CSR Partnerships: A Win Win
14th March, 2019
In January, Slingshot wrote a blog predicting that – amongst other things – CSR Partnerships will play a bigger part in the sponsorship industry for 2019. This was highlighted by Sky pulling their sponsorship of Team Sky in favour of increasing their efforts with Sky Ocean Rescue. It was widely speculated that Sky made this decision to target a younger demographic: millennial and gen Z purchase intention is influenced by brand’s philanthropy and purpose more than any other generation.
Beyond purchase intention sponsorship can be a tool to make real change, whether that be on an organisational level, or worldwide. Not only that, CSR partnerships provide a whole host of other benefits. Below Slingshot breaks down 3 key benefits of cause related sponsorship, and how they can be achieved.
CSR Initiatives provide an excellent platform for employee engagement. Whether it be cleaning beaches, building schools in underprivileged countries or caring for abandoned animals. Through sponsorship of charities, companies benefit by not only decreasing the time and resource they’d have to dedicate by creating their own initiative but also by increasing employee satisfaction through allowing employees to volunteer, fundraise and support initiatives that have meaning.
What better way of communicating that your company has a cause than sharing it with clients? Being able to host clients, or potential clients at events like Sport Relief is a huge advantage over competitors with run-of-the-mill corporate hospitality programs, particularly as corporate transparency and CSR has been shown to encourage loyal and trusting client relationships.
Most brands have CSR, whether those initiatives be: plastic pollution, reduction in carbon emissions or commitment to equality there will be the perfect platform or charity to align with to amplify impact. Sky Ocean Rescue, their own initiative to prevent ocean-plastic pollution, teamed up with Project 0 a global marine charity for the #PassOnPlastic campaign to produce co-branded merchandise through Project 0’s ambassador network. As previously mentioned, charity partnerships can provide fantastic PR and marketing footprints for brands. In this case: Sky got access to numerous celebrity ambassadors who are usually near-impossible to reach and in return Project 0 received 25% of all proceeds from the merchandise sales, to go towards their goal of putting 30% of the world’s oceans under protection by 2030. A win-win.
Climate change and consumers are causing companies to re-think how the produce, distribute and use their goods, and sustainability has become a driver for innovation. Levi’s make jeans that use up to 96% less water in the manufacturing process and Adidas have started to make trainers from recycled plastic. Here’s the kicker: both products came from cause related partnerships driven by consumers. By forming strategic partnerships with not-for-profits, corporation can produce new products that not only save the planet but save their profit margin too. Imagine the money Levi’s are saving on their water bill!
Cause-related partnerships – if maximized – are a fantastic strategic tool for solving supply and manufacturing issues, saving money, raising money, and for reaping a whole host of promotional benefits along the way. They make good business sense; It’s just an added bonus that partnerships can be used in corporate communications and marketing to make consumers engage more. On a more sombre note: corporations are often the cause of environmental and social issues, such as fast fashion with child labour and carbon emissions and Oil corporations for most environmental issues. Therefore, these corporations should be investing in cause related partnerships, to help mitigate the negative effects they are having on the earth.