One of the most common questions I get asked is “is there another word for sponsorship”? In previous postings (Anyone Know Another Word for Sponsorship?2009/05/07 and Update on Another Word for Sponsorship 2009/08/12), I’ve discussed the notion of Strategic Cooperative Marketing (SCM) as a means of articulating the essence of effective sponsorship marketing. Since my last posting on the issue, we’ve created an SCM Model that demonstrates the complexity of the sponsorship environment and the elements that must come together in order for an effective, long-lasting exchange to take place between the seller (sponsee) and the buyer (sponsor).
Increasingly we find ourselves minimizing the use of the word “sponsorship” when promoting and selling sponsorship opportunities because the word simply doesn’t get the respect it deserves. The industry has only itself to blame for this lack of respect because most sponsor-seeking organizations have a history of offering low-value benefits and/or unrealistic expectations of the value of their property. As a result, many prospects immediately associate the word “sponsorship” with “low value ROI” and that is not what effective sponsorship marketing is all about.
Generally, we find that we get a better response from prospects when we refer to the opportunity as a “marketing partnership” or a “cooperative marketing opportunity”. When the opportunity is positioned in these terms, it implies a more commercial exchange with tangible benefits and measurable outcomes.
The bottom line is whatever words you use to describe the “opportunity”, you need to properly position the potential exchange of money or in-kind for the purpose of marketing benefit so that the reader gets an immediate sense of the “value proposition” of being involved with your organization and property. I’ll have more to say on this issue in an upcoming post.