Marketing Strategies: Event Sponsorships



Are sponsorships a part of what you consider when you do marketing for your business?

Frequently entrepreneurs and small business owners ask why companies use sports and event sponsorships to do marketing for their products and services. They are curious about both motivation and effectiveness.

When you are preparing to do marketing for your business, it is important to look around you to see what other people are doing – but perhaps not for the reasons that you think. Doing what others do may be exactly the wrong approach…

There are a variety of reasons why companies of various sizes do marketing through sponsoring sporting events and other types events (everything from celebrity gift bags to charity sponsorships), some of which are based in solid marketing practice and some of which are not.

For many years there have been a multitude of companies that believe that ‘brand awareness’ is essential to business success. While having brand awareness is certainly a huge plus, most businesses do not have the financial resources to build it on the level of a company like Coca-Cola or Nike. And, studies have shown that ‘brand awareness’ does not necessarily lead to sales, so if the goal of your marketing is to actually make sales, participating in things like sponsoring sporting events in the attempt to ‘put your logo in front of your customers’ may not be the best option when you are choosing the best strategies for you to do marketing for your business.

That being said, there are some specific psychological effects from the association with what can be seen as ‘celebrity’ or ‘good will’. Companies associating themselves with huge, successful sports teams are banking on that association effect, while small businesses, like a local dry cleaner that sponsors a local kids softball team, are banking on a good will effect. In some cases, being reminded of a brand will make us want to consume something they are offering, and in some cases it doesn’t. Without testing, there is no way to know if this method is effective for them or not. There is no way to tell, across the board, if it will always work – if it is something that you and your business are ready to invest in, make sure you develop a way to test the outcome.

The reason many companies choose to do marketing like this is because they see large corporations doing it, they see their competitors doing it and they think it is the ‘right’ way to get exposure. Most people who engage in it do not track the results and have no way of knowing if it pays off in sales, or even if it brings enough prospects into their marketing and sales systems to have it pay off over the long term. Bottom line? Do some research, ask people who have participated the event or sponsorship you are considering, and, if you decide to participate, make sure you develop a way to test and track the process so you know if it’s something you want to do again, or something best left to others.

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  1. admin says:

    Have you successfully used sponsorships or gifting to market your business?