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Maximizing Sports Sponsorships with Design

Photo credited to Ivan Walsh

What will the stadium of the future look like? This is not a question to be answered solely by architects, but rather all stakeholders have to be part of the conversation. With a Gensler Sports fan survey already underway, we recently convened a panel of sports industry professionals representing brands, sponsorship agencies, sports teams and venues to explore ways the industry is evolving. Sponsor integration, fan experience and technology were among the main topics covered at the event. My colleague and founder of MRA International, Michael Rubin, helped lead the discussion with a distinguished panel that included:

  • Shervin Mirhashemi – Chief Operating Officer, AEG Global Partnerships
  • Woody Thompson – Executive Vice President, Octagon
  • Michael Robichaud – Vice President of Global Sponsorships, MasterCard
  • Robert Jordan – Managing Partner, Venue Research and Design LLC
  • Lisa Delpy Neirotti – Associate Professor, George Washington University
  • Tim McGhee – Senior Vice President, IMG Consulting
  • Seth Rabinowitz – Founder, Rabinowitz Consulting

Our discussion covered a broad range of subjects impacting venues, sponsors and fans, but the sponsor-facility owner relationship was our main focus in this video segment.

The process of planning and building a sports venue is much more complex than in the past. No longer are facilities designed and constructed solely to support the game on the field, floor or ice. Driven by technology, a fundamental change in the way fans connect, engage, and experience the game is underway. Sponsors are increasingly integrated into the design with a goal of enhancing the fan experience and maximizing sponsorship ROI. Not only does this offer an opportunity for sponsors to drive their own presence that better represents their brand, but this deeper level of partnership also contributes to fan engagement and the overall success of the facility.

Have you been to a sports venue that achieved these goals well? What do you think the stadium of the future will look like? We’d love to hear from you as we continue this conversation.

Ron Turner
Ron Turner, FAIA, LEED® AP, is Gensler’s director of sports and entertainment, and a principal in the Los Angeles office. A recognized leader in international sports facility design, Ron Turner has over thirty years of experience dedicated to creating iconic event center designs that generate increased revenue, build civic brands, and employ innovative technologies. As a founder of sports design practices for Ellerbe Becket, NBBJ, RTKL and now Gensler, Ron has led design teams for numerous professional and collegiate venues and sports-anchored entertainment districts around the world. Contact him at ron_turner@gensler.com.

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Reader Comments (1)

In the first case, the promotion is directly related to sports. In the second case, the products can but do not have to be directly related to sports. When the promotion is about sports in general, sports teams or sports events, the use of this kind of strategy is called Marketing of Sports. Thanks.

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