There is a mindset among brand marketers that once they’ve delivered the check, their role in the sponsorship program is over—nothing could be further from the truth. Isn’t that kind of like taking all the ingredients for a cake, mixing it in a bowl and waiting for the cake to bake? In reality, the heavy lifting starts now.
So how do we bake, er build, our activation strategy? There are two ready-made scenarios built into each sponsorship program. Let’s go back to thinking about our purpose in sponsoring or examining the list of assets that are included in our sponsorship. Examine the purpose of your sponsorship. Is it access to a group of consumers? Perhaps you are sponsoring a cause and desire the brand affiliation or maybe it’s all about exposure.
Understanding your purpose and crafting a strategy to gain notoriety or interacting with your target audience is critical to your success. But how? Step No. 2 is looking at the assets you’ve obtained as part of the sponsorship to leverage your strategy. Do you have access to a list of attendees? How about social media mentions? Maybe entertaining your customers will provide a new sense of affinity for your brand.
Here’s the case that the Fort Worth CVB made to partner with the US Sports Congress and extend their sponsorship and branding. Just a few weeks ago, we hosted a reception in Milwaukee to kick off events and highlight offerings at this year’s US Sports Congress, an event hosted by the Fort Worth CVB. Sports commissions and rights holders were invited to attend the event at Red Rock Saloon with free drinks and live country music. Do you see the theme developing here—country bar, country music, Western-themed giveaways (like custom boots and a hat fitting). There were Fort Worth-themed decorations, and their logo was on signage, too. The goal here was to show the brand affiliation with an industry event, in this case the US Sports Congress.
— SportsPlanningGuide (@SportsPlanGuide) April 28, 2015
Second, it was to elevate the prominence of the destination brand showing Fort Worth as a big-time destination with a down-home feel that can host important industry events. Third, it provided a voice that Fort Worth might not normally have had to invite customers to their destination and attend the US Sports Congress. The event came off flawlessly.
We’ve only scratched the surface in this three-part series on sponsorship. If you want more information and training, I highly recommend attending the Sponsorship PrepAcademy, led by industry veterans. You’ll gain inside knowledge on every step of the sponsorship process. This year the Academy will be hosted in conjunction with the US Sports Congress December 10-11. For more information Click here.