Generation Y, Sponsorships and Action Sports – Introduction

For most companies it is hard to influence members of the generation Y which is why we decided to prepare three articles where we will explain how resorts and other endemic companies can use sponsorships in action sports to reach, attract and influence the young population.

Generation Y represents people born between 1977 and 1994 (or between 1982 and 2003 according to some authors) and is with more than 46 million members the biggest generation in the history of the USA. Furthermore, in other parts of the world like Europe Asia, Australia, etc., this generation represents a large percentage of the population.

Generation Y is not only big but also has an enormous purchase power and impact on the purchasing behavior of members from other generations. Companies and resorts are consequently very interested in establishing and keeping a long-term relationship with members of this generation, especially because of the opportunity to create a lifelong relationship. Members of the Generation Y are also trendsetters and have a huge impact on the future development of products and services.

Members of generation Y are easy to reach as they use several communication channels; however they are difficult to influence since they grew up in a world full of advertising and other marketing communications. That is why they are familiar with it and skeptical about it.

Members of generation Y do not show much interest in traditional and team sports such as football, basketball and baseball, but are more interested in action sports which suits the characteristics of this generation in terms of freedom, creativity, self-expression, individuality, etc.. That is why some of the mentioned action sports are also sports of the Generation Y.

Sponsorships are known from times of Ancient Greeks and are not a new tool of marketing communications, however, it was not that widely used in the past and is therefore still perceived as a non-traditional marketing tool. Sponsorship enables companies to connect with existing or potential customers on the emotional level, especially when the target group recognizes a concrete connection between the sponsor and sponsored entity.

As members of generation Y are distrustful to advertising and other traditional marketing communication tools, sponsorships provide an effective way to influence members of the Generation Y, especially when the sponsorships are used in combination with the sports and events that are relevant to the generation, among which action sports are one of the most important. Consequently investments in sponsorships (60% of all sponsorships are sports related) and action sports are rapidly increasing.

Hopefully we have managed to point out the main topics in all three focus area in this introductory article; Generation Y, sponsorships and action sports. In the upcoming two articles we will provide a step by step guide to an effective sponsorship with an emphasis on sponsorships in action sports.