How Can You Make Sponsorships A Commercially Viable Practice?
Updated: Oct 20, 2019
What is sponsorship?
In short, a sponsorship is a kind of commercial or personal arrangement between partes. This arrangement tends to be between a or several companies and a Sponsee who requires assistance. Sponsorships generally take place in a support function or a financial support activity.
Why is sponsorship important? Quite often, small, medium and large enterprises overlook the value of Sponsorships and tend to disregard this marketing method as a great promotional and marketing strategy! There are a number of reasons why marketing should be considered in the whole marketing mix and at times, even as a major component of the marketing mix.
Build brand awareness – You can spend your dollars on Online Marketing with SEO Companies who will tell you that you will be No1 on the Google Search, Radio, Television, out-of-home advertising and much more… Fact is that local area sponsorship reaches your local community who are or can be your direct clientele and it costs a fraction of other mentioned mediums. By choosing the right Sponsorship opportunity, you will increase your visibility to your chosen audience. Pretend you are a Shoe Shop that sells a lot of joggers. You choose an event like a fun-run or a charity run where the attendees all wear joggers. Everytime they do their shoe laces up or anytime they start feeling that their feet are sore, they will look up and see your brand and next time they are ready to purchase, they will experience a brand recall and will essentially walk into your Shoe Store.
Instill Brand Credibility – Many companies who are looking for growth and looking to strengthen their brand need to also improve how they are perceived by their target audience. Sponsorship opportunities in the event space that tends to appeal to certain demographic are likely to shape the buying attitudes and habits by shaping and generating your target audience’s reaction.
Increase reach – Generally speaking, by getting involved in choosing a good sponsorship opportunity, you are choosing to become part of a group of other sponsors who are likely to have the same idea as yourself. By becoming a sponsor alongside other credible sponsors, you are generally rubbing shoulders with people who can influence another group of people within your target market and audience. Joining such sponsorship opportunities will increase your reach to people who are interested in the goods or services your are selling.
Free Advertising – Many sponsorship opportunities tend to drive free publicity by simply being an event! Events are generally covered or reported via Social Media engagements (Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, MSN), Television News, Radio Broadcasting, Newspapers and community papers as well as word of mouth… Being a sponsor has some natural organic growth. It is however important to use your free publicity to your advantage by ensuring that you following up from your event by also driving your online and print marketing so that people automatically have a brand recall and remember your brand.
Competitor differentiation – Appear bigger than what you are – It is not easy to stand out from the crowd. You may be a small practice or business that wants to show off their capabilities and present a case whereby your goods or services are ideally as competitive or superior than the larger competitor. By being a sponsor for Audience Related Events, you automatically are able to promote your brand and automatically build rapport with prospective buyers who may not have considered your brand as opposed to a more recognised brand. Sponsoring a related event is a fantastic tactic that will capture your audience and will make them believe that your brand is as big or bigger than your larger competitors.
Community support – Sponsoring events that are related to not-for-profit causes (i.e Cancer Council initiatives, Community museum or art galleries, fun raising for local causes, etc…) assist you in showing that you too care about your community and you too require support in supporting your local community. By undertaking a sponsorship for community efforts, you automatically are seen as a model business and personality! You are then recognised for your contribution and good will. These activities, again, translate in a deeper reach to the target market. Perception of you and your business is key to long-term success.
Post Event Relations – Following a successful event, it is likely that you will continue meeting with the Sponsee or the event sponsors too. Do not pass this by! Networking meeting, Presentations, receptions and business meetings will further improve and captivate your networks, translating to further growth and visibility, creating more growth and wealth. Solidifying relationships with other like minded professional will only strengthen you and your business.
Budgeting and planning – When choosing to become a sponsor, you need to consider your budget, your expected return and your expected resources required. There is no point turning up to an event and realising that you have run out of business cards. Not only is it unprofessional but it also shows that you are not prepared. If you are not prepared for a major event, your target audience’s perception of your business will be greatly reduced. How can you look after your customer if you cannot event look after your own affairs. Be prepared, write everything down, plan properly! If it is your first time, seek someone who has done this before as they already have had to go through the teething issues themselves.
Branding and Marketing – Don’t just turn up to an event unprepared. This is your chance to promote your brand, good and services. Be prepared. Depending on the event, choose mediums that are related to the environment you are attending. Be sure to choose a supplier who has dealt with similar events in the past so that they can provide you with ideas and solutions fitting to the event for the budget you have.
a) Indoor – Media Walls, pull-up banners, promotional merchandise and branded clothing are the ideal tools for showcasing your brand.
b) Outdoor – Vinyl Banners, Flags, Backdrops, flyers, promotional merchandise, branded clothing and marquees are the perfect partners to promote your brand
Sponsorships offer a vast amount of opportunities and possibilities. The ultimate goal when choosing the right sponsorship is to improve your financial gains and returns. Do not overlook a good sponsorship opportunity!