How Brand Directors Can Leverage Sponsorship

How Brand Directors Can Leverage Sponsorship

With so many options available, how can brands make the right decisions when it comes to sponsorship? Strategist Daye Moffitt has four top tips.

Just like navigating around a buffet, careful strategic decisions are key. Without clear objectives and a foolproof plan you’ll fail to return on investment, max out too soon, crash and burn, and all before you’ve even come close to tackling the dessert bar. Is there anything in this world that is more disappointing?

BMW’s partnership with the US Olympic bobsled team and Skeleton Federation is a shining example of sponsorship. To help the team win its first race since 1938, they embarked on a total redesign of the two-man bobsled and created a ‘groundbreaking branded entertainment program’ titled Driving on Ice to capture their design journey. The video drew 1.1 million viewers in its first airing and gained significant exposure across the NBC portfolio; also receiving recognition from top media outlets including: ESPN, Forbes and BrandChannel. Whilst BMW declined to comment on the success of the partnership, they did confirm that the idea grew out of a six-year sponsorship deal, and that there had been a significant positive impact on the brand. There are a number of lessons to glean from this. We’ve captured four:

#1 Know your brand like you know your best friend

Key to success is having a clear and intimate understanding of your brand: That is, what your brand stands for; values and believes in. At Principals, we think of brands like we think of people, constantly asking: What’s their purpose? What makes them tick? Who might they befriend? What passions do they share with their audiences? Powerful and impactful partnership ideas live in the answers to these questions. We recommend taking the time to understand what sits at the heart of your brand.

Case in point: Building on their long-time associations with the art world, Louis Vuitton demonstrated its commitment to the London art scene by partnering with five top galleries: Tate Britain, the Whitechapel Gallery, the Hayward Gallery, the Royal Academy of Arts and the South London Gallery. The co-lab, titled the Louis Vuitton Young Arts Project stood to benefit 750 young people by enabling them unique access to the museum directors and curators, artists and collectors – an opportunity money simply could not buy.

#2 Build emotional assets

Long term relationships matter. Whilst positive associations may not happen as quickly in the field of sponsorship as they might on other marketing channels, it’s worth investing in the time it takes. Procter & Gamble’s Proud Sponsor of Mums program during the 2012 and 2014 Olympics campaign had three clear objectives: Win the Olympics (measured by recall over other Olympic sponsors): Make people love P&G (measured by net familiarity, favorability and trust): And finally, increase sales by $100 million. All objectives were met and exceeded and the sponsorship successfully transformed a big and cold corporation into a brand with a beating heart. Emotional connections lead to sales. It’s not science. But it is a fact.

#3 Measure effectiveness effectively

It’s sounds like a no-brainer. And yet, so many still fail to measure effectiveness well. According to the ANA, the number of companies that have a dedicated budget for sponsorship has increased, however less then half of them had a standard process for measuring ROI. To maximize the power of sponsorship, effectiveness needs to be about more than just brand exposure. But the metrics for sponsorship programs are distinct from other measurement tools, and whilst it can be difficult to precisely determine the financial value of sponsorship activity, you can start by asking yourself three questions: Did it make your brand famous? Has it strengthened your relationship with your audiences? And, has your brand gained positive associations through the partnership? If your answers are yes: job well done.

#4 Playing safe is a dangerous game

There’s a deadly phrase out there in the sponsor-sphere: We’ll just do what we did last year. Oh sure. Good idea! It hasn’t proven itself particularly effective, but lets do it all again anyway.Isn’t this the very definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result? There’s a lot to be said for mindful and measured perseverance. But that’s not what this phrase represents. This phrase is about one of two things, possibly both: laziness and fear. It’s safe and easy to just hit repeat. But it’s more dangerous than one might think. Every missed opportunity to emotionally engage with your audience via sponsorship or otherwise is your competitor’s potential gain. And like a hungry lion about to pounce on its prey: They’re ready and waiting. The lesson: Evaluate every new year like it’s nothing like the last. And why? Because it’s not.

The best sponsors are those that fit seamlessly into the worlds in which they’re sponsoring. Simply badging events or properties with little to no concern for shared and authentic values or synergies will leave a sponsorship deal looking (at worst) superficial or (at best) fiscally ineffective.

Happy partnering.

Daye Moffitt is a strategy director.




Latest News

NAB Launches Latest Take On “More than Money” Via TBWA\Melbourne
  • Campaigns

NAB Launches Latest Take On “More than Money” Via TBWA\Melbourne

NAB, in partnership with TBWA\Melbourne and Mindshare, has unveiled its latest campaign dubbed “Wrangle Your Money”. The national campaign demonstrates how NAB is supporting and empowering customers to make better financial moves. As part of the “More Than Money” brand platform, the latest work comes at a pivotal time as the country continues to grapple […]

Activation Union Hires Bree Mankin As Managing Partner
  • Media

Activation Union Hires Bree Mankin As Managing Partner

Activation Union is thrilled to announce the appointment of Bree Mankin as Managing Partner. In this pivotal role, Bree will spearhead the agency’s growth initiatives and client strategy, leveraging her extensive experience and innovative approach in delivering exceptional results for her clients. With over two decades of experience in marketing and communications, Bree is a […]

Toyota Launches Integrated Electric Vehicle Campaign Via HERO
  • Campaigns

Toyota Launches Integrated Electric Vehicle Campaign Via HERO

Toyota Australia has launched its highly anticipated new all-electric vehicle, the bZ4X, on Australian shores through a nationwide integrated campaign. Spearheaded by a big spot, the campaign was created by independent creative agency HERO, which sees a typical EV sceptic named Barry behind the wheel of an all-new Toyota bZ4X much to the surprise of […]

Canva Launches First Ever Podcast: Design Surfaces
  • Media

Canva Launches First Ever Podcast: Design Surfaces

Canva has announced its very first podcast: Design Surfaces. Covering all areas of design, from brand campaigns to UX flows, the podcast digs deep into the intricate parts of designers’ brains to unearth valuable insights, unique perspectives, and what makes them tick. The Design specialty at Canva is made up of some of the most […]

SBS Launches Development Fund To Find Australia’s Next Top Documentaries
  • Media

SBS Launches Development Fund To Find Australia’s Next Top Documentaries

SBS is searching for its most daring, unflinchingly fearless and boundary-smashing factual format yet, issuing a call out for impactful ideas for new documentary series unlike anything seen on Australian screens before, with up to $50,000 in development funding on offer. Announced this morning at the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) in Melbourne, SBS is […]

Resolution Nabs Sarah Truong From PHD
  • Advertising

Resolution Nabs Sarah Truong From PHD

Full-service media agency Resolution has appointed Sarah Truong as head of investment to lead the agency’s investment product. Sarah joins from PHD where she was Group Investment Director for half a decade. With 14 years’ experience in the media industry including seven years at media agency, Carat, Sarah a proven track record for delivering results-driven […]

Brisbane Unveils Bold New Tourism Campaign
  • Campaigns

Brisbane Unveils Bold New Tourism Campaign

Brisbane Economic Development Agency (BEDA) has launched a new domestic tourism campaign, Brisbane Favours the Bold, this week, appealing to those who search for the unexpected to discover the new Brisbane. Created in partnership with VML and dentsu Queensland, the campaign aims to redefine perceptions of Queensland’s thriving capital, strengthen awareness of Brisbane’s leisure offering, […]

Elle Returns To Australia
  • Media

Elle Returns To Australia

Are Media, Australia’s leading omnichannel content company for women, today unveiled the keenly anticipated first issue of the new ELLE Australia magazine. The 244-page Bright Young Things issue – featuring actor Sophie Wilde on the cover – clearly stamps ELLE Australia as the fashion bible for smart, stylish Gen Z and millennial women who love […]

Potential Fallout For The Sydney Roosters In The Wake Of Racial Slur Allegations
  • Marketing

Potential Fallout For The Sydney Roosters In The Wake Of Racial Slur Allegations

The Sydney Roosters are facing a huge amount of fallout over allegations that Spencer Leniu made an on-field racial slur against Broncos player Ezra Mam in yesterday’s Las Vegas season opener. Mam filed an official complaint against Leniu after the Roosters prop allegedly called the Broncos five-eighth a “monkey” on the field. Leniu tried to […]

Nominate Your Marketing Heroines: ADMA Celebrates Women’s Achievements On International Women’s Day 2024
  • Marketing

Nominate Your Marketing Heroines: ADMA Celebrates Women’s Achievements On International Women’s Day 2024

To celebrate International Women’s Day, The Association for Data-Driven Marketing and Advertising (ADMA), has launched a new initiative to honour and spotlight the dynamic women in the marketing sector across the country. Lead image: ADMA Website This year, as the world embraces the theme #InspireInclusion for International Women’s Day on March 8, ADMA is asking […]

Nine.com.au & Drive Join Forces To Launch P-Plate Drive Safe Campaign
  • Campaigns

Nine.com.au & Drive Join Forces To Launch P-Plate Drive Safe Campaign

With the Easter break historically one of the busiest on our roads, Nine.com.au and Drive today launched a month-long campaign to raise awareness of the importance of defensive driver training courses. Too many young drivers are killed or injured on our roads each year. Younger drivers are the most overrepresented group in this tragic statistic, […]