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Corporate sponsorship exists when a business supports an event, individual or other business, either financially or by providing a service or product. This arrangement serves as a source of income for the beneficiary and a unique marketing opportunity for the sponsor. Corporate sponsorship exists in many forms and in a variety of fields. Some examples include professional sports team sponsorship, museum exhibit support, music festival sponsorship and event facility naming sponsorship.
A corporation can choose to become a corporate sponsor by making a financial donation to an organization, cause, business or individual. The level of support often dictates the type and amount of exposure offered by the beneficiary. For example, in professional stock car racing, placement and size of sponsor logos on the race car is dictated by the dollar amount of sponsor support. This practice also holds true for other sports, such as logos on the hats of professional golfers or sponsor name displayed on duffel bags carried by professional tennis players.
Corporate sponsorship can also exist when a business supplies products or goods to a beneficiary in exchange for sponsorship benefits. The type of products or goods supplied can vary depending on the need of the beneficiary. Some examples might include a beverage distributor supplying bottled water for marathon runners, a clothing manufacturer providing T-shirts for event participants or a sunglasses distributor supplying free sunglasses to baseball game attendees.
In some situations, a corporation may choose to become a corporate sponsor by providing business-related services. These services may be directly related to the company's business purchased on behalf of the supported organization. For example, a telephone company might provide free communications services for a large event, a waste management company might provide free trash removal for a music festival or a party rental company might supply chairs and tables for a formal fundraiser.
Marketing & Public Relations
Corporate sponsorship can also be nothing more than a marketing or public relations opportunity for the sponsor. Becoming a sponsor to gain naming rights for a building, event facility, wing of a hospital or part of an art gallery can be a long-term sponsorship opportunity for a business to become associated with the supported organization. These opportunities are typically ongoing, with the sponsor making regular donations.
Jeff O'Kelley is a professional photographer and writer, currently based in the Tampa, Florida area. His images and words have been featured by websites and publications such as CNN, Creative Loafing and Tampa Bay Times. O'Kelley holds associate degrees in telecommunications and website design from St. Petersburg College.