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Stepping up: Inside SKECHERS' winning sports sponsorship strategy

3 min read

In the dynamic world of sports sponsorship, SKECHERS has made significant strides in the past year through numerous fruitful partnerships brokered by Infront. We sat down with Björn Quadt, Head of Marketing at SKECHERS Deutschland GmbH, to delve into the strategy behind this collaboration, its impact on the brand, and what the future holds.

Your brand appears at several events in various sports. What is the strategy behind the choice of sports and what goals are you pursuing?

Firstly, it’s important to look at where SKECHERS comes from, because the footwear segment has a very natural fit with sport. Of course, we primarily want to raise our profile - with different target groups through a variety of sports. But we at SKECHERS have also realised that we need an image transfer, especially in the German market. The 2010s were particularly strong for us and we realised that there was a comeback - driven by the fashion industry - which we naturally jumped on. However, this alone is not enough for an image transfer, which is why we need to connect more specifically and intensively with our target group. This is also why we are focussing more strongly on sports sponsorship. With Infront, we have found the perfect partner to shift our presence from quantitative to qualitative sponsorship and to strengthen our brand image. The selection of different sports enables us to address a broad target group, as we also serve a diverse audience as a wholesaler. We also have specific sports shoes for different sports and advertise specifically in these areas. Thanks to the frequency in the various sports, we were able to increase contact with our brand on the one hand, but also create an emotionalization that would not be possible with any other sponsorship.

What added value do you expect from sports sponsorship - also in comparison to other forms - for your brand communication?

Sports sponsorship offers a positively charged emotional framework that enables a strong image transfer. Compared to other forms of marketing such as TV adverts, print or online advertising, sports sponsorship offers the opportunity to make direct contact with a committed target group and build a strong emotional bond. Our involvement in winter sports, with its more exclusive sponsorship structure, has helped us to more than double our advertising awareness.

The sum of your involvement in sport is linked to a high level of investment. What kind of performance measurement do you carry out?

We carry out a variety of success measurements, including reach screenings, comparisons of aided and unaided awareness and monitoring of sales growth. In our online shop alone, we recorded a 120% year-on-year increase in the conversion rate in the winter months. This clearly shows how much our efforts in recent months have paid off.

Simply displaying your logo on a banner does not make a successful sponsorship. How do you activate? What measures do you use?

As mentioned at the beginning, we utilise the diversity of sport to make our brand known and popular not only with fans, but also with the athletes themselves. This took place in the 2023/24 season, for example, through shoe partnerships and targeted activation measures at some Bundesliga 1 and 2 football clubs in both the men's and women's divisions and at some youth development centres. There is still a lot in the pipeline, and we are extremely excited to be able to tell you all about it soon.

We are definitely very excited about it. Finally, can you give us a brief outlook on your plans? How do you intend to utilise your sports sponsorship in the future?

As it became clear, our visibility in winter sports also has a very positive effect on our brand in terms of measured figures. For this reason, we are continuing to drive this visibility forward, because there is still a lot of potential and we know that sponsorship only works credibly and well through sustainable and long-lasting partnerships. We are trying to increase the quality of our visibility step by step and to communicate the quality standards we have for our shoes to our viewers. We are making this effort because, unfortunately, too few people know that SKECHERS has once again been crowned German Quality Winner in the footwear sector. But everything step by step.

In addition to publicising our brand, we are of course also continuing to push our visibility in the sports for which we can supply the right, top-class products with SKECHERS Performance. So, stay tuned to see where you can see us in the new season.