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Corporate sponsorship is a form of advertising in which companies pay to be associated with certain events. Sponsorship allows you to reach specifically targeted niche markets without any waste. Events allow business owners or executives relate directly with their customers, while they give customers the opportunity to try out the products of a company firsthand. The mere act of sponsoring an event, especially an exclusive sponsorship, is a significant way to create competitor differentiation.
Corporate sponsors seem to be everywhere in today's world. Sponsorship is the fastest growing form of marketing in the U.S. Why is corporate sponsorship so prevalent? Quite simply, it makes money. Done correctly, it can make a lot of money and build important relationships.
Corporate sponsorship is a form of advertising in which companies pay to be associated with certain events.
Sponsorship allows you to reach specifically targeted niche markets without any waste. In addition, it is a powerful complement to other marketing programs, in addition to having a dramatic influence on customer relations.
Sponsorships can enhance a company's image and visibility, differentiate the company from competitors and help develop closer relationships with current and prospective customers. It can also showcase the company’s products and services.
Event sponsorship, in particular, is an attractive option because it provides a business with access to various audiences, including employees, business decision makers, and government regulators as well as consumers.
Many marketers feel that corporate sponsorship is superior to other methods because it allows for an immediate customer response to new product offerings. Events provide business managers with an opportunity to come face-to-face with their customers.
A company can benefit in many ways from sponsorship:
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.
Sponsorship geared to driving sales can be an extremely potent promotional tool. This objective allows sponsors to showcase their product attributes. Food and beverage companies often use sponsorship to encourage samplings and sales.
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.
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.
Create, Develop and Enhance Credibility
Companies in general have few opportunities to build trust and establish rapport with their customers and prospects. Getting involved with an event and being seen as dependable and supportive will accelerate the process. Attending an event is important but standing out in the crowd by being a sponsor will highlight you and your business with a captive audience.
Highly Targeted Marketing
Events will have a certain mix of people that are in attendance. The event organizer is responsible for creating the audience and will have a goal to bring together the right crowd that will benefit from their program. Make sure to ask who their typical audience is and determine if they will be specifically targeted to your prospects.
Leveraged Lead Generation
The majority of people who attend an event will most likely know others with similar interests. Remember, not only will you be in front of them but may have a chance to be recommended to their connections as well.
All events have their own marketing efforts to make sure the event is well attend and generally successful. When sponsors decide to be involved, they will automatically get the benefit of being promoted throughout the process. Some events have local media support while others may offer national campaigns. This could provide extended exposure and visibility in markets they have not tapped into yet.
Brand Awareness & Recognition
Logo placement in a variety of places such as flyers, direct mail, brochures, websites, email marketing campaigns, tickets, signage, etc. will add to increase brand awareness. Being recognized as a sponsor will communicate value and support with the audience at the event.
Generate NEW Sales & Form NEW Business Partnerships
Most events will have tables available to display products or encourage people to buy on site. Consider providing a limited quantity or special discount if purchased at the event offer. Create NEW professional relationships with other sponsors, vendors, speakers and attendees.
Community Involvement and Giving Back
Larger, more established corporations that get involved with local events will be sending a message to the attendees that they are genuinely interested in providing support. Companies that show generosity for a cause will spark more human interest and appeal to the audience.
Distribute Samples or Trial Offers
Whether a company has been around for years or just starting, bringing samples to an event is a great way to “test market” before investing in a major marketing campaign.
Access to Mailing Lists, Distribution Channels, Broadcast Opportunities. Acquiring a list of attendees may prove to be the most valuable asset available to a sponsor. If the event organizer is unable to provide the contact list for privacy reasons, it is perfectly acceptable for them to send out your marketing message on your behalf. Before committing to becoming a sponsor, make sure you evaluate where they plan on promoting their event. With today’s advancements in social media, it’s important to know what type of online presence the event has.
Tax Deduction & Write Off
Some events will be in the non-profit sector which would make a portion of the sponsorship a charitable donation. For profit events will allow companies to claim the sponsorship as advertising if enough marketing is offered in exchange. Consult with a tax consultant before making any contributions.
A growing number of marketers think that corporate sponsorship is better than other methods as it provides opportunities to gauge customer response to products immediately. Events allow business owners or executives relate directly with their customers, while they give customers the opportunity to try out the products of a company firsthand.
If you are interested in or have been approached to sponsor an event and in need of a consultation to maximize your return on investment please give us a call at 561-899-9310.