What do you think when you hear the word “sponsorship?” Perhaps you’re thinking stadium naming or other marquee level branding, but sponsorships aren’t only a tactic for large corporations with Superbowl-sized marketing budgets. Sponsorships can be as simple as providing new jerseys for a local team, or as robust as adding your branding to an industry event or elite tournament.
Savvy companies are recognizing sponsorships as a powerful way to establish relationships with key buyers and prospective employees, create communities,and increase their revenue and talent pipelines.
What Is Marketing Sponsorship?
“A marketing sponsorship is a strategy where one business promotes an event or organization led by another.” Sponsorship often involves financial contributions to promote or associate your brand with an event or not-for-profit organization that’s typically associated with the business’ key target audience.
Two words—leverage communities. Today, buying committees can be quite large, 10 people or more according to this Forbes contributor. It requires marketers to use different tactics to influence and move this wide and varied cast of buyers.
HubSpot’s 2023 Marketing Strategy & Trends Report notes that two of the significant recent changes in marketing have been:
- Building online communities around your brand is becoming critical to engagement; and
- More brands aim to create content that reflects their values.
Sponsorships can help brands leverage an event or non-profit’s existing communities, gain more exposure and reach audiences they may not yet have access to, and improve brand perception by supporting events and organizations that illustrate their corporate values. These sponsorships can also give employees a chance to get engaged as well, helping to increase job satisfaction and create more evangelists on staff.
Key Benefits of Sponsorship
Below are some additional advantages to marketing sponsorships:
- Promote brand awareness: When businesses sponsor organizations' causes or events in exchange for advertising, this can promote brand awareness in their local community
- Cultivate public image: Sponsoring charitable causes can help companies improve their public image or maintain a positive public image
- Increase sales: Companies can connect with buyers / product users in a non-sales environment to have authentic conversations that often drive future sales
Type of Sponsorships: More than Money
Sponsorship types are just as varied as the organizations and events you can choose to sponsor. Even better, some sponsorships don’t require an outlay of cash! Here are some of the primary sponsorship types you’ll see. Note: it’s not uncommon for organizers to combine different sponsorship types in a custom package that best suits both the business’ and the organizer’s objectives.
- Financial: donate money to an event or organization
- In-kind: donate things other than money. They may provide swag items or prizes, staff and volunteer t-shirts or uniforms, printed items, raffle gifts, etc.
- Technology or digital: similar to in-kind sponsorship, provides assistance in the execution of tech-related activities for your event. This can be providing the hosting platform, an app, or hardware and devices, or providing technical experts to plan, manage or operate required technology for the event/organization.
- Media: provide or financially support advertising and/or media coverage for the event
Are You Ready to Reach New Cyber Audiences?
Sponsoring cybergames is a great way to build your brand, reach new audiences, and help to fill and diversify the talent pipeline. Let’s discuss your business goals and the sponsorship options that will be best matched to them—from existing events and programs to new custom sponsorships. Explore or contact us to get started.