Sponsorship and advertising are both marketing tools that strategically apply to different situations. There are however usual times when a company is faced with choosing between both tools. These times usually are a point of exposure as to which tool can give more and help increase a brand’s visibility. This arena is where sponsorship takes over, and where you as sports manager should be stepping in.
What sponsorship accomplishes better than advertising is in the establishment of qualitative aspects. These aspects include brand image towards consumers, generating awareness, and consumer’s choice of such brand. On these aspects, sponsorship has much more influence than advertising.
There are other points that make sponsorship a winner and that are not available through advertising. The first of which is having a live audience for product and brand circulation. Sports Sponsorship provides opportunities for on-site sales and sampling, customer feedback, surveying, sales-force interaction and product testing – all of which involve the participation of an audience. Through live product presentations, the exposure is greater and the promotion of brand and product names is at a rapid pace.
When we compare sponsorship and advertising, one mode to look into is how interaction is done. With advertising, interaction is one-way and generally a monologue. On the other hand, sponsorship is more like a dialogue where the opportunity of a company to have live exchange with its target customers is highly practiced.
As with interaction, product sampling is another plus to sponsorship. Sport events that are sponsored allow people to have on site trials on products. This way, awareness of a certain brand name or service is heightened. Examples on-site trials include food sampling, test driving, official clothes worn in the event, etc.
With sponsorship, an organization’s name becomes associated into a sponsored event’s actions unlike that of advertising. This means that sponsorship is able to surpass the medium of media and place itself in the environment where everyone can see it, For example, when sponsorship is incorporated during competitions; the audience has no escape in seeing the brand or logo being promoted because it is part of the competition (on the car, uniform or scoreboard). They can’t just eliminate the sponsorship like changing a channel on TV; they have to sit through the whole competition and take in everything that comes with it.
Lastly, sponsorship provides entertainment to its potential client. How? This is done through the events that are sponsored. When the word ‘event’ comes to mind, it is always a happening that does not come every day. It is a break from the everyday routine that (potential) clients have and that draws special attention. With advertising, nothing is disrupted from normal life. Everyone is accustomed to see bill boards, ad placements and commercials on the television.
With sponsored sports events, the setting is different and the aim is to provide an avenue for people to interact with the business through a social activity. Events also make great places to have informal sales and networking; and with the chosen venue, which is most often a hospitable one, the event becomes desirable and unique to lounge in.
So be sure to mention these advantages of sponsorship during your next conversation with a potential sponsor!