In today’s reality, sponsorship is the fastest growing marketing tool in developed countries, still in its infancy. Sponsorship can be seen as part of a marketing strategy, and as an integral technology of public relations. As a marketing tool, sponsorship is attractive in that it solves several quite tangible tasks: it promotes branding, stimulates increased sales, allows for closer contacts with consumers of products. The main reason and purpose of sponsorship is the PR component, which helps in understanding and strengthening the image and reputation of the sponsor.
Sponsorship helps to enhance positive associations and pictures with the brand and adds credibility to the sponsor in consumer perception. The main values of sponsorship are the formation of audience awareness about the company or its products, which is achieved through regular mentions of the company in the media and coverage of the social responsibility of the company. It builds and strengthens respect and maintains a reputation for the right audience.
Businesses create and implement sponsorship programs to disseminate information about the company and its products and to ensure brand popularity. The communicative effect of such measures is to “break” through the inertia of perception and protective information barriers of consumers and to increase the level of recognition of the image of the enterprise and its goods through association with a large-scale event, entertainment event, a prominent figure, expert opinion, and information, or activity associated with a noble cause.
Such events provide the sponsor with contacts with the media, enthusiasm on the part of sales staff, and support of the public opinion. The sponsoring company not only cares about itself and its financial profit. The organization is socially oriented; it cares about society. This means that such an organization can be trusted and should be supported. For example, actions aimed at rescuing children, solving environmental problems, or combating fatal illnesses have tremendous success and audience response.
In this example, we can assume that there is a psychological technique “threshold of sensitivity”. Therefore, sponsorship acts psychologically on the consumer, evokes emotions of sympathy, affecting the personal side of the person. To apply sponsorship as a brand image, you must adhere to the following recommendations:
- To sponsor only large, deliberately successful, outstanding projects, because there is a stereotype in the public opinion that prominent companies support prominent projects – this will play a key role in positioning the company and eliminate one-off small and mediocre activities.
- Correct positioning. This task is to inform, create, and support a clear image of the target audience and the public image of the company. The partners call the cooperation of the entities based on a joint venture agreement. Partners are directly involved in the development of their own business, make important decisions, negotiate, receive part of the company’s profits depends on the contribution made, the share.
- Sponsorship programs should not be short-lived and one-off. It is better to choose one area and several activities appropriate to the image of the company and stick to them for a long time, systematically pursuing activities in this direction.
- Show sincerity of intent. If consumers believe in the honesty of the sponsor’s intentions, the effectiveness of the sponsorship activity increases. The consumer should not feel open advertising, persuasive communication that the company is a sponsor, and its self-dismissal on the pages and screens of its own media channels – it will play against the image. Consumers are judged on the sincerity of intent by the object of the sponsorship. Practice shows that activities with humane, social content receive the most favorable response from the public. Therefore, it is necessary to participate in solving local problems, to support local cultural, leisure, social activities.
- Although this activity is implemented in the long run and sponsorship as PR communication does not imply a “here and now” result. However, sponsorship is not a charitable program; it is capable and should bring tangible effect to the organization.