"I Never Knew Sponsorship Agencies Existed…" 13th May, 2013

I recently attended an event last week in the events industry.  In a slightly different frame of mind than usual (buying rather than selling) I found myself suppressing my usual routine of championing our agency and our unique approach to the rest of the world.  However, I did get caught in a conversation  in which I was explaining what we did to an attendee of the event.  It took somewhat longer than usual, and even in layman’s terms, he still didn’t understand what a sponsorship agency was.  Finally, when I equated it to the people who are responsible for putting ‘those logos you see on football shirts’ I could tell that the light bulb sparked.  The thought of having to explain what it is we actually do would have led, I am sure, to a blank face and awkward shuffle toward the alcohol – so I left it at that…

Coming off of the back of the ESA Summit, and having read other articles postulating how  the sponsorship industry lacks the ability to PR themselves, this comment really made me think about our industry and what the general public thinks of sponsorship, sponsorship agencies, and everyone in between.  One specific comment made at the ESA Summit particularly stood out, it addressed the notion that the industry needs to provide fans and spectators a voice – considering sponsorship is supposed to add value to their experience and form a core part of the win-win-win best practice that our industry promotes.  And now having first-hand experience with someone who works in events, but doesn’t even know what a sponsorship industry does, let alone the fact that they exist is, quite frankly, astonishing.

At Slingshot, we believe that understanding the commercial benefits of sponsorship and partnerships is vital to business growth in this shifting market.  As an industry we really need to encourage education on its true benefits not just for our own industry’s sake, but for the sake of utilising these practices to build a successful economy.