In simple terms, business strategy defines the choices your organization makes in how it applies its finite resources towards meeting its business objectives.
Businesses will often have multiple strategies in play at any given time. The larger and more complex the enterprise, the more strategies it deploys – marketing, sales, operations, etc. However, each strategy should support the organization’s core business strategy.
Sponsorship strategy is no different, but for many brands sponsorship strategy isn’t always all that well connected with the overarching brand or marketing strategy. Perhaps it’s because sponsorship is often perceived as ‘less measurable’ when in fact it’s more measurable than most other forms of marketing pressure. Or maybe because historically, decisions around sponsorship were often emotionally driven. Your sponsorship strategy should draft behind your brand/marketing strategy, not be disparate from it.
Along with Alignment to Brand/Marketing Strategy, your sponsorship strategy should also be framed around several additional considerations:
Alignment to Commercial Strategy
This isn’t relevant to all categories, but where applicable your sponsorships should help drive direct or indirect revenue.
We recently came across a bank that didn’t actually conduct any banking for most of the properties it sponsored. We’ve also seen an airline that sponsors top tier sports teams, yet the players and staff fly with the airline’s competitor.
In some categories, the direct business the sponsor can garner through its sponsorships can self-liquidate the rights fee investment, and often then some.
Portfolio Composition and Target Efficiency
Many sponsors have properties in their portfolio that don’t provide them with access points to their primary and secondary target audiences or stakeholder groups.
Whether it be properties that align with your target audience’s passion points and your brand’s values or ensuring you can leverage your activations across a marketing calendar and across geographies – portfolio composition is important.
Properties that don’t provide a strong concentration of your target audience(s) – by demographic, business opportunity, psychographic/mindset – will usually be inefficient investments. Buying space within a property that helps you get more focused on your targets increases efficiency.
We recently helped a B2B brand shed consumer facing assets during a renewal of a top tier sports property and added assets that better enabled access to the C-suite audience the brand was targeting.
Governance and Measurement
The foundation of your sponsorship strategy should be your sponsorship governance approach. It is imperative to be considering the ‘how’ of sponsorship – how you manage renewals and consider new sponsorship opportunities, how you seek organizational alignment, how you leverage your sponsorships, and how you create and ensure accountability.
Without measurement, you won’t know if you’re driving success through your sponsorship efforts and it will be difficult to rationalize your investments to stakeholders.
Complete sponsorship measurement focuses on outcomes, not just outputs. Outputs are measures like the number of consumers engaged, the number of games activated, the number of tickets used by customers and prospects. Outcomes are measures like net impact on specific brand health indicators, increase in revenue, lift in sell-through at retail.
Lumency’s sponsorship measurement protocol, True ROI™, is customized to your business needs and measures what matters for your category and your business.
Need to better define your sponsorship strategy or build one from scratch? We can help.
Contact Us: [email protected]
© 2018 Lumency Inc. and Lumency LLC
The contents of this document are the property of Lumency Inc. and/or Lumency LLC. They represent intellectual property in the form of but not limited to processes, ideas, marketing concepts and creative designs. They may not be used without prior written agreement and only upon full compensation to Lumency Inc. or Lumency LLC for the use or partial use of any of the material contained herein.