While event sponsorship has come a long way in recent years in terms of its sophistication and ability, (if well executed) to deliver meaningful ROI, there are still many on both sides of these relationships whose expectations are still stuck in the 90’s. This can be frustrating for those of us who are passionate about the value of sponsorship as a two-way transaction.
So here are my 5 top misconceptions around sponsorship that will hold back both sponsors and sponsees (those who are sponsored ) from making the most of what can be a mutually beneficial, long term beautiful relationship.
- It’s all about the prospectus. The idea that the perfect document will be enough to woo a sponsor is a complete fallacy. Too many view their event as something companies would be crazy not to invest in and therefore if they can just communicate that using the right layout, pictures and copy that’ll win them over. The reality on the other hand is that to your target company you are just one of the many. So your prospectus should only be brought into play once you’ve had the right conversation with the right person from the right company. Only then might they actually read it.
- It’s all about signing up as many sponsors as possible. Too often sponsorship is seen as easy money ( and perhaps that should be the 6th misconception ) but its not, especially if you want to develop an ongoing and profitable relationship with a sponsor. It takes a lot of work. So ideally it’s much better to have a few higher value sponsors than multiple partners ranging from high to low investment levels. Keep in mind that just because someone has ‘only’ spent $5,000 on a sponsorship does not mean they don’t want the same level of service and attention as your major sponsors.
- It’s all about the day of the event. The idea that the ‘pay-off’ from a sponsorship investment only occurs at the actual event is just selling the opportunity short. In fact many modern sponsors will (or should) ignore any opportunity that does not give them at least 6 months to leverage and activate their involvement. Think about major sporting events and the usual suspects that sponsor them. They’ll spend months leading up to the actual event leveraging their involvement.
- It’s all about me. This is a myopic affliction that affects both sponsors and sponsees and it can be some tough medicine to swallow because it requires both parties to set aside their corporate pride. By focusing solely on what value either party can extract from this relationship misses the opportunity to generate real returns. The reason the event and the sponsoring company both exist is thanks to the audience ( or target market ) so that is where the focus needs to lie. Audiences are so sophisticated these days that unless their needs are genuinely front and centre they’ll turn off.
- It’s all about the branding.While there are benefits in terms of positioning and aligning brands with an event, research shows this has the least impact on the audience ( and therefore least ROI ). As mentioned, audiences are sophisticated so your logo plastered all over an event is something they’re very good at ignoring. What is harder to ignore is an activity that shows authentic interest in their needs.
Not convinced or have some questions? I’d be happy to discuss so give me a call on 1300 878 815 or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.