Top 5 Tips On Maximising Sponsorship At Your Next Event 8th April, 2016

Sponsorship is not only important for generating financial resources but also is crucial in creating credibility, brand experience, audience engagement and goodwill. Which begs the question, why don’t more events or platforms bring sponsors on-board? A recent survey in Admap magazine showed 86% of sport fans welcome brand interaction as they believe it will improve their experience.

One issue experienced within the event industry is that brands rarely maximise the ROI from the events they integrate with, as such they dismiss many opportunities whilst squandering their marketing budget on archaic forms of promotion such as logos badging instead of recognizing the real benefits that lay within sponsorship.

  1. Monetary Benefits

Sponsoring events that have your target audience provides brands the opportunity to:

  • reduce marketing budget spend through the efficient use of marketing budget and integration
  • increase direct sales
  • gain PR content through involvement and activation
  1. Brand Experience

Sponsorship of an event offers organisations a platform to access their target audience – creating meaningful brand experiences. This enables the brand to let the audience become part of the brand and product. The experience is always dependant on the product’s interaction capabilities, but a successful brand experience is always more engaging than a logo. Through this criteria the engagement becomes measureable and transparent for the brand as it allows real-time feedback from their consumers.

  1. Increasing the Halo effect

A company who integrates with a charity event as a sponsor to meet their CSR targets is able to improve their public relations and any other CSR goals set. Through integration they have the opportunity to create a positive impact on their social environment. Pro bono and charity work has long been part of company’s ethos and sponsorship also offers this to all brands. In addition, it allows employees to engage with the charity and align with brand values.

  1. Audience Engagement

Sponsorship offers brands a great opportunity to engage their target audience, offering meaningful and lasting investment resonance.  Brands need to uncover their own assets within the event’s rights and increase the overall event experience of attendees.

  1. Reputation Improvement

A corporate relationship with an event can provide an enhanced reputation of a brand and also secures a competitive advantage to rivals in business. An event which aligns to the image of a sponsor has the potential to further strengthen credibility.

When BP’s catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico occurred, sponsoring the Olympics was a quick and fairly easy way to manage their global reputation crisis – supporting their sustainability credentials.

With the vast and significant benefits that sponsorship of events offers brands – it would be fatal to not include it within the marketing mix.

Sponsorship Measurement on Customer Behaviour is Key 13th November, 2010

For the majority of all sponsorship pitches, measurement is typically the last thing the sponsorship agency talks about when discussing sponsorship activation and rights purchase.  It is of course within the pitch, but it is normally the last slide of the presentation and tends to include some very basic charts and graphs about how measurement will take place.  Although sponsorship pitches used to work to perfection with beautiful images of the sponsors logo ‘zoomed’ in with great PowerPoint accuracy, this tends to only work when money and client spending is in excess, which no longer applies in our current economic climate.  Results and ROI are now priority and many sponsorship agencies are struggling.

This is not to say that sponsorship does not bring fantastic results and ROI; however, is more a comment on the fact that sponsorship historically is built around building brand awareness, which can be difficult to measure.  Results have also not always been the key reasons brands have sponsored in the past, typically looking for an affinity between the product and audience.  This no longer is the case.  In an era of increased accountability, rights owners and sponsorship agencies need to work together to create a consistent approach to measurement and ROI.

With the sponsorship industry priding itself on understanding audience and fans, it seems ironic that it is slow to recognise and respond to their sponsors’ needs for return on investment. 

A measure on customer behaviour is key.  For example, will the sponsorship bring in new customers and/or retain existing customers?  If you can demonstrate a positive result for this, then you have achieved success.

 – Mike Thompson, former Global Head of Sponsorship for E.ON

Some key tips for sponsorship measurement include:

  • Understand the brand objectives at the outset
  • Measure a baseline at the beginning
  • Identify focus groups that fit your sponsorship campaign profile
  • Measure sponsorship campaign and cost against a similar sole brand marketing campaign to prove the benefits synergy and engagement

Sponsorship is and can be hugely successful as a marketing platform, especially when it is attributed to return on investment.  However, the sponsorship industry needs to work together in order to overcome the prejudice of corporate excess and prove results.