sponsorship objectives

Aligning Benefits To Sponsorship Objectives – Part 1

May 12th, 2016 Posted by

Do you struggle to align the benefits you can offer with the sponsors objectives? Part 1 of our series looks at Brand Awareness and Brand Positioning and what benefits most help achieve those sponsorship objectives.

In the past, we have established that ROO is the most important factor for sponsors to renew a partnership but also that being able to clearly align benefits with stated objectives is crucial in bringing those sponsors on in the first place.

But how do you actually do that? How do you align the right benefits with the objectives of a sponsor?

To help you out, I have broken down the most common core objectives of sponsorship. There are eight in total and over the next few weeks, I will examine how you can align your benefits with them and deliver on the reason a brand is looking to sponsor you or renew.

First Step

Before we can actually align benefits to objectives, we need to know what the objective(s) of the sponsor is. We’ve all been there – you are speaking to a sponsor, and they seem interested, and you go with the flow in terms of giving them benefits you think they want. You don’t want to ask too many hard or pointed questions in case you scare them off. “How about social media?”, you ask. “Sounds good” they say. And so it goes on across hospitality, tickets, activations, etc.

On the other side of the table, they think you are putting a schedule of benefits together that will help them. So they go with it.

As the paraphrase goes, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there”. The problem is, come renewal time, the sponsor might very well be in a place they don’t want to be and you will have slim chances of retaining them.

Instead, you really need to begin the conversation around what they are trying to achieve. They might be able to answer this for you easily, however, if they can’t, think about asking them “What does your marketing need most help with?” or “What would success look like for you in this sponsorship”

Two broad objectives they may offer you are the first two I will examine – Brand Awareness and Brand Positioning.

Sponsorship Objective #1 – Brand Awareness

As an objective, Brand Awareness is to build awareness of the sponsor’s brand with the rights holder’s audience, community and supporters via appropriate sponsorship opportunities.

In discussing Brand Awareness as an objective, some of the common benefits you can position to them, to help achieve the objective, include:

  • eDM opportunities;
  • social media access and promotion opportunities;
  • member offers;
  • B2B opportunities with other sponsors;
  • product activations at events;
  • website advertising;
  • signage;
  • IP usage to align their brand with yours;
  • naming rights to your organisation, event or program;
  • event announcements with a brand message; and
  • designations including associations such as exclusive supplier, preferred supplier, official vehicle partner, etc.

Sponsorship Objective #2 – Brand Positioning

As an objective, Brand Positioning is positioning the sponsor’s brand with specific audience segments through alignment with the rights holder’s brand via appropriate sponsorship opportunities. As a rights holder, by aligning with the sponsor, you are providing a very specific and important vehicle in their brand strategy so that they can position themselves, utilising your assets, to your audience.

In discussing Brand Positioning as an objective, some of the common benefits you can position to them, to help achieve the objective, include:

  • eDM opportunities;
  • social media access and promotion opportunities;
  • member offers;
  • B2B opportunities with other sponsors;
  • IP usage to align their brand with yours;
  • naming rights to your organisation, event or program;
  • user generated content;
  • use of ambassadors;
  • access to merchandise;
  • endorsements;
  • digital content integrations; and
  • logo placement.

You’ll note that a number of the benefits that help achieve Brand Positioning also help achieve Brand Awareness. 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.

Back To The First Steps

With all of that mind, it is important to point out setting expectations, and a mutual understanding around the strategic selection of benefits, will create a much clearer picture around what you can offer and what your partner can expect.

If nothing else, your rigorous and well thought-out approach, at the start, will differentiate you from other rights holders which will give you an advantage if they are shopping around or, come renewal time, they need to trim a sponsorship or two.

Be On Alert

Additionally, by keeping the objectives at the front of the conversation, you can continue to refer to them throughout your dealings with the sponsor. This reinforces that you know what they are trying to achieve and are working hard to help deliver it. It also allows you both to have conversations should the objectives of the sponsor change over the period of the agreement.

More Objectives

Over the next few blogs I will outline the other six core sponsor objectives and what benefits you can position to help a sponsor achieve them.


Mark Thompson - SponServe

Mark Thompson // Managing Director

Mark specialises 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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