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Which marketing channels are right for your business? Sponsorship

Which marketing channels are right for your business? Sponsorship
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Which marketing channels are right for your business? Sponsorship
Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications by Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications
Owner/Director - Sharp Minds Communications Ltd

Promoting your company’s product or service is no light task. There are dozens of potential channels, but there is no single perfect marketing strategy. Tools that help in disseminating commercial information to the public are not fool-proof – and sponsorship is no exception.  Our guide will help you decide if it’s right for you, and how you can optimise your return on investment.

Although some companies sponsor local groups, clubs, individuals and events year-in, year-out, corporate sponsorship has both pros and cons. You need to consider these before you decide whether it should be part of your marketing strategy. 

Advantages of sponsorship  

The benefits of sponsorship for those on the receiving end are probably obvious, but there are equally many benefits for the organisations that back them: 

  • Brand awareness: The most obvious goal of sponsorship is that you get your organisation’s name out to wider or new audience. 
  • Generating product and/or service awareness : Sponsorship provides a direct way for sponsors to relate with their consumers by actively supporting the organisations and individuals that they know their target consumers are engaged with. For example, athletes sponsored by major companies directly make the consumers (their fans) aware of the company by wearing branded clothing and using branded equipment. 
  • Positive brand associations : Sponsorship gives an organisation a visible public relationship with the individual, event, or organization they are supporting. This in turn helps create appeal to the sponsor’s target audience, offering them a positive perception of the company name. 
  • Building goodwill : Sponsorship gets a general thumbs up from consumers because the brand is seen to be using its corporate power for good, reinforcing the positive brand associations. 
  • Creating exclusivity : If you are able to secure an exclusive sponsorship contract, such as that between Roger Federer and Nike, your brand can reinforce its desirability through being the only organisation with that association. 

Disadvantages  

Alongside the advantages, there are also cons to consider. These are most common sponsorship disadvantages: 

  • Development of controversies leading to negative attitudes : Controversies that damage the brand of an athlete, club or event can similarly damage the reputation of those who have backed them. 
  • Absence of standardization: There is no blue print for what a sponsor has to offer, and what the group of individual they are backing needs to offer in return. You will need to negotiate a contract that supports the needs of both parties on a case-by-case basis.  
  • Can be time consuming : The need to find a suitable organisation, event or individual to sponsor, develop initial relationships with them, negotiate a mutually beneficial relationship and nurture this throughout the course of the contract can make sponsorship a more time-consuming form of marketing than other quick wins, such as placing an advert. 

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