Brand sponsorship is a marketing strategy in which a brand is supporting an event, activity, person or organization. Everywhere we go we can witness sponsorship investments: music festival, football games, beneficial events and so on. Sponsorship allows big, medium and small brands to partner with other companies as well as event agencies in order to generate a relationship that aims to economically gratify both the sponsor and the sponsee.
Well-known scenario is when a global brand (let’s think at Coca-Cola) spend a lot of money to become official sponsor of the World-Cup. What are the benefits coming from this investment?
- Increase brand awareness/visibility: Whether you are a newborn brand or a well-established company, sponsoring is an activity that can help you gain awareness or increase your visibility addressing a broader target.
- Increase your sales/acquire customers: This is the ultimate goal for every business. Getting to the top of the mind of new or existing customers not only increase awareness but can also directly drive sales, according to how the sponsorship is coherent with your marketing plan.
- Gain publicity: Can you imagine a startup that get to be the sponsor of an important event or sport club? Seems like a natural consequence that media will talk about this. Furthermore, people will share news on social networks. As a result, you can gain good exposure – all this for free!
- Differentiate from the competition: If you find yourself in a very competitive and profit-shrinking market, being the sponsor of a big event or organization can give you the chance to stand out as a leader in your field
- Increase brand loyalty/premium prices: True especially for sport sponsorship. In fact, it is statistically proven that, for example, fans of a particular team are more willing to buy from the sponsor than from its competitors. This leads to brand loyalty, which leads itself to customers being less sensitive to premium prices
- Increase your CSR reputation/brand image: Finally, sponsoring a charitable event or a foundation can enhance your brand image as a caring company. As a result you will be able to witness a profit increase on the long term.
A sponsor can enjoy a wide range of benefits from a carefully selected sponsorship, which can:-
- Raise brand awareness and create preference
- Create positive PR and raise awareness of the organization as a whole
- Provide attractive content for a range of products and services
- Build brand positioning through associative imagery
- Support a sales promotion campaign
- Create internal emotional commitment to the brand
- Act as corporate hospitality that promotes good relations with clients.
Before sponsoring an activity, the sponsor must feel sure that the event/organization will be successful; has a proven track record, good prospects and generally be aligned with the sponsor’s brand and business objectives. Sports sponsorship is the most common and can range from international to regional and local events.