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All About Advertising Sponsorship

One of the strongest relationship formats between an advertiser and a medium/event is advertising sponsorship. Essentially, a sponsorship is a more involved advertising relation between an advertiser and a medium, as compared to typical advertisers or agencies who buy rotating spots in various mediums. Here, a company funds a specific event with a view of being associated positively with it as a participating member of a community.

Criteria of determining sponsorship:

1. Relevance – Any sponsored event or cause must have an obvious degree of relevance to the services or products provided. Before sponsoring an event or an organization, it must be checked whether the said event/organization involves the target market or not.

    • For example, a bakery shop may consider sponsoring a cooking show, but a designer line wouldn’t. 

2. Compatibility –  The brand name must be aligned with the basic rationale of an event.

    •  For instance, it makes little sense for a software company to sponsor a gaming event that is not compatible with its algorithms. 

3. Foundational alignment – The interests of an event or an organization must not contravene those of its sponsoring partners.

    • Think how ridiculous it would be for a local brewery to sponsor an event of Alcoholics Anonymous. The company might end up receiving severe backlash and trolling.

4. Business result – An organization should have reasonable factors to believe that sponsorship will bring some tangible business outcome to its business. It might not be in the form of direct gains, but it must be in some way to increase the brand’s awareness and help foster a positive image of the company.

Common types of sponsorship:

1. Program Sponsorship

When in place of buying a few ad placements during a program, an advertiser funds the entirety of it, the advertisement is termed as Program Sponsorship. Initiating a stronger partner association, typically, an advertiser pays the specific fee for a sponsorship package in exchange for a certain number and kind of sponsorship mentioned throughout the program.

2. Event Sponsorship

To secure multiple advertising spots and prominent mentions as a sponsor, when an advertiser pays for a portion, if not all, of the cost of an event, the advertisement is known as an Event Sponsorship. 

Companies may sponsor events for a variety of reasons. Some may do it because they genuinely believe in the virtues of an event. Others, simply because the event closely ties to the brand and its image.

In addition to this, the involvement of the sponsor in the actual event may vary as well. Some might pay to get a certain sponsor-mentions while others may actually participate in the event themselves, in order to establish a closer link between the brand and the cause.

3. Educational Sponsorship

A common example of this type of sponsorship could be a company sponsoring a particular student in certain educational programs with brand highlights; or a company sponsoring provisions of certain mobile devices for use in a college program, in exchange for the listing of the organization in the program brochures, and other types of sponsorship mention. 

Often, the publicity that comes from sponsoring educational events delivers the payoff for educational sponsorships.

Integrated Brand Promotion (IBP)

Alignment with integrated brand promotion is very critical for the success of advertisers in sponsor relationships. In order to achieve this, planned persistence and functional coordination are severely demanded amongst all brand messages delivered across various media platforms. Before sponsoring an event, organizations require to consider the potential positive or negative connotations they may make—intentionally, or not— by coordinating with the event. 

It must also be kept in mind that the viewers or attendees of such sponsored events are the target audiences of the sponsor-providing company. Otherwise, all the effort seems quite futile.

By Shalini Goswami  

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