Magazine article Marketing

Marketing Society: Sponsorship Can Prove Worth

Magazine article Marketing

Marketing Society: Sponsorship Can Prove Worth

Article excerpt

For a long time sponsorship has struggled to justify an equal place at the marketing table because of a perceived lack of bottom-line accountability.

Finance directors might continue to question how advertising and PR quantify their direct profit contribution, but cost per thousand, gross ratings points and so on are industry standard proxies that have allowed these disciplines to command the evaluation high ground compared with sponsorship.

Some specialist sponsorship agencies have tried to close this gap by developing bespoke measurement systems, but they suffer a lack of credibility because of their proprietary nature and inaccessibility to anyone who is not a client. However, the European Sponsorship Association (ESA) has challenged its members to resolve this issue. It aims to develop a standard framework for defining sponsorship's contribution to launch at its annual congress in November.

Why now? Partly because marketing directors are increasingly aware of the unique opportunity sponsorship provides to connect with customers, as evidenced by annual growth in spending on the medium outstripping more traditional rivals. Also, the industry has finally reached critical mass in recognising that a standardised system will bring more benefit overall than the parochialism of the past.

The debate over sponsorship assessment (what return on investment, or ROI, might be generated) and evaluation (analysing whether a property purchased has delivered the expected ROI) is one on which I hold strong opinions. …

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