sponsorship / 5 minute read

What are the benefits of sponsorship?

Written by Julia Polak

21 June 2023

In the ever-evolving world of marketing, businesses are constantly seeking innovative strategies to captivate audiences, ignite brand recognition, and drive exceptional returns on investment. If that sounds like you and your business, sponsorship might be just the ticket.

By strategically aligning yourself with events, causes, and organisations, you can unlock a myriad of benefits that range from boosting brand awareness to fostering positive reputations and generating valuable insights. So, are you curious to explore the remarkable advantages that sponsorship holds? Would you like to delve into real-life examples of how strategic partnerships have elevated brands to new frontiers? Then you've come to the right place. Let’s take a closer look at the key benefits of sponsorship.

Boost brand awareness

The number one thing sponsorship does for a brand is increase brand awareness to a wider audience. Through exposure to new audiences, sponsorship initiatives create lasting impressions not just during events, but before and after too. Successful partnerships often leverage press mentions, social media coverage, event advertising, experiential events, and well-crafted campaigns to make sure that exposure lasts as long as possible.

A notable example is the enduring relationship between NFL and PepsiCo, exemplified by the extravagant halftime show that draws millions of viewers worldwide. By investing over $100 million annually, PepsiCo expands its product promotion to a global audience beyond the United States, while the NFL extends the reach of its show, which often surpasses viewership of the game itself. This past year, Rihanna drew in an incredible 118.7 million viewers!

By building an overarching, recognisable sponsorship campaign telling your brand story, you create value beyond your brand or product. That means lasting impact and shareable content people don’t just engage with but are actually excited about. That’s the gold standard.

Foster a positive reputation

Strengthening brand image is another significant advantage of sponsorship. We know that consumers tend to support brands that invest in their communities and champion positive messages. So, aligning sponsorship with causes that resonate with your target audience's values is crucial. A standout example is Coca-Cola's #ThatsGold campaign during the 2016 Rio Olympics Games. Targeting 13–20-year-olds (the future buyers of Coca-Cola), the campaign featured influencers, musicians, and Olympic athletes through a year-long, multi-platform social media strategy.

Coca-Cola achieved an 88% accuracy rate in targeting teens, reaching 77% of Brazil's teen population; demonstrating the power of a positive message that celebrates inclusivity. This campaign was all about celebrating life's ‘gold moments’ and it really struck a chord with fans, whether they’d secured tickets to the games or not. As Patricia Pieranti, Coca-Cola’s real-time marketing manager, explained, “Everyone can be gold, like everyone can have a Coke... It’s not about performance, but about the gold that happens beyond the podium.”

Increase return on investment (ROI)

While sponsorship requires financial commitment, it often yields a substantial return on investment. According to a study by IEG, sports sponsorship generates an average ROI of £6 for every £1 spent, surpassing other forms of marketing and advertising. Negotiating an agreement that provides the desired level of exposure is crucial for businesses, but we have plenty of experience doing just that. By carefully selecting the right events and crafting impactful campaigns, we’ll ensure you maximise your ROI in this already booming market.

There are many different types of sponsorship package, and each has its own set of benefits and drawbacks, along with varying costs. As a result, it's important to work with a professional agency who has the experience to help you navigate and identify the best opportunities for your brand.

Benefit from association

Done well, sponsorship enables companies to leverage the positive reputation of the events or organisations they support. When a brand aligns itself with high-profile events, consumers tend to perceive it as reputable and reliable, increasing the likelihood of purchasing associated products or services.

An excellent illustration of this is Standard Life's sponsorship of Race for Life, a charity event organised by Cancer Research UK. By supporting a cause aligned with its mission and values, Standard Life enhances its brand awareness, demonstrates social responsibility, and resonates with customers who seek out companies taking a stand on relevant issues. You might think that’s a small thing, but more than half of customers in the UK and 75% of Gen Z are keen for companies to take a stand on issues they’re passionate about.

Gain valuable insights

Sponsorship can provide companies with valuable insights that inform their marketing strategies. By promoting involvement in events, you can drive traffic and increase engagement. Even better, with effective campaign strategies incorporating content themes and social media initiatives, you can identify new target audiences and gain a deeper understanding of how customers perceive and connect with your brand sponsorship.

Generate leads

Sponsoring events gives companies a competitive edge over direct competitors who are absent in the same spaces. Emotional connection plays a significant role in brand loyalty, and sponsorship allows brands to highlight their human side, positioning themselves as credible authorities in their respective markets.

Rolex's long-standing partnership with TED is a prime example of successful event sponsorship. Starting with branded content specifically for the TED platform and growing beyond a typical sponsorship, Rolex even partnered to create the hugely popular ‘Surprise Me’ feature on the TED Talks app, which is now estimated to have more than 200,000 downloads worldwide. That collaboration did more than put Rolex in front of a new customer base, it showcased the brand’s commitment to technology and world betterment.

Considered sponsorship is a brilliant way to reach a new customer base and so generate fresh leads for your business. To identify the right opportunities for your brand, you should make sure any sponsorship plan is built with the end result in mind. Basically, keep this goal at the centre of everything you do, from day one.

Done well, sponsorship has practically endless benefits for businesses. That’s why it’s become an essential tool for brands looking to boost awareness, enhance reputation and generate leads over the past few years. Still, it’s clear that successful sponsorships require thoughtful alignment with target audience values, compelling campaigns, and a commitment to long-term partnerships. That’s something all the best examples have in common. So going it alone without much experience or a plan for getting the most from your sponsorship agreement is unlikely to yield the best results.

Keen to harness the power of sponsorship? Just get in touch with our friendly team at anythingspossible@drpgroup.com to learn what we can achieve together.