What is a Corporate Sponsorship?
“To sponsor something is to support an event, activity, person, or organization financially or through the provision of products or services. A sponsor is the individual or group that provides the support, similar to a benefactor.” – Wikipedia
Through corporate sponsorships, a company or organization attaches its name to a charity, event or other promotions in exchange for funding or providing needed goods or services. Why? The sponsor achieves several benefits from the relationship.
Benefits of Corporate Sponsorhip (to the Sponsor)
1. It provides an effective means of advertising, as your company logo and name will be included on the charity or event’s advertising (print materials, banners, website, and media ads), hence enhancing your brand recognition and company reputation.
2. A company achieves visibility as a good community citizen, by supporting non-profit programs that improve the quality of life in their community (scholarships, children’s & women’s causes, environmental programs, urban renewal, construction projects and any program that reaches out to the disadvantaged). This can also be referred to as “cause marketing”.
3. The satisfaction that your company is supporting a worthy cause, because sponsorships promote goodwill. But choose a cause that fits into your company’s brand, through relevance and alignment to your company’s mission, and that also has shown credibility and effective results in it’s particular cause.
4. Increased Employee and Contractor loyalty. If employees or contractors are proud of your company’s reputation in the community, they will be more loyal. And small businesses will be more likely to attract new business and partnerships due to it’s enhanced reputation.
5. Expanded Lead Generation. A small company may also generate new business through the contacts and leads it generates in its community relations activities.
Event sponsorship is financial support of a particular cause’s event, such as a workshop, a charity or awards dinner, an auction or other type of sales event, or a concert or show. A huge benefit to this type of advertising is that you expand your audience, including employees, business decision makers, and government regulators as well as consumers.
“Companies are more likely to spend large amounts of money sponsoring highly publicized events due to the amount of publicity that can be generated and the opportunity to be affiliated with a good cause or popular event.” – Inc.com
How to Become a Corporate Sponsor
1. First do your research. Businesses would not want to associate themselves with any cause or event without first undertaking a serious examination of the potential drawbacks of a sponsorship opportunity. Affiliation with a community event or non-profit that is poorly organized or violates local standards of good taste can in affect damage your company brand as well.
2. Brand Alignment. As stated above, its important to choose an event or cause that aligns with the brand your trying to achieve. [Example: A woman-owned business may look for opportunities to raise awareness for women’s causes or the education and professional development of women. A health related company may choose to sponsor a 5K race or an event to raise money for medical research for a specific diagnosis.]
3. Get it in Writing. Depending on the level of sponsorship, the terms of the agreement should clearly outline what recognition your company will receive as a result of your donation. Whether that be inclusion of your company name on all marketing and promotional materials, credits in radio and tv ads, and possibly even your logo on the event t-shirts.
4. After the relationship has been established, Get Involved! It’s recommended to have a representative or the owner of the sponsor company to sit on the board of directors of the non-profit organization, assist with the planning and organizing of the event or regular duties, and take an active part in the non-profit’s events and causes. If the organization hosts a charity walk, recruit the company’s employees and/or friends to take part as a team in the event.
5. Promote the cause and your relationship as its sponsor. Through your company’s website, blog, social media and email marketing, promote the non-profit’s events, their mission, and their accomplishments. Tell the story of why your company got involved and how your involvement has contributed to their goals for the year, a specific event or their overall organization’s success. And encourage others to lend their support.
In conclusion, well chosen Corporate Sponsorships can be a win-win for your company’s brand, as well as for your local community.
Startup Production is a proud corporate sponsor of the following organizations:
- Women Leading Kentucky: Gold Sponsor
- NAWBO Lexington KY: Visionary Sponsor
- Downtown Richmond Association
- Habitat for Humanity Madison-Clark Counties
The next article will focus on corporate sponsorship’s from the non-profit’s perspective: how to market and obtain new sponsorship contracts and how to retain them.