Academic journal article International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship

Maximising Sport Sponsorship Investments: A Perspective on New and Existing Opportunities. (Analysis)

Academic journal article International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship

Maximising Sport Sponsorship Investments: A Perspective on New and Existing Opportunities. (Analysis)

Article excerpt

Abstract: Sponsorship as a marketing tool is developing and growing quicker than any other marketing discipline. Increased media opportunities, in particular the Internet and Digital TV and sponsorship's unique ability to transcend borders and cultures have greatly increased its standing. The Internet and the development of WAP phone technology will enable the vital link between desire and purchase among customers to be considerably strengthened. The new technology will also improve the ability to accurately measure the results of sponsorship in terms of increased sales.

Keywords: WAP Phones, Digital Technology, Vodafone, Football, Increased Media Options

Executive Summary

The sponsorship industry is continuing to grow at an extraordinary rate. There are a number of inter-related reasons for this not least of which is the increase in the media opportunities now available.

Other marketing activities such as advertising, sales promotion and PR remain relatively static in terms of what they have to offer. Sponsorship on the other hand is changing very rapidly indeed and providing not only more but varied marketing options.

Estimates of the total size of the sponsorship industry (currently estimated at between [pounds sterling]370-390million for the year 2000) are continually being upgraded and don't actually reflect the levels of spend within the industry once the overall support activity is taken into consideration.

The expansion in media options is a crucial factor in sponsorship's continued growth. In particular digital television and the Internet are providing completely new and exciting options for the sponsorship industry. Carling and Vodafone are two examples of brands that make outstanding use of sponsorship. Carling's Premier League sponsorship uses all the traditional techniques of sponsorship but highlights perfectly how a complete marketing campaign can be based around a major sponsorship agreement. Vodafone's recent announcement of their sponsorship of Manchester United is a useful example of the new wave of companies coming into sponsorship and using advanced technology to make the sponsorship work at all levels.

The technology involved in the new media is a direct link to the new generation of sponsors who are becoming an increasing force in the marketplace. In particular IT and mobile phone companies are developing the technology which can be integrated into the overall sponsorship activity.

The concept of using sponsorship as a means to directly influence sales and revenue is not new but what has been missing is the ability to make consumers act quickly in response to something they have seen.

The old model outlining the way sponsorship worked highlighted branding -> recognition -> awareness -> incentive -> desire -> purchase. It was the final step, in other words, getting the consumer to move from desire to purchase which had also proved to be the biggest stumbling block. As people become more comfortable with the technology now available, so this final link in the sponsorship model will be considerably strengthened. As this occurs, so the standing and perception of sponsorship will rise. Decision makers within companies are, of course, positively influenced by anything which increases sales and revenue. When this element is added to the existing massive branding opportunities the discipline offers, it becomes a very appealing property.

Finally the ability to measure sponsorship effectiveness will be greatly enhanced. In the past there has always been unfair criticism of sponsorship's inability to be measured in terms of results. In the future this will become much clearer and individual sponsorship programmes will deliver measurable results in terms of sales and revenue figures. At that point decision makers (and the accountants) will really be made to sit up arid take notice.

Maximising Sport Sponsorship Investments

The different components of the marketing mix are constantly changing. …

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