The PGA Tour (AT&T Classic), the Tour de Georgia and now the Atlanta Silverbacks are Atlanta pro sports events that are being postponed or discontinued.  Primary reason for each is lack of corporate sponsors.

Clearly these are events targeted to “zealots”.  Golfers?  Duh.  Bicyclists?  A small but avid niche.   Soccer?  A large Hispanic and youth league participation in Atlanta.   So, does this blow a hole in the idea that you win by targeting zealots?

Well, the obvious is to blame the economy, the credit crunch, business cutbacks, etc.  But if you have read any of this blog, you know we believe you win EVERY TIME by approaching your business from the perspective of zealots.  And, you know we try to discover the LESS obvious.

Enough of the wind-up.  Here’s the pitch (get the sporting pun?):

There are zealots aplenty for these sports.  But, are endorsements, sponsorships of pro events as valuable, as authentic as grassroots programs – or to put it another way – programs that relate to that person (note the long-term trend towarding cocooning) and allow greater participation?

If you are a zealot of soccer, what is going to have a greater impact … sponsoring the pro team by purchasing signage, program ads or television ads … or hosting clinics or sponsoring other programs for the youth program where your kids play?  Where are the emotional chords?