When people hear the word “sponsorship” the first thing that comes to mind is an association with the word “donation.” After all, the person doing ‘the ask’ is usually from a non-profit, charitable organization that needs your money to fund whatever unique or necessary service to the community they represent.
But by definition:
Sponsorship is a cash and/or in kind fee paid to a property in return for access to the exploitable commercial potential associated with that property, while Donations are gifts or grants given for charitable purposes usually with no return consideration.
Therefore, sponsorships should be considered a marketing opportunity – a chance to position your brand and engage your customers in unexpected and unique ways.
As with many other marketing opportunities though, remember that as a partner in the relationship, it’s important to know what you are getting for your marketing dollars. Respectable and professional organizations should always be able to provide you with a valuation at the conclusion of the partnership, outlining what kind of benefits were delivered and what the total value of the partnership is worth to your company.
Remember too that as with most other opportunities, your business will reap what you put into the partnership. If you’re positioned with multiple other sponsors, what can you do to make your name and product stick out?
Ask yourself these questions:
- Is there an opportunity for me to interact directly with potential customers through product giveaways or displays?
- Does this partnership attract the same target markets that I’m trying to get my name out to?
- Is there any opportunity for our employees to be engaged with the sponsorship?
- Is there a way to tie in any customer/client appreciation with the sponsorship to recognize those that already support my business?
Examples of this at Showplace Performance Centre could be tickets to shows or renting a space within the sponsored property to host a pre-show VIP event…imagination is key and organizations are usually open to new and interesting ideas.
In many cases, benefits are flexible and the organizations asking for the support should be able to accommodate requests from your business within reason. After all, in the partnership, both sides have needs that must be met in order to make it a success.
So in conclusion, remember to ask questions, look at how the potential partnership aligns with your brand and keep an open mind, you may just find the marketing opportunity you’ve been searching for.