A couple of years ago I’ve written an article for one of my clients about sponsorships, (read it here) directed squarely at the applicants. It explained how most companies view sponsorships and why a large number of applications end up being rejected. Today I want to focus on the sponsor’s side of the process. One of the most important things to consider prior to signing a sponsorship deal is your company’s ability to capitalise on that sponsorship.
A sponsorship doesn’t work in the same way as advertising in magazines, TV or radio. If you count on the sticker on a race car and a patch on the driver’s suit to do all the work, you will be disappointed with the results. Unfortunately, in many cases that is exactly what sponsors do; pay the money, hand over the product and expect the race team to generate all the publicity for them.
When working out your sponsorship budget make sure to put aside some funds to promote the association. Say you have $50,000 in your sponsorship kitty and you want to sponsor a race team. If you hand over $35,000 to the race team for some real estate on the car, crew shirts, website etc, it will leave you with $15,000 to spend on race coverage, photos/video of the car, merchandise, advertising and anything else that will help you link your brand to the sponsored car.
This way, rather than relying on people noticing your logos and making the mental connection with your brand - YOU are in control, telling – no – SHOUTING your message through all the available channels, using the sponsored vehicle as the connection to your audience. What you are essentially doing is cross-branding - ie using the race team’s brand to carry your brand to a niche market.