The system of sponsorship is a two-way relationship between the sponsor and the sponsee, whereby the sponsee is paid in cash or kind by the sponsor, and the sponsor gets the rights to associate itself with the activity sponsored.
The activity sponsored may range from a cultural event to a musical concert; a conference to an award event or a community function to a college farewell function. The distinct demands for an audience of different businesses find their fulfillment in this diversity.
Since the beginning of the era of start-ups, sponsorship has established itself as an alternative promotion strategy which is cost effective and commands the ability to transcend national and cultural barriers. The reason behind this growing trend of sponsorship is the greater media coverage of these events and the rising cost of media advertising.
The ushering era of startups now thrives on sponsorships, but like everything else, even sponsorship comes associated with pros and cons.
The Good Part
The act of sponsorship is intended at increasing the reach of one’s brand or company without actually advertising the product or the service. Sponsoring an individual, organization or event having a strong reputation leads to enhancement in brand image, as the association establishes credibility based on the trustworthiness of the sponsee. The lead sponsors are the most benefited ones, as in most of the cases, its name is associated with the event being sponsored and gets advertised alongside the event.
All of these together convert into leads and/or draw up the sales figure of the product or the service.
The Bad Part
As the enhancement in the brand image is due the strong image of the sponsee, sponsorships can sometimes lead to negative image building if the association is a player that has a negative image. Also, at very high-profile events, an excess of sponsors can lead to sponsorship clutter which ensures that no sponsor can stand out and as a result, the intended purpose misses its target audience.
Myths Associated With Sponsorship
Sponsorship is always considered a costly investment, especially for startups, most of whom run short of finances all the time. Some start-ups consider this as an unnecessary expense with fewer returns. But, sponsorship, if done with a partner possessing a strong image, can increase the reach by manifolds and create a positive brand image.
Like everything else, even sponsorship comes associated with cons, but all the cons of sponsorship are based on the shortcomings in the planning, not on the sponsorship itself. As all a startup has to do is to bet its money in the right place and on the right platform and then just sit back and watch its sales grow.