Making sponsorship "fit": TD Ameritrade and the 2014 Winter Olympics

Stephen Whiteside

Few advertisers would dispute that the Olympic Games, in their Summer or Winter form, provide an unparalleled opportunity to engage consumers. Making the most of this potential, however, rests in large part on demonstrating there is a true "fit" between the event and a sponsoring brand – and the size of that hurdle should not be underestimated.

"I think everybody in the Olympics has a challenge in making a connection back to their brand in their own way – some more difficult than others," Dedra DeLilli, director/corporate sponsorships and social media marketing at TD Ameritrade, the online brokerage, trading and retirement-planning group, told delegates at IEG's 31st Annual Sponsorship Conference.

Having signed on as a sponsor of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) for the 2012 Olympics in London, the firm learned how tricky that task can be. Pre-competition research, DeLilli revealed, showed the perceived degree of "fit" stood at a relatively modest 54%. "Financial services are a bit challenging," said DeLilli. "We wanted to make sure we could make a connection back to our value proposition and who we are as a brand."