The power of sponsorship marketing will unite sponsors with events, causes, and properties in stronger and more innovative ways in the future. Sponsorship is the most effective marketing channel to directly connect with audiences in a meaningful way. Be prepared to arm your brand partners with data and insights that reinforce the advertising effectiveness, brand alignment, audience engagement, and creativity sponsorship delivers.
Recovery is inevitable. History has proven that communities recover and rebound with innovative ideas, approaches and strategies. Undoubtedly a new definition of success will be established for events and sponsors that are bold and resourceful.
Sports, entertainment, events and venues will need to reimagine sponsorship programs and the value they provide. Sponsors will need to develop new sponsorship and revenue strategies. They will need a greater return for their investment in event marketing and sponsorship. The decisions brands are making right now will have a long-term effect and while the spotlight will remain bright over the next few weeks and months, it is their support during the recovery and rebuild phase that will have a significant impact. As an industry we will be smarter and more successful because the situation will demand it. That same sense of determination for success is what is currently propelling events and properties across the country to implore their sponsors to stand by their side during this crisis.
Now is a good time for teams, events, causes and properties to look at how they are telling their story. It’s a good time to remind companies why they should turn to sponsorship and the huge value they deliver to brands. Below are some key reasons why brands should maintain partnerships now and in the future.
- Sponsorships build consumer loyalty
The most successful sponsorships are based on a shared goal to create experiences that will galvanize an audience around a brand. These experiences—provided by events and properties—have the ability to reinforce a brand personality and promise. And research has proven consumers have positive feelings about brands that support their favorite events. Now more than ever, consumers are keeping a watchful eye on brands. They want to know how brands are supporting their communities. When brands commit to an event, even after it’s been canceled, audiences remember and reward those brands. We applaud yesterday’s New York Times article announcing the Olympics sponsors public commitment to maintain support.
- Sponsorship campaigns deliver multiple marketing tactics
Partnerships provide brands the ability to activate multi-channel marketing tactics. Marketing exposure is significantly increased because of the consistent communications events are able to employ to reach engaged audiences. Marketing efforts are not limited to banners and signage—a true partnership provides opportunities to connect with an event’s audience in meaningful ways—digital, print, experiential, promotions, etc. The digital efforts initiated by events open a direct line of engagement between consumers and brands.
- Events attract and engage consumers
People will attend their favorite events; they will look for ways to reconnect and celebrate. We anticipate July 4th will be a significant time for communities to celebrate—either at events or at home. It will be unifying. We also predict that parks and recreation departments will see a surge in visitors, and we’re encouraging them to carefully consider how to integrate corporate partners. Parks offer natural social distancing, health and wellness, and community. Parks present a unique opportunity for brand integration. A recent study conducted revealed: “The U.S. public currently anticipates returning to their more usual attendance behaviors within three to six months.” The chart below shows the activities people intent to return to:
The moment when communities re-emerge and are ready to celebrate, engage and explore will be a momentous occasion. The presence of brands at an event will be pivotal in sending a message of solidarity that brands believed in the purpose and stood by their partner. It will be an opportunity to strengthen and build consumers like never before.
About the author: Paula Beadle is the CEO of Caravel Marketing, a national consulting company specializing in sponsorship marketing, and the founder of Sponsorship Mastery, an annual summit and programming dedicated to improving individual and organizational sponsorship performance. She is a results-driven trailblazer with a proven record of developing smart strategies and creatively connecting the right partners. Paula has helped iconic events and major brands achieve their goals through innovative sponsorship initiatives, generating incremental revenue and successfully coaching thriving teams, executives and boards.