Knowing how to unpack a sponsor’s objectives, and aligning meaningful benefits to them, is a skill and exercise that could literally mean the difference between you keeping or losing a partner.
In the last blog, we focused on what benefits align to the objectives of Brand Awareness and Brand Positioning. If you haven’t read Part 1 of this series then you can do so here.
In this blog, we take a look at two other common objectives that sponsors are often looking to achieve – Networking and Building an Audience.
Sponsorship Objective #3 - Networking
Networking objectives are best met by connecting the sponsor, and their clients and partners, with prospective clients and partners through leveraging the rights holder's brand and assets.
Some easy and key ways you can help achieve a Networking objective include:
- Social Media (through certain platforms such as LinkedIn closed groups);
- The use of Ambassadors to engage with prospective and new contacts;
- The provision of B2B opportunities from within your network;
- Ticketing opportunities at events where target introductions can be made;
- Hospitality for the entertainment of clients and to meet new ones;
- Facilitated introductions by the rights holder to a desired contact; and
- Designations to position the brand as a trusted business partner of the rights holder.
Sponsorship Objective #4 - Building An Audience
Often, an important element of marketing is the ability to build an audience that you own. That means you have a way to contact the audience such as an address, email or phone number and more loosely through social media followings. Mass advertising, such as radio, TV and print, sees organisations purely ‘renting’ an audience; they do not own them because they cannot contact them directly.
Building an Audience is achieved by using appropriate sponsorship opportunities to leverage the rights holder's marketing and audience reach to help extend the sponsor's reach. Through that reach, the sponsor is looking at collecting targeted information that allows them to be able to communicate more directly with their target market.
Key assets you can consider to achieve this include:
- eDM campaigns which engage and prompt data capture;
- Social media promotions and competitions;
- Website advertising targeted directly at engaged and loyal followers;
- Member surveys which provide initial contact and passive engagement;
- The use of member offers;
- Merchandising for giveaways and competition use;
- The creation of integrated digital content that aligns the two brands to create trust and engagement in the eyes of the target audience;
- Utilizing activation to showcase the sponsor’s product/service at events; and
- Competitions through integrated asset use to capture data.
You’ll note that a number of the benefits that help achieve Building an Audience also help achieve Networking. This is a common theme across the eight core objectives and definitely something you should keep in mind because one benefit can actually help the sponsor achieve multiple objectives in its execution.
Unpacking The Objectives Correctly
In the above examples, there are many benefits which, if used correctly, can integrate to create engaging offerings which will drive far better results for the sponsor objectives.
As such, communicate with your sponsor (or prospective sponsor) and not only discover their objectives, and discuss which benefits are best suited to help achieve them, but discuss what resources and mechanisms they have at their disposal to help execution.
With this information, you can then offer far more valuable assets that will drive sponsor objectives and result in a meaningful relationship.
Over the next two blogs, I will outline the remaining four core sponsor objectives and what benefits you can position to help a sponsor achieve them. A reminder that, if you haven't already, you can learn about the benefits that help achieve Brand Awareness and Brand Positioning in Part 1 here.
Mark Thompson // Managing Director
Mark specializes in sponsorship and diversified income strategies and has used this expertise across the Community, Semi-Professional and Professional Sports sectors. He combines hands-on experience in managing the expectations and obligations of sponsors with marketing and stakeholder engagement to deliver outstanding results.
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