What is business sponsorship?
A business sponsorship is an organization's support of an event or activity, like a nonprofit, organization, group, trade show or local sports team, which usually comes in the form of a financial contribution. Organizations use sponsorships as a marketing tool so that they can gain a competitive advantage and reach business goals.
Unlike advertising, which shares specific messages about a company or product in the hopes that it will increase sales, sponsorships improve a brand's recognition and reputation because they support specific events that your target audience cares about. As a result, prospective customers associate your company with the event or activity.
Sponsorship gives companies invaluable exposure by allowing them to reach and connect with quality audiences, which often results in business growth.
How do business sponsorships work?
Community events often rely on the support of sponsors so they can minimize costs and provide exciting programs. For the sponsors of large business functions, charity events and trade shows, these promotional opportunities typically sponsor things like:
Trade show appearances
Lunch & learn activities
Podcast pre or post-roll
When businesses sponsor smaller, specialized nonprofits, like The Tourism Academy, there are usually fewer opportunities for product or brand placement. Though you may reach fewer people, these sponsorships can be extremely beneficial for companies that have a specific professional target audience.
Benefits of sponsoring events
Becoming a sponsor has a number of advantages. For example, your company can:
1. Increase return on investment
Though they usually require some financial commitment, sponsorships provide businesses with excellent exposure, which typically results in a great return on investment (ROI). Sponsorship roles are usually negotiable, meaning you can work out an agreement that gives your company the level of exposure you're hoping for.
Before the event, you should determine what goals you're hoping to achieve. You can then choose an effective metric to measure your success and decide if that specific sponsorship is worth doing again.
2. Build business relationships
Sponsoring an event or trade show can help your company make connections with non-competing businesses, giving you opportunities for collaboration in the future. Aside from having a strategy for engaging new customers, you should also prepare a plan to introduce yourself and your company to other sponsors and professionals in attendance.
3. Gain valuable tourism and destination insights
You can learn a lot from sponsoring an event, including the:
Newest industry trends or business ideas
Unique selling proposition (USP) of other companies
Strategies other businesses use to attract new customers
4. Expand its content strategy
Sponsorships can provide a great source of new material for a company's content strategy. By promoting your involvement in an event or activity, you can drive traffic from the event and increase your engagement. A great way to do this is by creating content themes and hashtags. Additionally, you can connect with the host on social media and find new target audiences.
5. Foster a positive reputation
Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of event sponsorship is that it can strengthen your company's image. People typically enjoy supporting brands that invest in their community and spread positive messages.
By sponsoring an important cause, you can attract media attention, set your company apart from larger brands and inspire brand loyalty. Determine what your target audience cares about, and choose causes that align with these values in some way.
6. Generate leads
Brand loyalty is largely dependent on emotional connections. By sponsoring events, you can gain exposure to prospective customers and highlight the human side of your company. Additionally, when a representative of your company attends the events you sponsor, you can learn valuable information about your customers, develop a mailing list and promote your services or products.
Event hosts can usually provide you with information about the attendees beforehand, such as the attendance rates. If you conduct research in advance, you can develop a strategy for creating as many leads as possible.
7. Reach sales goals
Aside from gathering leads, you can also generate immediate sales at a consumer event. Look for events that have high attendance rates and a limited amount of direct competitors. In some cases, you can ensure that you're the only vendor in your particular market category by paying an additional fee.
8. Benefit from association
You can often grow your company's positive reputation through branded event marketing. When a company sponsors events or organizations, people often assume that it is reputable and reliable. As a result, consumers have a higher likelihood of purchasing services or products associated with the brands sponsoring high-profile events.
9. Boost brand visibility
Sponsorships can increase brand recognition before, during and after the actual event by giving your company exposure to new audiences. This often happens through mentions in the press or social media and event advertising, like radio spots, signs and featured ads. You can take advantage of this exposure by offering attendees free branded materials through promotional giveaways.
10. Engage niche markets
By choosing events that attract your target audience, you can ensure that you're connecting with high-quality leads that are interested in your solutions or products.
11. Showcase a service or product
Events provide a great setting for launching feature updates or new products. You can increase your traffic by promoting launches and other incentives, like giveaways, on social media before the event
12. Gain a competitive advantage
When you sponsor an event, you automatically gain an advantage over your absent direct competitors.
13. Interact with prospects
In-person interactions can help you develop a connection between your company and its target audience. Engage with prospective customers by providing demos or branded merchandise.
14. Establish its authority
As a sponsor, you can position your brand as a credible authority in its niche industry.
Learn more or become a Tourism Academy sponsor today.