How sponsorship achieves multiple objectives

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Last week we lost Muhammad Ali. For any of us wanting to make an impact in any way, it's important to reflect on one of his more popular quotes. That is: "Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth."

In the same way, sponsorship provides a platform like none other to be of service to others, to your community and for the greater good. Sponsorship goes well beyond other marketing channels in its ability to achieve multiple objectives for your company that deliver positive outcomes for community.

While the earliest days of sponsorship back in the 80s saw 90 per cent of funds go almost exclusively to sport, there is now a greater spread of sponsorship dollars across fields such as the arts, the environment and other cause-related categories. Clearly sports still dominates but marketers have since found new ways of communicating with their target market by establishing sponsorship relationships with a range of interest groups.

To follow are just some of the most common company objectives that can be reached through sponsorship:

Increase brand awareness

It goes without saying the greater the visibility of your brand, the more known your products or services will be. Sponsorship provides a range of opportunities to increase brand awareness through logo placement on advertising, signage opportunities on the ground and verbal acknowledgement to name just a few. While these are all fairly standard, I encourage you to think outside the square and be creative with your branding approach. Do something that actually means something or makes a difference to the enjoyment factor of the fans. Provide a child care service or a free water bottle refill station at a festival. These are the things that people remember long after the day of the event.

Increase brand loyalty
When you can reach the hearts of minds of your key target market you are creating a legion of loyal customers. Find out what your customer cares about and do something worthwhile to show you also care. When there's very little to differentiate products and services in the market, you've got to create a compelling reason for the shopper to choose your brand. When you tether your brand to something your customer cares about, you are building a story that generates long-term brand loyalty.

Creates healthy competition
The fact is, sponsorship can provide a competitive advantage that no other marketing channel can beat. Sponsorship can build awareness, increase sales and strip market share from competitors. Once you've decided which property is best to align your brand through one of your products or service it just takes a little bit of creativity to come up with the activation. It's why you see Jacob's Creek wine labels carrying the Australian Open logo on their bottles. They then promote this special range through their advertising platforms to their social communities and they've got a summer campaign that is difficult to beat.

Fulfils corporate social responsibility

Above all else, sponsorship enables companies to flex their corporate arm for the benefit of the community. It's almost non-negotiable these days that companies show social responsibility and consumers now expect that in return for their loyalty. Bendigo Bank is a great example of a company that returns profits to the community through its Community Bank® model. It is a requirement of the bank that they reinvest profits back into the local community through sponsorship of sporting clubs, the arts, service and community groups. In return, customers choose to bank with Bendigo Bank because they know it's a bank that has their best interests at heart.

Want to know more about how sponsorship can work for you and work for the community? Visit us at www.eventsponsors.com.au or via Facebook at www.facebook.com/eventsponsors for daily updates on sponsorship best practise, insights and opportunities.

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