Major Sponsorship Decisions

Making sponsorships successful requires choosing the appropriate events, designing the optimal sponsorship program, and measuring the effects of sponsorship.

  • • Choosing event opportunities. The event must meet the brand’s marketing objectives and communication strategy, match the target market, have sufficient awareness and favorable attributions, possess the desired image, and be able to create the desired effects. An ideal event also is unique but not encumbered with many sponsors, lends itself to ancillary marketing activities, and reflects or enhances the sponsor’s brand or corporate image.27
  • • Designing sponsorship programs. Many marketers believe the marketing program accompanying an event sponsorship ultimately determines its success. At least two to three times the amount of the sponsorship expenditure should be spent on related marketing activities. Event creation is a particularly important skill in publicizing fund-raising drives for nonprofit organizations.
  • • Measuring sponsorship activities. The supply-side method for measuring an event’s success assesses media coverage; for example, the number of seconds the brand is clearly visible on a television screen. The demand-side method identifies the sponsorship’s effect on consumers’ brand knowledge. Although supply-side methods provide quantifiable measures, equating media coverage with advertising exposure ignores the content of the respective communications.

Creating Experiences

A large part of local, grassroots marketing is experiential marketing, which not only communicates features and benefits but also connects a product or service with unique and interesting experiences. Consumers seem to appreciate that effort. In one survey, four of five respondents found participating in a live event was more engaging than all other forms of communication. The vast majority also felt experiential marketing gave them more information than other forms of communication and would make them more likely to tell others about the experience and be receptive to other marketing for the brand.28

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