Sponsorship, an effective employer branding promotion 9th June, 2016

Attracting top talents is highly crucial for any company. Every brand and company has been struggling to find those highly sought-after top talents, with marketers searching for years to find the right strategy.

In fact, one in three firms in the professional services sector have committed to significantly increase their budget in employee communications in 2016 as competition for talent becomes fiercer. Sponsorship can be the underlying support of this development.


How the world perceives you

Simply put, employer branding is all about the way you choose to present your company to the potential employees and the way you want them to see you.

When talking about attracting talents, the focus is on newly graduated students, but they should not be the only target. Those top talents could be the creative marketing director from your fiercest competitor to the new grad who might one day be CEO.

Employer branding also help to strengthen corporate branding (i.e. the way your clients perceive your company). The more you are known as a great place to work, the stronger your position as a great brand. By communicating your employer branding, you are most likely to attract talents that share your vision, making them motivated and efficient, leading to a better performance for your business.


Linking sponsorship to employer branding

Sponsorship is a notable way to build an engaging, memorable and unique relationship with your target audience, being customers or employees. This is all the more true since sponsorship holds many options within the marketing mix from mass media use and at event presence to PR and employee engagement.

By creatively activating sponsorship at an event where your targeted talents attend, you create a bond with the potential employee before they even consider your company as a potential employer, the ultimate goal of employer branding. Building a special relationship with the consumer to create the urge, if not the need, to work for the brand.

Sponsorship can provide the company with the opportunity to create a unique tone of voice by distinguishing itself from the competitors in a non – product related way. It is all the more so crucial when we know that top talents are naturally selective about where they want to work. This is especially important in the creative and tech industries where top talents are used to a more relaxed and original environment.

Values are also something not to underestimate. Using your values is an influential way to communicate with your target audience and a powerful tool to choose the events you should attend or the platform to sponsor (university sports/music teams, etc.).


Aldi and Nike, two leading brand in sponsoring to attract talents

There is no predetermined way of doing sponsorship to develop or strengthen the employer branding. The choice of what type of sponsorship to use is entirely up to the organisation and what they want to promote the best.

In 2012, Aldi, the global supermarket, agreed to sponsor the Loughborough University’s men’s hockey team, also present at various careers fairs throughout the UK.

Aldi’s strategy was to work with many UK universities to showcase the importance it gives to sporting excellence, achievement and student engagement.

The company has been able to discover and recruit potential graduate top talents for its Area Management programme thanks to its strong and lengthy presence in universities and career fairs, with many of the current Area Managers graduating from sponsored universities.

Another interesting case is the one of Nike, who is sponsoring a huge number of College and Universities in Canada and USA. More than 10 years ago, Nike was the first big apparel brand to make use of sponsorship for brand recognition by being featured in a college football jersey.

Historically, the brand has dominated the apparel sponsorship of college football, by sponsoring 79 of the 128 FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) college football team, 61.7 percent of apparel sponsorship in the FBS. More than that, Nike sponsors almost 90% of the last 17 FBS National Champions.

Nike, by sponsoring winning teams, has gained a reputation associated with the highest performing teams in college football, emphasizing their values of excellence, evolution and winning spirit. Thanks to all of this, Nike is being recognised as an employer capable of inspiring and challenging its employees on a day to day basis.