media engagement, click-through rates, and conversion rates. Additionally, consider the qualitative aspects, like testimonials and feedback from athletes. The ultimate goal is to create a lasting impact on your brand's image and reputation.


Sports sponsorship presents an exciting opportunity for brands to leverage the influence and legacy of athletes to captivate audiences and differentiate themselves from competitors. The power of athlete endorsements, coupled with strategic content creation, can lead to significant brand growth and lasting customer engagement. By understanding the value of authenticity and delivering a compelling message, your brand can unlock the true potential of sports sponsorship in the digital age.


Jeff is OpenSponsorship's Director of Marketing. He typically writes about sports sponsorship, marketing, and tips & tricks for brands.