What matters most to sponsors


In a world where the latest digital technologies, automation and personalisation techniques form the new frontier of marketing, it's increasingly important to not lose sight of what matters. While sponsorship has been around for a number of years, it's execution has been largely unsophisticated. With very little attention given to the what, where, when, why and how of sponsorship, results have been sketchy at best.

Now smart marketers are realising the untapped potential of sponsorship. This marketing channel provides a platform like no other when it comes to creative story-telling and amplification of your messaging across multiple channels. Now more than ever marketers need to stay focused on what matters and ask the big WHY before entering sponsorship agreements.

It's also helpful for sponsorship seekers to understand what a sponsor looks for in a sponsorship agreement. Unfortunately, there's still a great divide when it comes to what sponsorship seekers think sponsors want and what they actually do want. Unless objectives are clearly stated from the outset and both parties know and understand each other's desired outcome, this miscommunication remains the greatest barrier to sponsorship success.

So what matters most to savvy marketers when considering a new sponsorship proposal?

  • 1.Brand relevance
  • The pairing has got to make sense. It's all very well that a sponsorship seeker approaches a luxury car brand such as Audi looking for an association but if the organisation seeking sponsorship is a government agency that deals with youth unemployment, it may not provide great brand relevance. Both sponsorship seekers and sponsors need to make sure there's a brand fit and that the association is relevant to the consumer being targeted. Matching similar interests, likes, leisure pursuits and demographics is a great starting point.
  • 2.Timeframe
  • All sponsors need to know they can implement a successful sponsorship program given enough time to make it happen. The usual run-up for a sponsorship activation is three to six months, depending on the scale of the partnership. Anything inside this timeframe is not doing justice to the relationship and sponsorship seekers may find it very difficult to get the sponsor to return for another year.
  • 3.Resources
  • All sponsorships take time and effort to activate and usually considerable resources as well. When I am approached with sponsorship opportunities on behalf of my clients, I firstly need to consider what is being asked of the client and whether they have the available resources to deliver. While cash is king for many sponsorship seekers, it makes most sense for the sponsor to negotiate a deal in the currency they have most freely available. For a media partner, it's usually airtime and advertising space while finance partners may be better positioned to part with the cash.
  • 4.Results
  • All best practise sponsors start with the end in mind. What is the company's business objective and how does this sponsorship deliver on that objective? These questions need to be asked upfront so sponsors keep top of mind what matters most. The next step is to measure the outcomes of the sponsorship in order to assess and refine the process going forward. Sponsorship seekers need to be aware of what success looks like for the sponsor and deliver on that. After all, it's far easier to keep a current sponsor happy that to find new sponsors.
  • What do you look for in a sponsorship? Need help working this out? Let me know, I'd love to assist you with your sponsorship program. Email me at info@eventsponsors.com.au or phone 1300 366 306.

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