What Are the Different Types of Event Sponsorships?

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A sponsorship is a strategic alliance between a company and event organizers to increase the company’s visibility and build brand awareness. Selecting the right event to sponsor is crucial, as audiences, attendees or viewers have become more fragmented or “demassified” by lifestyle choices, according to Trevor Slack, a sports management expert. Sponsoring the most suitable event is contingent upon the lifestyle market it caters to, so companies tend to seek opportunities that complement their marketing objectives and budget.

Arts and Cultural

Films, music, visual and performance arts are just some of the cultural activities a company can choose to sponsor. Music events, such as large-scale concerts or artist showcases, are some of the more popular arts and cultural sponsorships, as noted by writer Teemu Luukka in a Helsingin Sanomat article. Companies sponsoring large-scale pop music concerts can benefit from exposure by including their logos in concert promotional campaigns that may include billboards and signage, traditional advertisements, and promotional giveaways. Events that cater to more mature or upscale audiences, such as the symphony orchestra or museums, might have a more subdued form of logo inclusion; business names could be written on playbills or plaques, or assigned to designated rooms, wings or galleries.

Sports

The major benefit of sports sponsorships is their ability to transcend cultural, language, and geographic barriers, according to the book “Marketing Communications: A European Persepective.” Some of the more coveted global sporting alliances are with the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC)—partnerships that could result in large-scale international exposure for brands. If companies wish to include their logos in stadiums or on the paraphernalia of a major sporting event, such as the the World Series, World Cup or Olympics, they must go through the parent organizations, which can have strict policies and terms, according to David Prosser in his article, “Sports Sponsorship Has Never Been so Complicated.” Sponsorship deals of this caliber might restrict companies' abilities to benefit from additional partnerships with local leagues, clubs or tournaments.

Broadcast

Sponsoring a television broadcast is a partnership between the company and either the independent broadcaster or program maker. The news and weather are examples of some of the television programs a company can choose to endorse. For instance, companies can sign sponsorship deals with a weather program that allows them to integrate their 15- to 30-second commercial spots within that broadcast. Additionally, a broadcasting company can allow companies to run their commercial spots before and after the live taping or airing of a special event, such as a holiday special.

Though broadcast sponsorships might seem the same as TV advertisements, there are some fundamental differences. In particular, sponsorships might give companies the right to have a say in the program’s content—something that's not granted to regular advertisers. Also, sponsors might have exclusivity or be allocated preferential time slots to air their commercial spots, whereas other advertisers would be grouped together.

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About the Author

B. Maté has been reporting on creative industries since 2007—covering everything from Fashion Week to the latest artist to wow the Parisian art scene. Her experience stems from a marketing background, with more than 12 years of experience consulting fashion-forward entrepreneurs.

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