I should be saying, Yes.
This question is one that I can analyse from my knowledge of marketing, PR, sponsorship and advertising.
What is the ROI of sponsoring a UK hockey team?
Say you are a title sponsor of a second tier team.
You pay £30,000 a year to have your organisation to be affiliated with the team. You pay to have your logo co-exist with the team and probably have the logo on distribution outlets (Match day program, teams website, ice painting, rink boarding etc).
So you've just paid £30,000 which could also be the salary of a new member of staff.
The team you sponsor doesn't win a single trophy this season and come mid-table.
You aren't affiliated with winning.
Now you are a small recycling company that only operates in one town. The appeal of the lucrative 'national coverage' doesn't really work for your company.
The only real connection you have with the team is the cheque they cashed from your bank account.
So, what's the appeal and attraction? What's the ROI?
Brand salience (recall) is argued as one of the major reasons why brands sponsor events, organisations and companies. In sports the major reason at the top level is to align a brand to a 'winner'.
Nike isn't sponsoring the world #389 on the tennis circuit. They just aren't.
The money you spent on the sponsorship could then be used instead to target via digital means your core customer.
Or you could look towards the influencer market.
Do UK hockey teams have an influence on the consumer day to day decisions?
If Robert Dowd say's he uses 'X' product does that correlate to increase in sales for the brand of said product.
So as a brand looking to invest my money I would evaluate my options. But, I would increase my expenditure in the sport. If they are held to metrics and KPI's.
I'd pay £50,000 as a car dealership. But, I would want the star players to work for me one day a month. I'd use this day to build up hype.
I'm sure fans would rather buy their new car off their favourite player than a 'sleazy car salesman'.
For £50,000 I may sell an extra 6-10 cars (1 day a month over the season). I then don't have to pay any commission as the sale was generated through the player (more profit). So my £50,000 outlay has already worked it's way back.
But, first Hockey has to want to do more.
They have to work harder.
Each rink board has to be filled. But, they have to provide upfront value first.
Because, as a brand I have the key. I have the money they desperately need and the puck is firmly in my rink.