Strong personal relationships are a great strength in the creation and building of any business partnership.
For Scottish Hockey, this has proven to be especially true. Scottish Hockey created a partnership with their official dairy partner and skort sponsor, Graham’s The Family Dairy, through a connection between the organisation and one of the players, as David Sweetman, CEO of Scottish Hockey, explains.
David says: “As players and fans, Graham’s Dairy were familiar with hockey and one of the Scotland international team players talked to them about sponsorship. This developed into Scottish Hockey working with Graham’s to build a partnership that delivered great value for everyone involved…
"From the start it was clear the focus on health and activity was important for everyone …and the brands were clearly a very good fit with the values of everyone involved.”
This was a unique situation for Scottish Hockey, who were pleased at the prospect of a partner who already understood the sport throughout the commercial conversation. Graham’s were already aware of the great opportunity that the potential partnership could offer them.
Robert Graham, managing director at Graham’s The Family Dairy, says: “As hockey players and fans ourselves, we are delighted to support the Scottish women’s hockey team.
"As a family business, we are always looking for ways to support local talent and organisations that embody the values of our business, so this was an exciting partnership for us."
Return on investment
As Scottish Hockey’s official dairy partner and skort sponsor, the Graham’s Dairy logo would feature on the Scotland women’s team skort and dairy products would also be gifted to players throughout the year.
David Sweetman adds: “Dairy products are fantastic in helping athletes recover and with hockey being such a physically demanding sport it’s been fantastic for the players to have access to Graham’s Dairy’s recovery products around training and matches.”
However, it’s not just through the products that the partners have been able to activate their successful sponsorship. Both organisations have been very active in promoting the partnership digitally through social media, blogs and player videos around Graham’s dairy products.
David adds: “The output is fun and the players get involved too, which is great. The players are great ambassadors for the partnership and a healthy diet.”
With both organisations enjoying the success of the sponsorship, it’s clear that the relationship will continue to develop and build over time. Robert Graham says: “Our partnership with Scottish Hockey is incredibly important for us. The players are fantastic to work with. They are always fun and keen to get involved in any new launches and testing our products.
“Aligning with Scottish Hockey, a physically demanding sport and key Scottish sports brand, enables us to reach our target audience demographic of healthy, active and nutritionally conscious individuals to raise awareness of our growing range of high-protein, low-calorie dairy products.”
With the continued growth in the importance of sponsorship across the sporting landscape, the Scottish Hockey and Graham’s partnership is a great example of how a sponsor and a sport can achieve mutual objectives through working together.
They are working to promote a healthy, active, lifestyle and promoting hockey at a national level.