Whether it’s a major event like the Boston Marathon or your local weenie dog race, when you sponsor an event, your hope is to get an ROI on your investment. But how do you make sure your sponsorship is successful? Today we are sharing some tips on how you can make the most of the time and capital it takes to execute a sponsorship activation.
1. Be clear on your goal. How do you measure ROI? Brand awareness in a key market? Revenue at the expo? The number of email leads acquired? Invest the time to get crystal clear on your primary and secondary objectives.
2. Use your primary objectives to inform how you should negotiate your sponsorship. Very few of the sponsorship details are set in stone. There is almost always some wiggle room, whether in cost, or in value adds. If you’re looking for brand awareness, you could ask if there is an opportunity to have signage at events leading up to the event. Is there an opportunity for an experiential marketing activation at the entrance of the space? Or perhaps an in-kind donation to the VIP snack area to lower the amount of cash required to secure the sponsorship. Make sure to really think about what the event has to offer that could help you hit your goal in terms of ROI. If you aren’t able to think of much, ask the event organizers for some ideas. They want you to be successful too!
3. Make sure there are no direct competitors. Even if you are an industry leader, having a direct competitor sharing your spotlight is a quick way to weaken your ROI. Not only will you be competing for consumers attention, but your brand positioning is also harder when the messaging between two competing brands is muddled.
4. Add an experiential marketing activation if the event you are sponsoring lends itself to this (i.e. if it’s not a virtual event). Again, reference your primary and secondary objectives and ensure your activation is in line with these goals. If your goal is to build brand awareness, you may choose to have a large set-up that drives home your key differentiators. Does your logo have a mustached man? How about creating mustache photo ops at your booth? Is your hatchback car great for carrying sports gear? Maybe have an interactive game about how many bikes you can fit into the back. The options here are endless – but when people have an experience with your brand, they are more likely to remember you!
5. Hire the right people. If you’ve got an experiential marketing activation, but your booth staff is disengaged, you’re not going to be happy with the results. Your social media manager may be great at engaging with people online. But they might be better at sitting behind the screen than engaging with crowds. Or maybe your founder has let’s say…an intense personality. That might not translate well into one-on-one engagements with consumers. So, be sure to take the individual, not just the title, into account when deciding who will represent your company at the event. You may find the need to hire someone for this role specifically.
Sponsorships can be a great way to connect with your target consumers. Just by being part of their event, you are communicating to the event attendees that you share their passion. But signing the dotted line does not guarantee a successful sponsorship. Identifying your objectives and negotiating and planning according to these objectives will give you a high chance of seeing the ROI you’re hoping for.
Have you sponsored an event before? What was your experience? Share your tips below.