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Leveraging sponsorships for success: Aalborg Handball winning strategy

Discover how Aalborg Handball is utilizing interactive marketing campaigns to enrich sponsor relationships with data-driven insights, engage fervent fans, and propel their brand strategy to unprecedented heights.

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Aalborg Håndbold is a professional handball team based in Aalborg, Denmark. The team competes in the top Danish handball league and plays its home games at the Gigantium arena. The club has a notable record, having won the Danish Handball League six times and the Danish Handball Cup twice. They also reached the final of the EHF Champions League in 2021, highlighting their prominence on both national and international stages. The team is well-supported and engages in various community activities and events, which helps maintain a strong connection with their fanbase.

BonBon-Land Interactive Story

Aalborg Handball has big aspirations – they’re striving to become the world’s best handball team, and that’s what keeps them motivated. In a recent chat with Chris Thiessen, an expert in sponsorship activation at Aalborg Handball, we dived into the club’s unique approach to sports partnerships and their use of interactive marketing.
Chris is primarily focused on making sponsorships for the club’s bigger partners more interactive and valuable. While the club’s main challenge is excelling in handball, Chris is dedicated to the commercial side of things, working to enhance these partnerships and provide added value to sponsors.
The club uses Scratcher's platform as a way to provide increased value for their gold and main partners. At the beginning of each season, the activation team partners with these sponsors to design and execute campaigns. They have two specialists dedicated to running these interactive campaigns, all with the aim of increasing the partners’ brand recognition, connecting with fans, and gathering data to create valuable experiences.
“By offering them unique activations like Scratcher campaigns, we aim to create a wow experience for our partners. Our goal is just to give these partners a lot more than they expected.”
“We were primarily seeking a strong partnership and the capacity to offer a wider range of games and engagement opportunities for our audience. Scratcher not only met our initial requirements but also laid a solid foundation for our collaborative journey with our sponsors.”
Chris Thiessen
Development & Activation Manager, Aalborg Handball

The significance of sponsors

Aalborg Handball uses different sponsorship tiers to provide varying levels of engagement and benefits to their sponsors. This tiered approach incentivizes sponsors to increase their commitment, as they gain access to more activation opportunities and support from the club’s dedicated activation team. In this sense, the club employs gamification for various campaigns along the year. They plan these campaigns strategically to maximise their impact. For instance, they run campaigns in collaboration with match partners, aiming to engage fans and create a buzz around the upcoming games.
Fans often throw their support behind brands associated with their favourite clubs, and sponsors play a pivotal role in the club’s success. When sponsors engage fans and create a strong connection between their brand and supporters, they enjoy increased visibility and customer loyalty.
“Data is crucial because it allows sports clubs to demonstrate the value they can offer to sponsors. Without data, it becomes challenging to attract significant sponsors or persuade them to maintain partnerships.”
One notable success story was working for a sponsor campaign with a kitchen company in Denmark, which garnered around 2.000 participants and valuable data. The campaign also helped grow the club’s newsletter subscribers significantly, demonstrating the positive impact of gamification on the club’s digital presence.
A matchday quiz during Easter, held in the arena using large screens, attracted participation from almost 20% of the 5.000 fans attending the match, all of whom wanted to win the giant Easter egg prize. The outcome was not only valuable data and signups for the club newsletter, but also a lot of excited and involved fans who had an added positive experience to their matchday.
Aalborg Handball is aiming to be the best in the world, and their efforts in activating sponsors and creating a great matchday experience was recently recognized by the European Handball Federation, who invited the club to present their best-practice approach to lots of other top clubs in Europe. Their success comes from working closely with sponsors, exciting fans, and using fun games to make a bigger impact. Their commitment to trying new ideas and making things better has already made them a big name in the world of handball.

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