A&B Office Solutions, a leading provider of office equipment and managed print and IT services based in Sioux Falls, S.D., makes a point of spending its marketing and sponsorship dollars to support sports teams, leagues and participants in its local market.
Founded in 1981, A&B has earned its reputation for outstanding products, services and community support by taking the time to engage its community through sports, volunteerism and a variety of philanthropic programs throughout its history. It something the organization has taken seriously since its inception.
Today, the company has more than 120 employees working out of 15 different A&B locations throughout five states. It offers managed print services, document management and IT management services, office equipment and supplies as well as office furniture, purified water and gourmet coffee.
Over the years, it has sponsored or partnered with a broad array of sports entities as part of its overarching philosophy to give back to its communities “with our time, talents and treasures.”
In 2019, A&B is supporting the Summit League, an NCAA Division I intercollegiate athletic conference featuring colleges from Indiana, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Colorado, Illinois, North Dakota and South Dakota. The conference’s headquarters is located in Sioux Falls.
In addition, the company is a prominent supporter of local colleges and universities including South Dakota State University, the University of South Dakota and the University of Sioux Falls.
South Dakota, despite its relatively small population, has turned out some of the most famous athletes in the world. WWE and UFC superstar Brock Lesnar is a South Dakota native, as is NFL kicker and multiple Super Bowl-winning hero Adam Vinatieri and longtime NBA standout and 3-point-shooting specialist Mike Miller.
Becky Hammon, a six-time WNBA All-Star and erstwhile South Dakotan, is currently an assistant coach for the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs and is widely considered the likely first woman to become a head coach for in any of the four major professional men’s sports leagues in North America.
A&B also sponsors the Sioux Falls Storm, a professional indoor football team that’s been a member of the Indoor Football League since 1999, as well as the Sioux Falls Women’s Slow Pitch Softball team.
“Partnership with locals is what drives the decision to sponsor these local teams and schools,” said Galina Zaranchuk, marketing specialist at A&B Business Solutions.
A&B Business Solutions, like so many other community-oriented copier dealerships, play a significant role not only in financially supporting these smaller leagues and teams, but providing opportunities for vendors, customers and employees to mix and mingle while creating memories and new business opportunities.
“The return on investment is measured by the relationships that are being built in the community,” Zaranchuk said, adding that the company spends roughly $30,000 a year on its various sports sponsorship programs. “We find common ground with most of the business because we find a way to connect through sports.”
Beyond the touchdowns, home runs and slam dunks, A&B Business Solutions’ community involvement extends to a number of other endeavors including its “Seeds to Flowers” initiative. The program’s goal of donating 1,000 hours of volunteer time each year to various local organizations and events has easily been eclipsed in each of the past three years.
It also has made significant contributions to the local chapter of the Boy Scouts of America, Junior Achievement of South Dakota and Feed South Dakota – among many others.
Obviously, sports are just one part of A&B Office Solutions’ overall approach to supporting and interacting with its local community and businesses. The seeds of these investments usually bloom into long-term relationships, inside and outside of the office.
“The best part about being sponsors of local sports teams is being recognized by the community,” Zaranchuk said. “We sponsor sports properties that are local and partner with A&B. We create an ongoing relationship with each sponsorship.”
This is part of a series in which we look at how companies in the industry are leveraging sports sponsorships. See the whole series.