Slingshot Sponsorship Wordle & our 3 Key Terms 7th February, 2011

Although not shocking, I recently created a Wordle that highlighted the most commonly used words on our blog.  Unsurprisingly, three key words outside of the word sponsorship came up: Audience, Brand, and Marketing.


Without an audience sponsorship cannot exist.  An audience is the most relevant part of a sponsorship as it is the key reason why brands use the sponsorship platform as a marketing tool.  Although the benefits and perks of sponsorship are always great – exclusive access to unique events, such as the pit at Formula1 and tickets to private concerts – these no longer are the key reasons brands choose sponsorship. 

Sponsorship creates access to a brand and builds relationships faster than straight forward advertising through the built-in goodwill and association.  The audience is typically already engaged with the platform and presents a prime opportunity to slowly enhance this through brand relationships or dramatically change brand perceptions through positioning.

The audience is key and should always be the core focus of how brands can cleverly positioning their marketing and experiential activity with their sponsorship rights in order to create an impactful campaign.


The brand fit is also crucial to a successful sponsorship.  As noted, brands can utilise sponsorship for a number of reasons – launching a product, brand awareness, changing positioning and changing perceptions to name but a few.  Depending on the rights and activation strategy, the brand health needs to be considered to ensuring that sponsorship doesn’t intrude on the rights purchased.  Many consumers, especially in the charity or government sector, can sometimes view sponsorship as a commercial ‘sell out’ against the brand, which may turn into a lack of audience, which then negatively influences what the brand sponsor set out to achieve in the first place.  These issues need to be considered from both parties when purchasing sponsorship rights and when bringing on board sponsors.


Sponsorship is a form of clever marketing – or we think so at least!  However, basic marketing techniques need to be applied when using sponsorship to ensure that value is delivered for both parties.  One of the key things that I think the sponsorship industry continues to fail in comparison to the marketing industry is measurement.

Historically, sponsorship has been difficult to measure and therefore became an afterthought.  However, with more red tape in the sponsorship industry, ROI and measurement is vital and needs to be built into sponsorship activation strategies at the outset.  Measurement in sponsorship can be as simple as focus groups and surveys to as complicated as consumer purchase behaviour patterns with brands. 

Whatever the strategy, it should be discussed and built into whatever sponsorship you are developing in order to comparatively show how sponsorship can truly outperform standard marketing campaigns.