What is Sponsorship?
Sponsorship is a business relationship between a provider of funds, resources or services and an individual, event or organization which offers in return some rights and associations that may be used for commercial advantage.
Sponsorship allows a business to demonstrate its affiliation to the individual, event, or the organization that it has chosen to associate with. The patrons or enthusiasts of the sport, event, organization, or the individual that the business is sponsoring should be current or prospective customers of the business, and they should feel grateful to the business for helping out their favorite individual, event, sport or organization.
The idea of sponsorship is to develop strong relationships between the business and its customers due to their common ties with the sponsored individual, event, sport, or the organization.
Objectives of Sponsorship
Sponsorship provides an opportunity to create publicity in the news media. Worldwide events such as major golf, football, tennis tournaments supply the platform for global media coverage. Millions of people watch these events. Sponsorship of such events can provide brand exposure to millions of people. Some events such as golf have a more upmarket profile. The publicity opportunities of sponsorship can produce major awareness shifts.
Sponsorship can create entertainment opportunities for customers. Sponsorship of music, the performing arts, and sports events is particularly effective in this regard. Attendance at sponsored events can be used to reward successful employees, customers and trade partners.
Fostering Favorable Brand and Company Associations
Sponsoring a mega event like Olympics or Soccer World Cup ensures almost instant international recognition. There is a huge amount of prestige associated with sponsoring such big events and the sponsoring companies’ credibility soars up. They are considered as big as the events they are sponsoring as it is known that big money is involved in sponsorship deals of such events. A company advances to the big league as soon as it associates with a mega event.
But a company can also foster favorable brand associations by sponsoring special events like some arts or some charities. The patrons of the events will start viewing the sponsoring company favorably.
Improving Community Relations
Sponsoring an event or an organization which will help the community where the event is being organized or where the organization functions is always a good idea. Sponsorship of schools, for instance, by providing low cost computers and supporting community programs, can foster a socially responsible, caring reputation for a company.
Developing community relations is the most usual sponsorship objective for both industrial and consumer companies. There are usually many such opportunities to help a community. Two or more companies can join hands to sponsor a program beneficial to the community where they are based.
Creating Promotional Expenditure
Bags, pens etc. carrying the company logo and the name of the event can be sold to a captive audience. Flags and banners bearing the name of the company and the event can be displayed at the site of the event and outside to boast of the association. This is especially important when there are many companies sponsoring the event. It is important that the company takes leverage of the association between itself and the event by promoting the association aggressively. Where the brand can be consumed during the event, it provides an
opportunity for customers to sample brands.
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