Traditional industry concerns remain: it’s always a question of measure, return on investment and activation. However, we feel the influence of new trends in sponsorship, which considerable power has kept attracting companies. These trends will confirm sponsorship as being a unique and increasingly relevant communication vehicle that generates impressive results for many brands. However, to achieve such success, it’s essential to use this tool strategically. Here are five trends to watch.
1. New way of talking about sponsorship
Sponsorship allows brands to express themselves and leave the promotional framework to create a genuine emotional connection. It’s not only about impressions anymore. For example, P&G has launched a campaign to thank mothers of athletes as part of its sponsorship of the Olympic Games. This operation, which was pulling at the heartstrings of women (representing the best part of P&G sales), has increased the positive sentiment towards the manufacturer’s brands by 10%. The association of a brand with the organization that it sponsors is also an excellent opportunity to tell an engaging story that becomes a source of content which, in turn, can be picked up by social media users.
2. Creative structure
Sponsorship agreements have to be looked at creatively and their benefits used unexpectedly. For example, Coca-Cola transformed their soccer stadium suite in a dormitory so that fans can spend the night at the stadium before the game for an unforgettable experience. Similarly, the business network of sponsored organizations is often underused, such as programs aiming at involving employees who have the potential to become the brand’s greatest ambassadors.
3. Shine by being generous
Brand sponsor need not always be on the forefront. People benefiting from a brand’s kind gestures become their greatest advocates. To grab consumers attention, a brand needs to address topics they are passionate about. This is what the O2 telecommunications company did when it gave its name to the O2 Arena in London. The company harnesses its members’ passion for music and gives them the benefits of ticket priority and exclusive on premises locations.
4. Social engagement as an opportunity
Incorporating a social responsibility component to brands can rhyme with good business. Hublot, a Swiss watch manufacturer with a growth rate three times higher than the industry uses its sponsorship to promote various causes, including the fight against racism.
5. Era of shoulder to shoulder
In 2013, with the interest for sponsorship constantly rising, an increase of 5,5% in investments is forecast in North America (IEG). Therefore, several sponsored organizations enter the market with the intention of benefiting from the windfall. To stand out, they must become as sophisticated as sponsors and adopt the same language as their interlocutors.