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    sports sponsorship

    Finding sponsors is tough, and it’s getting tougher. Brands (who are generally ‘the sponsor’) have a million places to spend their money in promoting their product or service. Advertising is always the first port of call and most of that is now digital, tied up in search and pay per click. The reason for this of course is that it’s directly measurable. Sponsorship, generally, is much less measurable and can take time for a brand to see the impact and ultimately the sales results.

    Selling sponsorship into a brand is therefore a much more difficult task that requires careful planning and consideration. Sport sponsorship has many benefits that online search on its own, for example, just doesn’t. An emotional connection with consumers, injecting excitement and energy into the brand (which might be in a very dull business category) creating talking points and building legacies are all sponsorship strengths. These intangibles need to be constructed and explained in a way that makes them priceless to a brand. Tangible assets e.g. digital content, branding etc are then added to provide the measurable bits. This combination can move sponsorship nearer to the top of the list of ‘places to spend our money’ for brands.

    This is, of course, a very simplified view of the challenges and benefits of sport sponsorship. It’s a complex sell-in but one that can bring great reward to the rights holder (the club, athlete, governing body) and the brand if put together correctly. It has to be a genuine partnership with a fair trade of assets, cash and value-in-kind.

    There are a number of steps you must going through to create and sell the most amazing sponsorship programme ever but the single most important factor of all is as follows…….

    Think like a brand

    A brand is there to sell its product or service. Chances are it has nothing whatsoever to do with sport. The challenge is to create a credible story that intrinsically links the sporting asset and the brand like they are twins. Here is what you need to demonstrate….

    1. Why should they become a Partner?

    2. Brand awareness, image, sales and advocacy being uplifted

    3. Deep connections with a loyal, passionate audience

    4. Business development opportunities

    5. ViK, database marketing, business solutions

    6. Brand values match between you and them

    Three questions a brand will expect you to answer:

    • How can a partnership with you meet my brand and business objectives?
    • How can this be measured?
    • Why is it better than what I am doing currently?

    If you can demonstrate these six points and then answer the three questions you are way ahead of the pack in finding a sponsor and success is just a negotiation away.


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