According to a recent Ipsos MORI survey, only 1 percent of Great Britain’s residents are aware that Panasonic or Samsung are sponsors of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. This just shows us that successful publicity through sponsorship depends on more than just the notoriety or popularity of an event. Event sponsorships that are fully integrated into a corporations marketing plan – not just a random add on – have the greatest success on brand awareness.
To make the most of your next sponsorship, here are five helpful tips:
1) Think long-term – Coca-Cola is one of the most well-known sponsors, according to the survey, and they have supported the Olympics for decades. This is a good example of building a relationship with longevity in mind. Brand awareness increases overtime when reinforced by repetition. So, reconsider having just a one-time sponsorship. Longer commitments may prove more fruitful in the long-term.
2) Connect the sponsorship with your core message – Event sponsorship will not only increase your brand awareness, but they will also give you the opportunity to reinforce your core message. Cirrus Logic sponsors the popular free shows at the annual SXSW festival, reinforcing their dedication to great-sounding music as a supplier of circuits used in audio equipment.
3) Involve as many stakeholders as possible – Recruit employees to volunteer and participate by integrating the event into your company culture. Make sure to also invite clients and brand advocates to the event. The more brand champions you have on site, the better.
4) Make the experience unique each year – Revamping the event annually, while maintaining consistent brand messaging, will keep it fresh and newsworthy, increasing the potential for media coverage. MetLife is a sponsor of the Cherry Blossom Festival which annually celebrates Japan’s gift of 3,000 Cherry Blossom Trees to Washington, D.C. This year, MetLife will recreate some of the festival’s events in Japan for the first time ever to celebrate the gift’s 100th anniversary.
5) Nurture the relationships you form year-round – Follow-up with volunteers and event coordinators after the event to thank them for their services. This will help them feel appreciated and increase the likelihood of getting them involved next year. Also, plan for the next event early, so that your brand can find opportunities to fully leverage the sponsorship and leave a lasting impression on visitors.
Sponsoring events is a wonderful way to support the community and promote your business. However, it’s not simply throwing a party or getting a group together. Like most communications tactics, it takes strategic planning and marketing savvy to leave a lasting impression.