What is sponsorship?
Sponsorship is no longer slapping a logo on a banner.
There is the issue of whether a sponsorship is of any business value. It’s nice to be recognised by one’s
peers but won’t necessarily generate any income. Is it a genuine investment or just an expression of
vanity? Perhaps it would be better to consider sponsoring a more community-related activity instead
with an audience of potential customers. Sponsorships that really work usually involve some sort of
personal interaction between the two parties rather than just a commercial association.
Sponsorship is often a grey area for many marketers. Those who’ve focused on traditional marketing
channels may be reluctant to delve into sponsorship activities or unsure how to find opportunities
that fit. The sponsorship must support the core values of the brand/organisation, provide return on
investment and be an integral component to the marketing program.
How can sponsorship help?
There are a number benefits that the right sponsorship can have on a brand:
It can create brand awareness with a new audience
Can build brand loyalty
Support brand positioning through third party association
Provide a vehicle for building trade and consumer relationships.
What to consider
Sponsorship is a two-way process and both sides have to come out ahead. Before entering a
sponsorship arrangement, the following requirements need to be considered:
- Current environment – Are your competitors sponsoring in your chosen space and do they seem to be successful?
- Objectives – Are you aiming to raise awareness of your brand, build an image or promote a product?
- Marketing promotional mix – Is the sponsorship relevant to your product or clients and does it fit in with your other activities?
Tactics – What is your budget, timing and what will you sponsor?
Target audience – Who are they?
Resources – Do you have the people and funds needed to support the sponsorship and achieve full value?
Some key questions that need to be asked include:
Why are we interested in a sponsorship?
What can a sponsorship do for us?
What do we want to get out of it?
Who are we trying to reach?
What is our budget?
Evaluating the opportunity
Brand image and positioning
Brand objectives and strategies
Internal considerations and restraints
Efficiency in execution
Cost vs Exposure
Target audience reach and frequency
Contractual Agreements and constraints
Dominant share of voice and exposure, especially in multi-sponsored events
Reliability of producers
Legal liability risks
Special interest group backlash risks
Our control of the participation
Opportunities to market/ merchandise the event before, during and after
Important points to remember
Actively seek the sponsorship that will best fit your brand and objectives rather than simply
sifting through the sponsorship opportunities presented to you
Look at how the sponsorship can integrate into the rest of your marketing program
Communication is key- communicate the sponsorship to both internal staff and external
customers as this reinforces your key messages and generates support and interest in the
sponsorship with your target audience
Effective use of sponsorship marketing requires careful consideration of qualitative and quantitative
information. While pure exposure may be one of the benefits you’re looking for, the evaluation of your
options should not be based solely on the numbers of impressions your brand will receive. The focus
should instead be on the quality of those impressions.