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Beyond the court: Vodafone's partnership with Turkish Volleyball Federation

2 min read

In a world where brand alliances are aplenty, those that resonate are the ones rooted in shared values and a purpose that both the brand and the public can get behind. The narrative of the Vodafone and Turkish Volleyball Federation (TVF) partnership, facilitated by Infront, is a recent good example of that.

The significant three-year sponsorship agreement is a notable partnership in women's volleyball in Turkey. It encompasses the sponsorship of both the Turkish women's national team and the country's top league. The agreement is the largest sponsorship of its kind for women's sport in Turkey, indicating a substantial commitment towards promoting women's volleyball in the region. Furthermore, it's not just confined to current match and tournament-related activities, but also extends to future educational infrastructure, backed by an "unlimited budget" as part of Vodafone's broader engagement with the volleyball community in Turkey.

The path to this partnership was strategically charted according to Mehmet Akif Üstündağ, the President of the Turkish Volleyball Federation.

“Turkey’s global position in volleyball, its place in the World Ranking, European championship, unbeaten in 2024 Olympics qualifiers, winning the Volleyball Nations League and booking its place at Paris 2024, these are incredible achievements. When it comes to marketing, of course these achievements positively affect things a lot."

Infront Turkey Managing Director Ender Uslu agrees that the success of the women’s national team in recent years has certainly helped facilitate its comm ercial success, as has the growing role of sponsorship in women’s sport.

"It is a great privilege to work with one of the most successful sports federations in the world. Working with such a successful league, players, national team, federation and President Akif inevitable brings about the necessity of making big sponsorship agreements; and you need to think big."

TVF was keen to form partnerships which offered not only visibility, but a connection to fans on a deeper level. Such purpose-driven partnerships not only sharpen the profile of the brands involved but also resonate with consumers who share similar values.

Whilst sports sponsorship can offer a good investment for exposure, there is also an element of brands attaching their values to that of a property. Gender equality is a value close to the ethos of Vodafone Turkey according to CEO Engin Aksoy.

“As a part of Vodafone Turkey, which has been supporting women in Turkey for quite a long time, our activities align with those of the Vodafone Turkey Foundation. Now, we’re pleased to stand together with our national volleyball team and also the women’s volleyball league.”

Here, purpose marketing is a necessity, not just a trend. Brands are increasingly seeking partnerships that allow them to take a public stand on social issues. By aligning themselves with sports federations that take a similar stance, they can communicate their values effectively and authentically.

Uslu underlines the connection further. "The values that women's volleyball presents has a big match with the brands who support women and gender equality. I think this also shows our aspiration to foster women's sports globally and locally."

The story unfolds from the court to the larger arena of societal dialogues, showcasing how a brand and a sports federation, with a common vision, can serve up an inspiring narrative. This partnership can impact both the sports community and the broader discourse on gender equality and shared values. Authenticity can breed a strong emotional bond between the brand and its target audience.

"We ran this process with Infront, a significant partner and proponent and we acknowledge their contributions and support," concludes President Akif.