sponsorship / 4 minute read

How to create a sponsorship campaign

Written by Julia Polak

12 June 2023

There’s no question that sponsorship is an exciting way to promote your brand far and wide. It’s a super-effective method for connecting with your target audience too. But not all sponsorship campaigns are created equal and those that work best are built on the same foundation: a thorough campaign plan. That might not sound as exciting as you hope your activations will be, but it’s through questioning your purpose, market, budget and more that a really effective sponsorship package is created. Let's dive into some essential considerations that will make your sponsorship a resounding success!

What's your objective?

When it comes to sponsorship, having a clear objective is crucial. It's not just about selling products or services during a specific event; it's about building long-term brand awareness and loyalty. Think big and ask yourself how the collaboration you have in mind will positively impact your brand's position in the market. Will it resonate with your target audience and create a lasting impression? Even better, can your brand create a lasting impression on any of the communities that matter to you too? We know consumers feel positively towards brands that care about the people, communities and causes around them, so making giving back one of your objectives is always a good idea. Align your objective with your brand's values and mission and you can’t go far wrong.

Do you know your target market?

Stock image of target audienceUnderstanding your target market is essential before diving into any sponsorship initiative. Begin by identifying the specific area of your business you want to grow through this sponsorship. For instance, if you're targeting the teen market, think about engaging with festivals, social media platforms, and music events. Creating fresh and relatable content is key to connecting with this audience, so get to know their favourite celebrities, and build a genuine brand image linked to social, economic, and climate issues that resonate with them. Embrace social media to meet them where they are and foster a strong and authentic connection. Whatever your target audience, you can use this same approach to tailor your sponsorship to the people you’re hoping to reach.

What is your budget?

Ah, the big question! The funds you have available will determine the scope and scale of your sponsorship campaign, so setting a firm budget early on is key to reining in any ideas that are just too big and getting the most from your investment. Consider whether you're looking at a social media-only campaign or if you have the resources to venture into more experiential territory, like creating pop-ups or hosting in-person interactions. Remember, even with a limited budget, creativity can go a long way in making your sponsorship memorable and impactful.

What does your brand bring to the partnership?

There’s no point in a partnership that doesn’t benefit both parties, but the support you give to your sponsorship partner can be so much more than just financial. Think about how your brand can contribute unique expertise and resources to the partnership, and offer up your knowledge, skills, or products to enhance the overall experience of the event or campaign. A collaborative approach almost always fosters a more meaningful and long-lasting relationship between not just your brand and the audience, but you and your partner organisation. That means more opportunities, more positive outcomes and more bang for your buck.

Can you generate direct leads from this sponsorship deal?

An effective sponsorship isn’t necessarily defined by direct leads, that all depends on your objectives, but if you are aiming to generate leads or sales, it’s vital you measure your results. First, evaluate whether the sponsorship can lead to direct results like generating leads or increasing sales, or if it's more of a passive brand exposure opportunity. Both approaches have their merits, and understanding the goals of your sponsorship will help you set realistic expectations and measure success accurately.

Are there any fringe benefits?

We’re always keen to measure campaign results in definite terms. It’s helpful to be able to say a spend of X resulted in income of Y, but many benefits of sponsorship are more fluid and harder to define. These fringe benefits often extend beyond the event or campaign itself and might include things like improved relationships, increased exposure or greater brand awareness. You might consider how the sponsorship can act as corporate hospitality to strengthen relationships with existing clients and attract new ones. Or you could align the sponsorship with your overall business goals and create internal comms campaigns leading up to the event, generating anticipation and enthusiasm among your own people. That's exactly what we did when we were the Official Promotional Events Services Provider for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. With careful planning and an open mind, these fringe benefits can be realised in practically every sponsorship deal.

Shot of Billy the Bull from Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at the DRPG offices.There is a lot to consider here, but really powerful sponsorships require a lot of thought and planning. Anything less and you may see some immediate results, but those juicy long-lasting benefits are unlikely to follow. By carefully considering these important factors (and working with an agency that knows sponsorship inside out) your sponsorship journey will be set up for success, leaving a positive impact on your brand, your audience, and the communities you support. So, are you ready to get started?

Reach out to our incredible sponsorship team at anythingspossible@drpgroup.com to chat through everything we can achieve together.