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Chapter 4 Sponsorship and Cause-Related Event Marketing

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Turner Morris

on 9 December 2014

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Transcript of Chapter 4 Sponsorship and Cause-Related Event Marketing

Understanding the Perspective of the Event Sponsor
There has been significant growth in expenditure on sponsorships, a reflection of the ever-present need for differentiation in increasingly competitive markets. Sponsorship involves investment in an event in order to provide the sponsor with the exposure to the benefits of the event. Events all project an image as brands in themselves, and it is this image that sponsors seek to capitalize upon. If an event marketer is to successfully attract sponsors in a competitive market, he or she must be aware of the image factors that his or her event possesses in order to be able to sell that image to potential sponsors. Moreover, the event marketer needs to be aware of the multiple uses to which an event can be put for a sponsoring organization, an aspect of sponsorship that will be discussed in the following section on event practicalities.
Chapter 4 Sponsorship and Cause-Related Event Marketing
Stressing Mutual Interest
Event planners will represent a different organizational culture than the sponsoring organization and therefore it is all the more necessary to find a common appreciation of what the event represents to each; this is most readily done by focusing on what the event means to the attendees.
Coca-Cola sponsors major soccer events such as the World Cup and European Championship. The brand continues to invest in sports, notably soccer, at the top end and grassroots level. The United States aside, soccer is a major global phenomenon. The brand considers itself not so much a sponsor but a partner. This is a telling perspective, as partners tend to have mutual interest and some equity in authority.
"What You Will Learn In This Chapter"

• Comprehend the strategic nature of commercial sponsorship within event marketing and its overall income-generation strategy for event properties and their sponsors,
• Carefully and strategically integrate commercial sponsorship within the event marketing mix and understand its important and critical role,
• Establish effective practices for managing sponsorships to promote retention,
• Overcome the objections of commercial sponsors,
• Measure and evaluate commercial sponsorship benefits and features, and
• Link causes to commercial organizations through planned events for mutual benefit.

Key Note:
The event marketer needs to have a strong understanding of both brands to be able to identify and emphasize the match
Organizations and brand owners see sponsorship as another branding opportunity, another way of adding value to the brand, and it has become a strategic aspect of maximizing the sponsor’s marketing impact. In many instances, organizations see sponsorship as being central to their endeavors to position themselves or their brands in the minds of consumers and to gain a competitive advantage over their competitors.


1. Learn what prospective sponsors need from their sponsorship investment.
2. Understand the role of sponsorship within a prospective sponsor’s marketing mix.
3. Develop a range of sponsorship packages for different sponsor requirements.
4. Reflect upon what your event means, or could mean, to a range of consumer types as applied to potential sponsors.
5. Analyze the commercial or reputational needs of potential sponsors and market your event to them accordingly.

Event Sponsorship Practicalities
Event sponsorship provides the opportunity for a brand name or logo to be visible in a location so as to be visible to an anticipated audience. This may be in a location only or may involve media opportunities, such as sports celebrities wearing sponsors’ logos on their kit.
It would be standard practice to display brand names or logos on event signs, buildings, equipment, programs, uniforms, and/or promotional materials. Target markets for brand owners are to be found at events, or viewing events either on broadcast media or through online sharing, and event sponsorship is a way to reach such an audience.
An event can be viewed as a method of generating store traffic. An event sponsor is able to use proceedings as an opportunity to offer special deals to both customers and retailers. There is therefore a sales promotion aspect to the sponsoring of events, which would of course operate within the context of a wider marketing program.
a major sponsored event attracts large numbers of members of the distribution network for jewelry. It is not entirely clear why a nationalized British news service chooses to sponsor this event; perhaps they use it as an entertainment venue.

Event sponsorship provides organizations with a venue to entertain clients, suppliers, and distributors. This aspect of trade marketing can be very attractive to organizations that seek to present themselves with a modicum of cachet. Consider the extent to which sporting events are sponsored so that organizations may use them for entertainment
Events can be of great interest to the media, as they provide one of the few opportunities for the reportage of good news and happy people, the subsequent PR opportunities being of great interest to sponsors. Interesting events are simply going to be intrinsically attractive to media professionals in the interests of getting an easy story and having a good time.
Events can be of great interest to the media, as they provide one of the few opportunities for the reportage of good news and happy people, the subsequent PR opportunities being of great interest to sponsors. Interesting events are simply going to be intrinsically attractive to media professionals in the interests of getting an easy story and having a good time.
It is possible to use an event as a theme for consumer contests or competitions. Such sponsorship is essentially a cover for information gathering, an aspect of a customer acquisition program. Similarly, event sponsorship may enable the sponsor to conduct marketing research upon a specific market segment as represented by attendees. Given the highly targeted nature of many events, this is a useful selling point in gaining event sponsorship.

Event sponsorship can represent a strategy to benefit employees (i.e., as a morale builder, a production incentive, or an entertainment vehicle).
Event Sponsorship Practicalities
The extent to which companies want their employees to be exposed to enjoyment and excitement will vary from company to company, as the conservative organization may view this as unwarranted frivolity, so a measure of circumspect targeting is necessary to match what an event has to offer to what different organizations are prepared to offer their workforce.
Event sponsorship can be thought of as a way to market to other businesses. An electrical goods manufacturer could sponsor a tech event in an attractive location in order to market to the retail trade. Similarly, sponsors can reach top executives in other companies 9596as a result of event sponsorship for whatever organizational purpose, even to the extent of considering an event as something that could enhance their recruiting efforts.
Many of the objectives listed above fall within the four major marketing/marketing communication vehicles: sales (e.g., client entertainment, sampling and couponing, demonstrations and displays, on-site sales, mailing lists, business-to-business contacts), promotion (e.g., promotional tie-ins, product usage, contests), advertising (e.g.,corporate identification, target marketing, awareness, image, athlete and celebrity tie-ins), and public relations. Sponsorship money to achieve these objectives would most likely come from a company’s marketing or marketing communication budget. Other objectives (e.g., employee incentives, community relationships, reaching other executives, enhancing recruiting, increasing consumer involvement) are goodwill measures. Sponsorship money to achieve these objectives might come from a company’s human resources, community relationship, or philanthropic budget. They all, however, fall squarely within the remit of the event marketer, whose role is to maximize the value of the event by looking to emphasize the number of ways in which event sponsorship can prove beneficial to the sponsor.
Sponsorship in a Communications Context
Often sponsorship is present to augment advertising and is frequently included in the content of advertising. An advertisement for a brand of watch, for instance, would always include reference to the sponsorship if it were the official sponsor of the Olympic Games. To that extent, sponsorship can be viewed as an aspect of integrated marketing communications.
When a sponsoring organization fails to integrate a sponsorship within a wider communications mix, the benefits of the sponsorship are weakened. The event marketer should be well grounded in this and should actively promote the use of advertising, public relations, point of sale, and other promotional activities to maximize the benefit of the sponsorship.
An event marketer is therefore optimally operating as a sponsorship consultant to prospective sponsors, with a confident grasp of how the investment can be best supported to the benefit of the sponsor organization. Such a professional approach will act as a point of differentiation from other event organizers and will therefore make the sponsorship of the event marketer’s event a more attractive and commercially astute proposition. The sponsorship should thus be sold as an integrated package, and the event marketer should be perceived as an expert in the maximization of event benefit.
Synergy Between Sponsor and Event
We need to think carefully about the idea of there being sympathy between the sponsoring organization or brand and the event being sponsored, particularly when we consider major international events. It is important to stress this point with clarity. Major sponsors of the London 2012 Olympic Games, for example, represent the soft drinks, confectionary, and fast-food industries; airlines and car manufacturers; oil companies and financial institutions.
Identifying Potential Sponsors
Before you begin to identify potential sponsors that would be a fit for your event and marketing strategy, remember that sponsorship is neither benevolence nor philanthropy. While you can have both sponsorship and philanthropy (donors), to support the revenue side of your budget, each is a very distinct organization. While philanthropic gifts are given out of a sense of altruism, sponsors are looking for a return on their investment. That return is not entirely linked to immediate financial return, particularly when big 100101brands and organizations are involved, but also linked to the image factors to be gained by association.
When selling sponsorship opportunities, be aware of the idea of return on investment that is in the mind of the potential sponsor, as an inappropriate approach will not correspond with their expectation of involvement with the event. It is important to distinguish the type of return the sponsor has in mind, as it will help in identifying potential sponsors. This may be immediately financial, or it may be image improvement, or it may be to access new markets or to gain media coverage
Once you have decided on the type of sponsor, or, more likely, the combination of sponsors, you can begin your research into organizations that are interested in sponsorships and are a match with the audience and type of event you are producing. When you begin to brainstorm for potential sponsors, you must be aware that sponsors are everywhere; they are not located just among the large multinational corporations but also can be found in small and medium-sized enterprises. Do not eliminate sponsors from your list because you think they are too small
If you estimate that a potential sponsor wants, and expects, a quantifiable return on the money it has invested in your event, the event producer needs this information to enhance your ability to attract sponsorships in the future. There are three broad methods to evaluate the return on investment (ROI) for the sponsor:

• Measuring awareness levels achieved or attitudes changed about the sponsor’s products or services
• Measuring increase in sales of sponsor’s products or services
• Comparing sponsor-driven media coverage to the cost of equivalent advertising
Identifying Potential Sponsors
In the first two methods, the sponsor must follow certain requirements. To measure awareness levels or attitudes changed, the sponsor needs to have a pre-sponsor level of awareness or consumer attitude about the sponsoring corporation and its goods or services. The sponsor also needs to maintain the current level of marketing of its goods or services so that it doesn’t influence the outcome of the ROI. Finally, the sponsor must decide which objectives it wishes to measure–such as increase in sales, increase in brand awareness, and consumer attitude change–and should attempt to track only one variable at a time.
Impact Measurement
The sponsor has to have a pre-event level of branding to compare to the level of awareness both during and after the event. This type of measurement is typically used for sponsors with a long-term commitment to the event and is done over several event cycles. The sponsor needs to have defined goals as to the amount or percentage increase that it desires in brand awareness or attitude toward the brand. There are many choices on which a sponsor may focus in measuring sales, beyond the obvious of increasing the sales of its goods or services to the consumer.
Some of the methods that the sponsor can utilize to measure these types of increases in sales are as follows: comparing sales for a specific time around the event to previous years, comparing sales in the geographic area of the event to national averages in similar markets, analyzing proof-of-purchase promotions (discount tickets with proof of purchase or discount purchase with ticket/coupon), and tracking increases in distributors before and during the event. Finally, the sponsor can measure the amount of media coverage that the event generates. By tracking the amount of time the event has exposure on radio and television as well as column inches in print media, the sponsor can assign a value to this exposure in comparison to what the price of this exposure would have been to buy outright.
Practical Sponsor Incentivization
Besides the return on investment, event sponsors look for other incentives that will increase their exposure at events and help with their overall marketing strategy. Some very effective incentives include media buys, cross-promotions, hospitality events, and product samples. Consumer research media buys allow sponsors to buy advertising to promote their affiliation with the event and any sales promotions that are running in conjunction with the event.
An even greater incentive to the sponsor would be for the organization to buy a block of time and resell it to the sponsor at a discounted price. Cross-promotional opportunities allow sponsors to work together to market to niche or lifestyle markets. An example of this type of promotion would be a sporting goods company and a sports drink company combining their efforts; with proof of purchase from the sporting goods company, the consumer would receive a coupon for a free sports drink.
The creative marketer will look for these types of opportunities while doing research to increase his or her sponsorship potential. Hospitality opportunities are probably the largest incentive for potential sponsors. The opportunity to entertain either client or staff allows the sponsor the chance to increase market share in existing markets, build new relationships, or thank employees and distributors. These types of activities can run the entire range, including a private hospitality tent, cocktail party, VIP seating, parking passes, or special valet parking.
Any activity that is special to the sponsors and makes the event more enjoyable for them and their guests is an added incentive. The ability of a corporation to utilize your event for passing out product samples, whether an existing product or a new product rollout, is a value-added incentive. Along with consumer research, it allows the corporation direct contact with the consumer. It can also help establish a new consumer database through information gathered as a result of on-site surveys.
In-Kind Sponsorship
An area of event sponsorship that is sometimes overlooked is that of nonfinancial sponsors, or in-kind sponsors. This amounts to a variety of barter, and this type of sponsorship is particularly appealing to new or small businesses and applicable to small and medium-sized events. If it is not possible to secure sufficient capital sponsorship, the event can provide the opportunity for showcasing services and talent that is to the mutual benefit of the event and the sponsor.
Cause-Related Event Marketing
There are two ways to consider cause-related events. In the first instance, the event organizers choose a cause to attach to their event. The cause is therefore being utilized to support an event. When consumers can see the need for help in relation to a good cause, they are more likely to respond positively to a cause-related event. The causes that are more widely publicized are therefore more likely to be recognized as representing a genuine need and held to produce valuable and important assistance as regarded by particular market segments.
Subsequently, there are likely to be certain hot causes that will be more firmly lodged in the zeitgeist and that will have stronger consumer pulling power in that people will be motivated to lend their assistance to their important cause by attending the event, and perhaps by becoming more active through that involvement. Moreover, the professional sponsoring organization has selected certain causes to support as part of its integrated marketing communications strategy. You are looking to meet its expectations in terms of the causes being supported by the event.
What you will learn in this chapter
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