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Athlete Sponsorship, Endorsement, Facebook, Online Tools For Athletes, Speed Skating, Sponsorship Snapshot

Dutch Telecom Company Galaxy Group Sponsors Canadian Christine Nesbitt

Christine Nesbitt sporting her new Galaxy.nl branding during her world record setting race

Over this past weekend, in newpapers and sports highlight clips across the country there are images of long track speed skater Christine Nesbitt. At this weekend’s World Sprint Championships in Calgary, AB Nesbitt crushed the 1000m world record on Saturday skating a 1:12.68, the first woman ever to go under 1:13.

Also shown in those images are the logos of Galaxy Group, a Dutch telecom company. Nesbitt’s suit no longer has the Bell logo as BCE dropped its sponsorship of Speed Skating Canada after the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. With Bell dropping out it freed up Canadian speed skaters to pursue individual sponsorships in the telecom industry (a global industry with a long and active history of sports sponsorship).

So why is a Dutch telecom company sponsoring a Canadian athlete?

This is a great lesson in knowing your audience. The Netherlands is the home to long track speed skating and Christine’s suit will get just as much exposure in The Netherlands as it will in Canada so when looked at from that viewpoint, a Dutch sponsor makes sense.

Take this weekend’s World Sprint Championships, CBC, the domestic broadcaster, only aired Saturday’s day of competition live. Day 2 will be aired next week, long after everyone knows how the event turned out (Nesbitt captured silver!).

The Netherlands on the other hand…

NOS, The Netherlands’ national broadcaster, is the host international broadcaster and will carry the event live both days for a total of eight hours to an audience of over one million people and a 11-34 per cent market share in prime time. – Mario Toneguzzi, Calgary Herald

For amateur athletes this should serve as a great example of why it is so important to leverage online tools to study your audience and determine your demographics. Maybe you train in Calgary but the bulk of people following you are from your hometown of Halifax. That is how you can justify to a Halifax-based business to support you while you train on the other side of the country.

Here are some great tools to learn more about your audience:

Facebook Insights offer demographics information on visitors to a Facebook fan page

The more you learn about you online platforms and specifically the people behind it the better equipped you are to solicit sponsorship and generate value for your sponsors.

If you have any questions on these online tools be sure to leave a comment below or reach out to @PodiumPlatform on Twitter.

About Kevin Jagger

A graduate of McGill University, Kevin is a former investment banker turned long track speed skater who has become fascinated with the world of amateur athlete sponsorship. With a media background Kevin leveraged his social media and blog platforms to fund his athletic journey raising the $40,000 per year required to compete in his sport. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinJagger. Kevin is the Editor of PodiumPlatform.com.



  1. Pingback: In The World of Online Content, Athletes Have The Advantage « Podium Platform - May 20, 2012

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