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Sponsorship is the fastest growing form of marketing in the U.S.
Smallbusiness.chron.com suggest that “An advertisement and a sponsorship are often discussed as the same thing. However, a sponsorship is typically regarded as a stronger and deeper relationship than a simple advertising exchange of value. An advertisement is a singular message placement while sponsorship is an ongoing arrangement.” Sponsorship opportunities increase your company’s competitive edge by raising your credibility and fortifying your brand especially within events that attract your target market. Sponsorship not only offers significant opportunities for distinct marketing and competitive advantages but shows your company’s support for the event.
Sponsorship support is used to offer more exciting and better-planned events by helping offset rising costs. Sponsorship allows you to effectively and efficiently reach specifically targeted niche markets . In addition, it is a powerful complement to other marketing programs, in addition to having a dramatic influence on customer relations.
Top 5 Advantages of Sponsorship
Sponsorship offers the possibility of achieving several goals at once. According to Schmader and Jackson in their book, Special Events: Inside and Out, a company can benefit from sponsorship in many ways, such as:
Differentiating from competitors
The mere act of sponsoring an event, especially an exclusive sponsorship, is a significant way to create competitor differentiation. Your company name has the opportunity to stand out head and shoulders above the competition. This is particularly helpful if your company wants to combat a competitor with a larger ad budget. Sponsorship allows smaller companies to compete with their industry giants.
Target audiences often perceive sponsorship in a positive way. They see you as making a greater effort to support the event, often allowing more or better activities to take place as a result of your sponsorship.
Creating positive publicity/heightening visibility
Every sponsor is seeking wide exposure in both electronic and print media. Positive publicity helps create heightened visibility of products/services. Various media covering the event may include sponsors names and/or photos. In addition, the kind of media coverage a sponsor may get is often unaffordable if the company were to think of purchasing it, and if it were available. To maximize this objective, it is important for the sponsoring company to have a comprehensive media campaign to augment the regular media coverage promoted by the organizers. Sponsorship can often generate media coverage that might otherwise not have been available.
Enhancing Image/Shaping Consumer Attitudes
Often companies are looking to improve how they are perceived by their target audience. Sponsoring events that appeal to their market are likely to shape buying attitudes and help generate a positive reaction. Coca-Cola, for example is always looking to generate a positive influence of their products in the minds of their consumers and as such regularly support events they feel can influence consumer opinions.
Enhancing business, consumer and VIP relations
Sponsorship that offers hospitality opportunities is always very attractive to companies. Perks may include special exclusive networking settings such as VIP receptions or golf tournaments or opportunities to meet key customers and solidify business relationships. It is important to evaluate each opportunity and look for ways it could tie into your marketing objectives.
Helping with good “Corporate Citizen” role
Another powerful sponsorship objective allows companies to be viewed as a “good neighbor.” To be seen supporting the community and contributing to its economic development is extremely powerful and creates enormous goodwill.