Sponsorship Works -is it a statement of fact or a suddenstatement of acceptance andrealisation bymarketers previouslyindoctrinated by thebelief that advertising was the onlymarketing option worthy of seriousconsideration? The fact is thatsponsorship does work and an increasingnumber of forward-thinking companiesare using sponsorship to achieve specificmarketing needs. The amount spent each year on sponsorship programmescontinues to increase and, mostimportantly,the way brands are nowusing sponsorship displays a much clearer understanding of its true marketingpotential.It is only in the last few years thatmarketers have started to look in detail atwhat sponsorship can actually deliver beyond awareness and exposure.Sponsorship has a unique ability todeliver a range of opportunities that noother marketing discipline can.Traditional marketing activity stilldominates marketing thinking and leadsto a safety-first approach. However, aswith all marketing disciplines thingschange. New market conditions,legislation, proliferation of the media andincreased expectations from marketersand their brands. As tobacco money hasbeen forced out of the market so other product sectors have increased their commitment to sponsorship. The drinksindustry, financial services and mobilecommunications are now the major players in sponsorship and they have allbeen to the fore in developing a host of new ways to maximise their returns fromtheir involvement in sponsorshipprogrammes.The most significant development inrecent years has been the realisation andacceptance by marketers that bycommitting extra funds and resource totheir sponsorship programmes they cannot only increase awareness but actuallysell more of their products and services.In terms of growth, sponsorship hasconsistently outperformed all other marketing disciplines. Across Europe thefigure for sponsorship spend is just over £5billion per annum. These figures don’tshow the increased levels of support andpromotional, advertising and PR budgets,which are now being committed to enableeven more benefit to be extracted fromsponsorship programmes.The steady menu of opportunities thatsport in particular is able to offer willcontinue to fuel the sponsorship industry. While the major global events tend tooperate on four-year cycles, major continental and national events amply fillany “gaps”. This enables the widestpossible range of opportunities for companies to become heavily involved insponsorship programmes at all levels andwill ensure that the discipline continuesto develop and offer a wider range of marketing options.The greater commitment to sponsorshipshown by the marketing world and theincreased reliance on its ability to deliver for brands, has in turn led to anincreasing number of outstanding casestudies of just how leading sponsorshipprogrammes should be developed andused to maximise the returns for thesponsor.Sponsorship Works shows someof the most outstanding examples of sponsorship in action. These programmesin turn are run by sponsorshipprofessionals using a range of specificskills as well as the full range of other marketing disciplines. The sponsorshipindustry can be proud of the impact ithas made and we look forward to manymore outstanding examples of thediscipline delivering outstanding resultsfor satisfied sponsors.
Nigel Currie is director of sports marketingand entertainment agency GEM,part of theCSS-Stellar Group.
, CHAIRMAN OF THE EUROPEANSPONSORSHIP ASSOCIATION (ESA)
WORKS : 3
THE MAIN EVENT
THE DEVELOPMENT OF EVENT SPONSORSHIP
FRONT OF THE GRID
GULF AIR AND THE BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX
NATWEST’S CRICKET SPONSORSHIP
CARLSBERG REFRESHED BY EURO 2004
MARTELL’S WINNING GRAND NATIONAL
NORWICH UNION GETS BRITONS MOVING
LAND ROVER ACCEPTS A CHALLENGE
FINDING AND DEVELOPING THE RIGHT SPONSORSHIP
FORD AND THE UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
SONY ERICSSON’SMOVIE AWARDS
MMC AND THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP
BY THE EUROPEAN SPONSORSHIP ASSOCIATION
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ISSN 1363 4553