It may seem obvious but in an ever more competitive market, properties are under mounting pressures to gain revenues from sponsorship, and the task gets even harder during sluggish economic times. As it is true for the consumer market, attracting new business is a much costlier endeavor than retaining existing partners. That is why your sponsors are your greatest assets. I am a firm believer in the concept of shared value. Properties and sponsors might not always agree, but they do have common goals that can create added value for both partners once reached.
What are the things both partners value?
Besides the revenue gained from a sponsorship deal, properties will also seek objectives of their own like visibility, ticket sales, brand image and networking opportunities, to name a few. Sponsors will sign a sponsorship deal for various reasons like visibility, awareness, affinity with the target audience, brand image, sales or to mobilize their employees, for example.
It is a well-documented fact that sponsorship activation is a prerequisite for a sponsor to achieve its communication goals. Properties will largely benefit from a sponsor’s activation program, in various ways. It will generate both visibility and awareness: a great way of catching the interest a potential sponsor. Depending on the property’s industry, such publicity will also help in selling tickets or generating increased traffic.
Sponsorship can also be regarded as a co-branding enterprise. Managers must be aware that the influence on the brand is not one-way. The image of the sponsor will affect, positively or negatively the image of the property. In such, careful planning must be put forward when managing the sponsorship portfolio, which is like managing a super-brand through sponsorship. By efficiently doing so, properties can effectively enhance their image and thus their desirability in the market.
The power of the network
Properties can become a networking platform to have their sponsors interact and create business opportunities. The benefits might not be obvious in the short term, but having sponsors generating sales through a sponsorship alliance will have a positive influence on the sponsor’s trust and commitment. A property taking the role of a consulting service, efficiently helping its sponsors reach their marketing goals, will increase the sponsor’s renewal intentions and even increase investments. Injecting time and effort into your relationship with sponsors will ensure that it fructifies to yield a better return, more so than a purely money-based business deal.