Is it Legal for CBD Companies to Sponsor Sports Teams?

As a business owner, your goal is always to make your brand visible. The more people who know about the products you offer, the more potential customers you’ll have. Sponsorships are a great way to get your brand, logo, and products out into the broader market. For most businesses, sponsoring sports teams is a no-brainer. For CBD companies, there’s a question of legality that other businesses may not have to contend with.

Is It Legal to Sponsor Sports Teams?

In 2018, the Farm Bill classified hemp as a legal crop and substance, thereby making CBD products legal throughout the country—provided that the CBD is manufactured from 100 percent hemp and contains 0.3 percent or less of marijuana’s psychoactive component, THC. This means that, yes, it is technically legal for CBD companies to sponsor sports teams and leagues. That doesn’t mean you’ll actually be able to sponsor teams that you’re interested in, however.

Some leagues are slow on the uptake. The NFL, PGA, NBA, NHL, and MLB all refuse team sponsorships with CBD companies, regardless of who their CBD supplier is. It sounds unfair, especially when you consider that those same leagues permit alcoholic beverage companies to sponsor their teams and athletes. What says “sports” better than an arena sponsored by one of the big breweries?

Things Are Changing

Though the big leagues aren’t willing to embrace CBD sponsorships just yet, minor leagues and independent athletes are. And you can bet that the more prevalent CBD companies become, the more willing the major leagues will be to reconsider their position.

What You Can Do in the Meantime?

There’s no telling when the rules for major leagues will change. This means it’s not practical to wait around until CBD companies are approved. You’ll want to start looking for other options. The best place to start is with local teams that aren’t part of the major league or subject to their rules.

Contact the managers for those teams and make your pitch. See how your partnership can benefit their players, their fans, and their team as a whole. Remember, you’re not selling anything illicit and you’ll want to be prepared to educate those managers about the benefits of CBD and everything it can do for their players. It’s normal for teams to feel reluctant at first. There are several decades’ worth of misinformation and prejudice ingrained in peoples’ minds.

Consider Sponsoring Individuals

Teams are easily the best way to get the most visibility, but they’re not the only way to go about gaining exposure. In fact, sometimes it’s best to start with a single athlete. Look for individuals that can benefit most from using your products. Remember, when you sponsor an athlete, you’re effectively asking them to advertise for your company. The more they believe in your products, the more naturally they’ll be able to talk up your brand.

Sponsoring an individual doesn’t mean you’re stuck sponsoring an amateur. NASCAR is the one league that allows CBD sponsorships without question. And with millions of people tuning in for races, you’re guaranteed to get your brand out there. Having your logo featured on the driver’s car, jersey, and sponsorship banners can get expensive, so pay close attention to your marketing budget when making the choice.

Don’t Neglect the Influencers

Athletes and sports teams may be your first thought when looking for a way to gain exposure as a CBD supplier for the top performers. But they’re not the only option you can choose from. Many companies have great success sponsoring and partnering with social media influencers.

These influencers operate in many different niches making it easy to get your product in front of a broader audience. Remember, sports are popular, but the number of people you’ll reach within that fanbase won’t be as broad as you’d think. You’ll still want to turn your attention to social media to target consumers you’d otherwise miss.

Instagram and YouTube are great places to start. Look for users with millions of followers or subscribers who you believe will benefit from your products. Remember, CBD appeals to more than just hardcore athletes. Adventurers, outdoors enthusiasts, and even gamers can all benefit from using CBD and so can their audience. Even better, their audience covers a far broader group of people than fans of a single team.

Sponsorships Are Key

Sports teams, leagues, and organizations are gradually becoming more open to working with CBD suppliers. Use this to your advantage and start sponsoring teams and athletes. This will help you increase your brand’s visibility while exposing new people to the many benefits of your products.

Learn More

At Hemp Depot, we’ll make sure you’re able to offer the highest quality CBD products that both professional athletes and their fans will love using every day. Contact us to learn more and let us be your trusted CBD supplier.

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