Sponsorship Essay: Marketing Communications 10300266
Introduction to sponsorship
Sponsorship is an important marketing tool for many organisations & is an important element of the promotional mix. Sponsorship involves the support of an event, activity, person, organisation or product by an unrelated organisation that may exchange money, services or goods in return for the association that the sponsorship provides. Sponsors choose events that attract their target market to enhance their brand reputation & awareness. A method of shaping brand identity, sponsorship can improve company image, raise company profile & generate awareness of company values. An integral part of marketing strategy, sponsorship is useable either as a single marketing activity or alongside other marketing tools such as advertising, public relations & promotion in order to leverage the sponsorship & increase the impact.
Sponsorship originated in sports in the 1960’s and has been the fastest growing form of marketing spreading to the arts, media, charities, education & broadcasting as a result of globalisation, technological advances & recognition of the value & revenue that can be earnt from sponsorship. A universal medium, few sports or arts events are now without sponsors looking to broaden their competitive advantage. Some forward thinking sponsors now plan long term, using grass roots sponsorship to form a bond with their target market early in their development as a consumer.
Previously used only as a PR tool, sponsorship it is now a separate component of the promotional mix, playing an important role in the whole of the marketing mix. Sponsorship consultants & advertising agencies now offer sponsorship as a separate marketing tool and research agencies provide profiles of audiences, evaluate and measure success.
The growth of the sponsorship industry has been largely at the expense of other forms of advertising, such as media advertising & due to the restrictions on advertising products such as alcohol and tobacco. Sponsorship of charities & other worthy concerns has also grown as part of 'cause-related marketing' programmes.
Types of Sponsorship
The UK sponsorship industry can be divided into four main sectors: sports, broadcast and social and environmental and its sponsors pay large sums of money to be associated with events that have worldwide coverage. Sports and broadcasting take most of the expenditure, leaving the arts with a small share & cause-related sponsorships even less due to the arts sector having a narrower appeal than sport or television programmes.