Sponsor marketing is a relatively new form of advertising that has proven to be incredibly effective for many different types of companies looking to grow their brand. Initially, the media didn’t know much about it and the term sponsor marketing was unheard of. However, after years of research and first-hand testing, the media has finally started to catch on to the phenomenon that is sponsor marketing. But there is still a lot of confusion and skepticism, so it’s time we took a look at what the media – and society in general – has gotten wrong about sponsor marketing.
1) Sponsor Marketing is a form of advertising
The first thing almost everyone in the media gets wrong about sponsor marketing is describing it as an ad. To most companies, this makes sponsor marketing sound like just another form of advertising even though it’s a completely different animal. That’s because what they mean by “ad” is banner ads, pop-ups and the like that people actively try to shut off or ignore. Sponsor marketing isn’t something you passively ignore; instead it’s active participation where you engage with your fans/customers/followers to keep them up-to-date on what you’re doing without feeling like they’re being bombarded.
2) Sponsor Marketing is only for big companies
With the widespread use of social media and e-mail marketing, it’s easy for small businesses to reach a huge audience, so why would they need sponsor marketing? Well, sponsor marketing isn’t only for big companies, but it does require a certain level of maturity in order to take advantage of the benefits. When you start out as a company, you don’t have many followers or fans and getting people to sign up is hard work. As you grow your company, it becomes exponentially easier to sign up new followers since you have a brand people trust.
3) Sponsor Marketing is being used for evil things
When people think about sponsor marketing they often think of the negative uses for it where companies are misusing their influence or power to profit off others. While this has happened in the past with sponsorships (e.g. tobacco companies using sponsorship to get their products on television and the Olympics), it’s not as common today since sponsorships are usually related to a brand’s core business.
4) Sponsor Marketing is only for single-product companies
Sponsorship isn’t limited to just products, so the media needs to stop making it seem like it is. A restaurant that has a particular cuisine might let people use their restaurant’s logo on clothing or other merchandise to promote their brand. Or a gym might sponsor an athlete so their fans know about their services. These are all forms of sponsor marketing and no matter what your company does, there will be some form of sponsorship.
5) Sponsor Marketing is just for celebrities and athletes
Just because most people think sponsor marketing revolves around famous people doesn’t mean it’s true. And in many cases, it’s not true. Many of the world’s biggest brands partner with completely unknown athletes and celebrities to get their name out there. And some companies prefer to sponsor an athlete who isn’t famous but inspires people. It all depends on the company and what they feel is best for their brand.
6) Sponsor Marketing is a short-term strategy
Movie studios are probably the biggest offender when it comes to this misconception, because most of them view the movie as the product that can be sold through sponsor marketing. However, sponsorships are long term investments where you’re building awareness for a particular product or service without having to pay for advertising. If done properly, you’ll see a return on your investment slowly over a long period of time.
7) Sponsor Marketing can be measured using the same metrics as other types of advertising
Many companies often confuse how they measure success with sponsor marketing and how they measure success with other forms of advertising. The two are completely separate and you can’t simply compare one to another because the metrics you use will be different. This is especially true with sponsor marketing since it encourages interaction and not just passive consumption like traditional advertising does. For example, if someone views a banner ad, you know they saw it but that doesn’t mean they feel any particular way about it. But when someone interacts with your sponsorship messages (e.g. on Twitter or Facebook), you can see how they feel about the product or service in question.
8) Sponsorship is just another form of advertising
Sponsor marketing is not the same as traditional advertising. This misconception is most common with companies that use sponsors to boost their sales by getting people to buy something they wouldn’t have otherwise. To do this, you must create a story around your sponsor that’s related to your brand, so that people think “if I buy this because of my sponsor,
While sponsor marketing can be confusing, it’s a lot like a lot of other things. The media and people in general often over-complicate simple things, which is why understanding what sponsor marketing is can be difficult. So if you’re a part of the media, we ask that you get to know the industry better before writing about it so that progressive steps can be made to bring society up-to-speed.