A quick quiz. Think of your own favorite sport — the one you try to watch most often. How many sponsors of that sport can you name?
Now, for each sponsor you can remember, ask yourself these questions:
- Apart from the fact that they sponsor this sport, what else do you know about them? Has the fact that they sponsored your favourite sport affected your view of them? Made you think of them more often? Kept their name and brand in your mind? Have you become “a raving fan” of their product(s)?
- If you’ve purchased a product or service in their product category in the last twelve months, did you choose their brand? If so, was it (at least in part) because of their sponsorship? If not, why not?
- Do they use the sponsorship as a means of interacting with you and/or keeping in touch?
In those three areas of questioning, we’ve pretty much encapsulated the core benefits that sponsors should be seeking from sponsorships:
- Brand & Product Awareness
- Direct Sales (or sales influence); or
- Customer Relationship building.
What Do Sponsors Want?
Research (the IEG/Performance Research Sponsorship Decision-Makers Survey), drawing from 165 sponsorship decision-makers around the world provides some interesting insights into sponsorship.
These are the key findings:
Which category do you expect your company to be more involved with this year?
- 41% of the respondents cited Sports
- 27% Causes
- 27% Community Events
- 23% Online sponsorship
- 16% Entertainment
- 12% The Arts
- 26% Entertainment
- 20% Online sponsorship
- 21% The Arts
- 15% Community Events
- 12% Sports
- 10% Causes
How do you typically go about selecting a property to sponsor?
- 75% set strategy and then sought the right property
- 73% were approached directly by property owners.
- 28% received details about a sponsorship property from a sales agency
- 13% consult a sponsorship specialist to determine strategy
What percentage of your marketing budget is spent on sponsorship?
- 43% – 1-10% of the budget
- 26% – 11-20%
- 15% – 21-30%
- 7% – 31-40%
- 7% – 41-50%
- 3% – 51-75% of the budget
On top of the rights fees paid for your sponsorship, what is the ratio as to how much more your company typically spends on leveraging and activation?
- 17% – less than 1 to 1
- 48% – 1 to 1
- 14% – 2 to 1
- 12% – 3 to 1
- 9% – 4 to 1 or more
During the past 12 months, which of the following marketing communication channels have you used to leverage your sponsorship programs?
- 90% social media
- 77% public relations
- 76% on-site interaction
- 71% traditional advertising
- 67% hospitality
- 66% digital/mobile promotions
- 65% internal communications
- 41% direct marketing
- 40% business to business
- 28% sales promotion offers
What do you consider the most valuable benefits to your organisation?
- 64% Category Exclusivity
- 54% On-Site Signage
- 45% Broadcast Ad opportunity
- 43% ID in property collateral materials
- 41% Title of Proprietary Area
- 39% Sponsor ID in Property’s Media Buy
- 38% presence on property website
- 36% Access to Property’s Database
- 31% right to use propertyy marks/logos
- 23% Access to Property-provided research
Which of the following do you typically analyze when making your sponsorship decision?
- 92% Demographics
- 82% Attendance
- 73% Fan passion/affinity
- 50% What your competition sponsors
- 49% Psychographics
- 49% Growth trends in property category
- 42% Interest in the property amongst trade/dealers
- 36% TV Ratings
The above data gives some useful insights if you’re planning to get involved in sponsorship. But (especially if you’re being constantly approached for sponsorship dollars) we reckon you need more. So we’ve come up with a tool to help you reach some useful and meaningful conclusions about prospective sponsorship proposals. We’ve even given it a snappy name:
Sponsorship Evaluation Checklist
We’ve put together a comprehensive 60-Step Checklist that leads you through the process of evaluating potential sponsors, whether for sports, arts, cause-related, online or community-interest properties.
Here’s a sampling of the issues you need to consider as part of any sponsorship assessment:
- Alignment of brand values: looking at the big picture, would being associated with this sponsorship send the right messages and make consumers more rabidly enthusiastic about your brand?
- Audience reach: even if the sponsorship property is a really good fit with your brand, does it reach enough people for the money?
- Sponsorship levels: will you be the top dog in this sponsorship, or at a lower (associate sponsor) level — and how does that impact on your ability to get noticed and leverage the sponsorship?
- Consumer profiling: what can the organisers tell you about the people who support this property (and how do they know)?
There’s a whole lot more, but for that you’ll need the Checklist.
The What Sponsors Want Report, plus the Sponsorship Evaluation Checklist (provided as a download in PDF format) is yours for just $77+GST. If you’re considering any sort of sponsorship, you you really should get this Checklist. Click on this link for instant ordering via PayPal.