Sponsorship is an evolving area and the recent 2015 Relevent Conference shed light on a new way of approaching sponsorship. The speakers addressed numerous issues that are gaining traction in the sponsorship field such as the increased usage of social media as an important channel for activation, the effectiveness of the performance evaluation, the need to clarify precise objectives beyond awareness and finally is the logo dead? What the speaker Ian Malcolm, President of Desperado Inc. agency, would call the in-ice-logo dilemma, which stresses the fact that sponsorship is no more about visibility but way more about engagement.
Nonetheless, sponsorship visibility can be suitable for sponsors who are unknown in specific markets or for brands whose category doesn’t imply point-of-purchase, like insurance or financial companies where recall is very important. Mass media can improve brand awareness more effectively than sponsorship. However, sponsorship is unique in that it is able to create emotional ties with consumers. Brands need to understand that “fans don’t remember my signage, fans remember my activation.”
This is why sponsorship deals need to be more about customized proposals than a list of visibility assets. These proposals will have to include relevant activations that will benefit fans, properties, and sponsors, thereby creating a WIN-WIN-WIN ecosystem, like Rick Jones, CEO of FishBait Marketing would argue. Brands need to take a step back and exchange their logo for the creation of more emotional activations that would enhance fans’ experience during events instead of interrupting it with too much commercialization. Fans are becoming more demanding about what sponsors will bring them during the event, as people now have higher expectations about what brands will do for society, as Pierre Ladouceur President of Turbo Marketing, a firm specializing in social marketing, affirmed.
To create these engaging experiences requires creativity, time, resources and good communication between the sponsor and the property. However, this can be related with sponsor less, bigger, smarter.
But how to become more creative? The 2015 Relevent Conference provided insights about creativity, digital activation, community creation, content strategy and more.
Stay tuned for more content from the 2016 Relevent Conference September 27-29 in Montreal!
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