Sponsorship: Pushing boundaries in an ever changing landscape 24th February, 2012

Sponsorship is a very unique industry, one that is both growing as well as dramatically shifting.  At the moment, there seems to be an inertia amongst sponsorship agencies and brands at one end of the scale, while at the other end there is an active driving force pushing the industry into a more ‘grown-up’ and sustainable form of marketing. I’d like to think Slingshot Sponsorship is the latter.

Put simply, sponsorship is a form of marketing.  And just like good old fashioned direct marketing campaigns, sponsorship needs to be measured, creative and deliver results for the client.  Somewhere along the line, sponsorship campaigns have stagnated, which has created an industry that bases success on logo views making it no different to advertising – except lacking the creativity.  This was caused by the reasons sponsorship was signed off initially – typically the CEO who was boosting his own ego and basing brand positioning on access to hospitality boxes and exclusive tickets, rather than marketing ROI.

However, sponsorship is so much more than that and for the brands and sponsorship agencies out there who are willing to work a bit smarter, the returns can be significant.

My favourite example of smarter thinking is with the Direct Marketing Association who dramatically shifted their involvement with sponsorship enabling them to provide more value to their members at no additional cost (view case study here).  Rather than just being an add on, this membership organisation now counts sponsorship revenue as core to their business processes and integral to their overall income.

Another smarter thinking client we have is the What Car? Awards, which saw an increase of 1032% on sponsorship revenue this year simply by shifting some of their current activities in order to create value for their sponsors (view case study here).  For example, instead of just having sponsors involved with the presentation ball itself, What Car? created new promotional channels including promotion of the shortlist through media sponsor The Metro; providing sponsors a significant amount of national exposure.  Neither additional resource nor expense was needed as the shortlist was always part of their programme, but by changing the promotion and involving partners, this dramatically changed the value derived for the What Car? Awards sponsors.

We like to think we are pushing boundaries  and making sponsorship work harder and smarter for our clients so if you are interested in pushing some with us, make sure to get in touch or sign up to our newsletter.