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Sponsoring an event can be a great way to establish yourself in the community and grab extra attention for your brand. There are numerous options available for sponsorship.

However, you have to ensure you embark on the right one, otherwise your brand’s image can be damaged from the experience.

Learn what options you have for sponsorship and how it can benefit your business in this article.


What Types Of Sponsorship Are Available?

Brands are always aligning themselves with certain events in order to maximise their exposure to audiences. There are many different ways in which brands can gain sponsorship; though money is usually a factor.

Some of the biggest high profile sponsorship options are available in sports. Football and racing are two particular sports where sponsorship can cost the business millions but yield significant returns. It isn’t just the teams which brands sponsor – businesses can choose to favour certain players and offer them deals to promote their products.

However, these aren’t the only sponsorship deals available. You could sponsor a local event like a charity event or a business summit. These can be particularly useful in allowing your brand to be highly visible to a large group of your target audience.

A final option some bigger brands can afford is the sponsorship of certain television or radio programmes. This is very popular as it guarantees a certain number of advertisements at set points, usually at the beginning and end of the programme when viewers are paying most attention.

Sponsorship has several benefits for your business. Firstly, it allows you to associate with a well-known brand and gain good market penetration with the followers. For instance, sponsoring a football club can endear you to the fans of the club.


Case Studies Of Sponsorship In Action

The success of sponsorship can be seen in a number of case studies worldwide. Here are two sponsorship case studies and how investments have supported the brand’s awareness to grow.


The mobile phone producer had achieved considerable success in the Asian market in 2011 and 2012, having grown by 34%. This represented approximately $3 billion in China. However, in the UK market, which they saw as key to their success, they were the worst represented provider of smartphones, with only a 0.9% market share.

To combat this they signed a two year sponsorship deal with Arsenal FC, a well renowned and followed football team competing at the top of the UK’s league system. The deal allowed the brand to use two players in their marketing materials and get regular exposure during matches. The brand also launched a related football tournament and supported children’s charities in local communities.

At the same time the club signed another sponsorship deal with PSG, a French football club.

As a result, the mobile phone supplier achieved incredible growth of recognition. In 2012, only 12% of consumers were aware of the brand; but the end of 2013, 27% of consumers could identify them.


The luxury car market is very competitive. It can be even more difficult for a new-to-market brand like Infiniti.

To gain a larger market share, Infiniti needed to partner with a high profile brand. One of the best arenas would be to sponsor a team in the Formula One Championship. Naturally, this sport is followed by millions of their target audience: car enthusiasts.

Infiniti acquired a sponsorship deal with Red Bull Racing. Sebastian Vettel was also included in the deal and he was eager to help design a new luxury Infiniti model. Having one of the best drivers in the world on board during the deal was a major advertising boost for the brand.

As a result of the sponsorship, Infiniti was able to achieve huge exposure. At the beginning of the partnership, the brand had 7.9% recognition, but by the end of the season this had risen to approximately 43%.

The number of people who visited dealerships also increased with more than 1 in 4 customers visiting an Infiniti dealership before any other brand.


What Do You Need To Consider When You Are Choosing An Event or Team To Sponsor?

Selecting a successful partnership role requires careful consideration. There are many elements which can go wrong. Have a look at these criteria when it comes to sponsorship options:

  1. Does the event appeal to your target audience?

There is no point in advertising your brand if you are not able to gain exposure to those who will be interested in your products.

In both of the above case studies, the companies involved knew the majority of the team’s followers would be highly interested in what they have to offer. However, if Infiniti sponsored a boat race, they might have struggled to achieve the same results.

  1. Is the reward worth the cost?

Sometimes the exposure you have might not be worth the cost of the deal. Some sponsorship deals can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, but the expected return can be far less. Ensure the returns you receive will be greater than the costs.

  1. Does the event or team share similar ethics, goals and values?

This is one of the major sticking points when it comes to sponsorship deals.

There have been several cases in recent years where sponsors have dropped their sports stars because of activities off the playing field. A classic example of this would be golfing legend Tiger Woods, who lost many of his sponsors after the discovery and publication of his affairs.

  1. What do they expect from you? What do you get from them?

Sometimes it is not just money the event or team would like. Ensure you know everything that is expected of you and whether you can commit to that.

In addition, ensure that you are getting your value. Don’t be left paying a significant proportion of your marketing budget for a small banner at the back of the event that hardly anyone will see.



Sponsoring an event can be one of the best brand exposure activities your business invests in. Some brands have seen massive growth and it has allowed them to expand quickly.

Learn to make the right sponsorship deal and you could yield very similar results.


Actions Steps:

  • Assess a range of sponsorship options and use the above checklist to make sure they are right for you.
  • Sign a sponsorship deal and see what the results for your brand are.

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