Sponsorship is quite an interesting area in the marketing mix and one that may not obtain the investment required in a marketing plan and budget.
Over the last number of years there has been an increase in the number of events, sporting properties or TV programmes that are making the most from sponsorship arrangements.
Before you agree to go down the sponsorship route, you need to make sure you know why you are doing it, what you want to get out of the sponsorship programme, identify sponsorship programmes that best fit your organisational goals and objectives, and determine which association or activity will best help you to achieve these goals and objectives.
So what tips are there for those businesses wishing to get involved in a sponsorship programme?
First of all link your sponsorship to your wider marketing plan or campaign. The sponsorship will gain better exposure and deliverance if it is part of a bigger campaign.
Secondly ensure you have set aside the right amount of budget to 'activate' the sponsorship. In most cases the sponsorship fee only allows you the title or co-sponsor rights and the use of the partners logo.
Thirdly the activity or programme that you end up sponsoring should be included in your PR campaign and in your marketing literature.
Fourth, ensure you have regular meetings with the rights holder of the programme you are sponsoring.
Fifth, sponsorship must be able to engage and interact with the customer via in-store promotions, competitions, exclusive product offerings linked to the sponsorship, social media and micro web sites for interaction and data capture.
Finally you should always measure the success of your sponsorship.
Geoff Wilson - colleague and friend