Nov 09, 2010 at 10:10 PM
written by Jackie Fast, Slingshot Sponsorship

How to Integrate Sponsorship & Deliver ROI

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Sponsorship and brand partnerships are on the rise and almost mentioned as much as the terms social media and integrated marketing. However, not everyone seems to understand how to go about finding sponsorship funding or how to deliver a return on investment. Perhaps not as sexy as integration or social media, sponsorship and brand partnerships are actually much more interesting as they work within these medium as well incorporated above and below the line channels. The flexibility of sponsorship in the marketing environment opens up a world of possibilities, but with so many options, it can be difficult to understand the benefits.

Three top tips when considering sponsorship opportunities for your brand:

  • Is sponsorship right for me? Even before you decide on your goals, you must first make sure that sponsorship is the best way to communicate with your audience. Sponsorship is a great addition to your marketing mix, but only if it achieves your objectives and is planned out in a strategic way. A starting point for deciding whether sponsorship is the right fit would be understanding the audience and making sure that the audience is your target market. If they are not, any sponsorship messages, no matter how amazing they might be, will be lost.
  • Know your goals – In the planning stages, it is important to know your objectives for sponsorship at the outset. Sponsorship chosen to help get your brand some ‘face time’ will have different measurables than sponsorship chosen to give back to the community. Typically it will be a mixture of a variety of key benefits: showcasing expertise, aligning with another brand, sharing costs of marketing, supporting a good cause, and corporate entertainment. As mentioned, regardless of the key benefits you are looking for as a sponsor, in order for sponsorship to be effective, you must certain that you are reaching your target audience. The rights owner should have a proven track record of engaging with your target audience.
  • Set objectives for your sponsorship campaign – Make sure that you are measuring both brand engagement as well as sales increases. These should be measureable and have targets set. Throughout the term of the sponsorship, these targets will assess which elements of your sponsorship are most successful and will allow you to focus more on the activation of that element. By continually measuring and assessing your sponsorship campaign against targets you will be more cost-effective as well as flexible to take up new opportunities to further leverage your original rights package.

    Sponsorship is not just about attaching your logo on the next promotional bulletin or making sure your brand has ‘face time’ at the next event, it is strategic and should engage your audience to be effective. Thought needs to go into developing these sponsorship relationships so that they reach their full potential. When they do – they can be incredibly successful and your audience will be begging for more!

    Jackie Fast is Managing Director at London-based sponsorship agency, Slingshot Sponsorship. Jackie offers running commentary on the Slingshot Sponsorship blog, and allows us to republish here when the subject fits.