Definition of Sponsor
A sponsor is technically a natural or legal person who endorses and, sometimes, financially supports someone/something. The reasons change depending on the context. Nevertheless, we can identify three main scenarios:
- An individual sponsoring someone else in order to help him in the pursue of a specific objective: gaining citizenship, obtaining a visa for a job and so on.
- A company sponsoring a tournament, event or another organization for mutual and commercial benefits. The most common dynamics sees a brand (let’s say McDonald’s) investing money in order to sponsor an event (World Cup, for instance) which is expected to get a measurable return. The latter is represented by indicators such as brand awareness, revenue increase, customer loyalty etc. It largely depends on the organization’s overall marketing objectives.
- An organization funding a charitable, artistic or social event. The goal is to raise awareness on a cause, deliver impact and boost reputation.
Breaking Down Sponsor
As already mentioned, sponsorship is a broad and complex topic that can refer to many different situations,. Standing from a business perspective, we will stick with perhaps the most popular way most people rationalize this concept. A sponsor is an organization (brand) that in order to achieve defined and clear marketing and business goals decides to establish a partnership with another entity. The latter can be a brand itself, a sport tournament, an event and so on.
Let’s think for one moment at one of the most famous examples: the World Cup. Have you ever seen a football match without being exposed to a brand? If the answer is yes, well, something’s not right. As a matter of fact, these kinds of events are the ones companies love the most. Depending on the industry and the target of the latter, a football match provides high media exposure, the chance to target a new and receptive audience, countless ways to increase revenues and much more.
A sponsor has a really delicate role. As a matter of fact, a wrong decision can backfire at him. There are many examples in history of sponsorship activations ended up in failure (7 sponsorship epic fails). The reasons behind these poor choices are mainly to be blamed on the sponsor. The latter, in fact, when in the process of selecting a sponsorship request, must take into consideration different factors. What are my goals with this partnership? Is it going to be relevant and coherent with my brand? Is it gonna yield tangible and measurable benefits? You have to know your sponsee, what he stands for and what’s his reputation. If it’s bad, it’s going to reflect on you.
Process and Benefits
The first (and maybe most important) step a sponsor needs to master is selecting and accepting the requests. Make sure you have already defined clear criteria to filter out the applications your receive. This way you can focus on the projects that are truly worth it. After accepting your request(s), the activation officially takes off, and you have to switch to the management part. Check that everything goes as planned, monitor the progress, stay in touch with the sponsee and so on. Once the campaign comes to an end, set up a system that allows you to assess and measure the results. What’s the outcome? Did it meet the expectation? A good software can certainly help you manage all these aspects in a more efficient and effective way.
In summary, let’s recap and see what are some of the benefits of being a sponsor (for more insights, check out brand sponsorship):
- Increase revenues
- Raise visibility
- Gain customer loyalty