Can You Really Use Pro Sports Sponsorships to Drive Patient Volume?

It sure isn’t easy, but it is possible to experience some level of measurable ROI from pro (and other) sports sponsorships.

Most health systems get sucked into pro sports sponsorships at some level because they feel either obligated to participate in their community by sponsoring local teams or they think the investment is justified to keep in front of referring physicians and consumers that likely have great payers.

(This discussion is different from school sports sponsorships sometimes coupled with a school nurse program that can especially lift sports medicine and other orthopedic business. That is a discussion we cover in a different post.)

The Key is how you activate those sponsorships.

Here are some quick tips:

  • FIRST AND MOST IMPORTANT: Make it look like they are sponsoring you. That arena or stadium is full of corporate ad signage for beer companies, soft drink companies, fast food franchisers and other products. You do not want to look like a greedy over-priced corporate advertiser. You want to look like a healthcare mission that the team is sponsoring.
  • As part of your deal, include live kiosks for online screening set up around the arena. The headers on the kiosks may say something like “7 Minutes to See if You Will Have a Heart Attack Soon” or something else like that to provoke usage.  You will get a shocking number of people do it, and about 40% of those will ask to be contacted by you for more information- and most of those will end up in an appointment.
  • Include player and other team celebrity appearances at events all year-round. If a former player, coach, or even a benchwarmer shows up to screening event, a couple hundred more people will too.
  • Get on-site staff involved to interact with the public– like your health promotions team or even RN’s will work at pre-games as ambassadors for tickets. This drastically increases consumer participation and the perception of your organization.
  • Set clear metrics for success and ROI measurement. You are probably doing this for other spending, but it must be done for sponsorship too. Anything measured and reported grows.

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