Social sponsorship has proven to be a relevant tool to express a brand’s values and to add a social dimension to a brand identity. It has the potential to improve brand image, generate better attitudes toward a brand and increase purchase intents. Besides, it is a more powerful lever for brand image than commercial sponsorship.
The IEG sponsorship conference held in Chicago this past March 26 to 29 remains the biggest event of its kind, bringing together over a thousand sponsorship professionals from all over North America, plus South America and Europe. This 34th “Pivot” edition was classic IEG, with its tried and true formula. In general, I feel that the audience is getting more property and non-profit heavy than when I started attending in the early 2010s, but the content from keynote speakers was very diverse and, in my opinion, better than 2016.
How do you know if you’re making the right sponsorship choices? This is a hard question to answer because sponsorship is a complex industry with lots of moving parts. But when you start with the data and use tech to track your progress, it empowers you to make better, more informed decisions.
After visiting the massive Sony space (post 1), I was eager to see how Panasonic played it. The brand used the time at SXSW to showcase its spinoff “Game Changer Catapult, an initiative to transform your ideas into reality regardless of where or how you work and live.” Taking advantage of flexibility and start-up mentality by using top talent outside of Panasonic is part of a broader trend for big corporations seeking to generate new ideas—like when the giant accounting solutions Intuit launched Mint, the personal finance management tool.
Cause sponsorship is of great interest, regardless of its relatively small size. That’s because corporate social responsibility has become an indispensable tool for brands looking to set themselves apart from the competition.
As I’m writing this in a coffee shop that just yesterday was the M&M Lounge, I can’t help but marvel at the high quality, ephemeral productions I’ve seen. Brands are paying top dollar for pop-up activations in the hopes of reaching a one-of-kind audience of brand marketers, advertisers, creators and the like.