Five things every sponsor wants

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Sponsorship is not a commodity that can be bought and sold. It's simply not a case of more is better yet so many people think this is how it works. I've encountered a number of organisations who think the more logos across marketing collateral and the more tickets to hospitality events, the stronger the sponsorship opportunity.

The truth is far from it.

When sponsorship is treated as a commodity, it shows a distinct lack of thought or creativity. If you view sponsorship as a case of one size fits all then it's not going to produce a worthwhile outcome. You're doing the motions for motions-sake and what's the point of that?

At a time where the only way forward it to stand out from the crowd, the more individualised the partnership the better the chance it has of being well received by your target market. After all, isn't the end game to reach out and touch your audience in positive and lasting ways?

Here's five things every sponsor looks for today:

  • 1.Cross-promotion
  • What you want to create is opportunities that allow the sponsor to propagate and promote their sponsorship across a number of channels. Good sponsorship managers know that sponsorships create relevancy and the more channels you can utilise to promote your relevancy to your target market, the greater the engagement.

  • 2.Content creation
  • With brands now owning their own media platforms, the need for content is greater than ever. What sponsorship gives is a story to tell that allows a brand to generate interest and intrigue. This is especially important for service related industries that would otherwise find it difficult to promote their products or services through story-telling. Content creation can be a fulfilling and creative process. Step outside of being just an administrator and start working in the sponsorship. Have fun with the content and chances are, so will your audience.
  • 3.Unique experiences
  • One of my clients, Bendigo Bank, sponsored World Environment Day recently and chose an activation that both drew attention to them but also created a unique experience for Festival goers. They set up a flower station where brightly coloured yellow geraniums (yes in their corporate colours) were re-potted by families who could then also decorate their pots with an assortment of paints and little stick-on objects. It's not just luxury experiences people enjoy but unique experiences. These can be created on shoestring budgets as long as they are executed well.
  • 4.Digital enhancements
  • The more digitally active the sponsorship-seeker the better. What assets could you make available to the sponsor to utilise? Are there videos, photos already in existence or can you work with the sponsor to generate new assets that can be shared across the range of social media platforms and web? Better still, is there anything else you can offer up for the sponsor to own and to share with the audience? If your event is a concert, can your audience choose the first song after intermission by popular vote online? What about giving your audience the choice of which charity receives the proceeds of the concert?
  • 5.Measurable outcomes
  • All sponsors need to be able to measure the outcome of their efforts. The best time to measure your outcomes is prior to the sponsorship commencing. You might think I'm crazy for saying this but if you go into a sponsorship knowing exactly what you want to get out of it, then chances are you're more likely to succeed. Every sponsor wants to measure different things. Some will want to measure via hashtag campaigns they've instigated to run alongside a sponsorship while others will want to measure brand perception and will do this via a survey that is issued to the membership or event-attendees. Know what the ROO (return on objective) is for your sponsorship from the start and then you are in a much stronger position to make it reality.
  • Want to further assistance managing your sponsorships? Contact me at caroline@eventsponsors.com.au for more on sponsorship selection, strategy, measuring and management support.

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