Sponsorship can often be overlooked or dismissed but it can, and should, be a key part of your marketing strategy. Sponsorships help your business increase its credibility, improve its public image, and build prestige. Like any form of marketing, it should be used strategically as a way to reach your target customers.
Generally speaking there are two categories of events that seek sponsorship support, so they can offer more exciting programs, expand their marketing reach, and to help cover costs -they include:
· Business, major sport or industry events such as trade shows, charity events, or business functions offer promotional opportunities such as sponsorships of press rooms, an international lounge, a speaker or VIP room, an awards reception, educational programs, banners, badge holders, audio-visual equipment, display computers, shuttle buses, tote bags, or other branded goodies.
· Local community events such as sports teams or charity drives offer hyper local chances for your branding and products, allowing you to reach a specific local audience. For example, fewer people will see your logo on the backs of the local footy team jerseys than at a national trade show. However, if your customers are local and have kids on the footy team, that's the best place to be seen by your ideal audience – it’s a cost effective investment.
Whether you’re a small business or a global brand, here are five good reasons why event sponsorship should be a key component of your annual marketing strategy and budget.
1. Brand awareness
Obviously sponsors should receive brand recognition at the event itself, but don’t forget that the majority of brand exposure happens beforehand – as the event is being marketed in both traditional and social media. If you sponsor a local event or industry trade show, you can also capitalise on the media presence of that event by offering giveaways and ensuring your branding is included. Media coverage often includes the names of sponsors, especially if your logo is tied to the name or branding or naming of the event. This positive publicity increases the visibility of your brand, products and services.
Unlike traditional methods of advertising, which are relatively one sided, sponsorship gives you some face time with your audience - the ability to have a two-way conversation. This presents an opportunity to humanise your brand while networking with customers.
3. Cultivate credibility
This is a great opportunity for brands to build trust and establish rapport with customers, and even change the way their brand is perceived by existing and potential customers. For maximum impact, associate your brand with another established and well-respected brand hosting an event that aligns with the values of your organisation. Sponsoring local sports teams, charity campaigns, or public organisations like museums or libraries place you in the position of a corporation with a conscience. Customers are more likely to perceive you as contributing to their community, which creates goodwill and positive associations with your brand.
4. Increase your reach
Strategic sponsorship encourages word-of-mouth marketing. Ideally, people who attend an event that you sponsor will have a positive interaction with your brand and continue to talk about your service or product. If your company's name is on the event's promotional materials, including emails and advertisements, you have an additional opportunity to reach more customers.
5. Generate sales
Capitalise on the position and respect associated with sponsorship to showcase yourself, your brand or your product. Don't push too hard on sales - network for the future. Be knowledgeable and helpful while providing a way for interested customers to sign up to learn more about your business. If you can, offer something for free in exchange for their contact information.
To maximise your return, don’t leave it to the event organisers to promote your business and products. Profiler PR has consultants who are experts in helping organisations and individuals identify, negotiate leverage their sponsorship opportunities.
Contact us today for more information on sponsorships for growth at firstname.lastname@example.org
ALERT: We are currently seeking sponsors for the historic Oakbank Racing Club which reaches a national audience with its iconic events – if you are keen for a chat about how a sponsorship could work for you please get in touch.