Sponsorship Offerings Need to Keep Pace with an Increasingly Sophisticated Marketplace

I recently heard an ad on the radio that reminded me how sophisticated companies are becoming at connecting with their audiences in meaningful ways. The ad I heard was from an Ottawa-based Funeral Home that was offering support services (during the Christmas period) for those who might need some moral support during what can be a very difficult time of year, especially for those who have recently lost someone and are feeling particularly lonely. What really struck me about the ad was that here was a relatively conservative business was reaching out to their audience in an innovative way that demonstrated their sensitivity to the market in a way that went significantly beyond the traditional funeral service offerings. This company clearly made a decision that it was important for them to demonstrate the added value they bring to the marketplace. In my view, this is very good marketing.

The lesson for anyone in the business of recruiting sponsors is this – companies (no matter what size, background, service offering) are looking for unique ways to connect with their audience. The better we can be at understanding a company’s objectives and provide tangible opportunities for them to demonstrate their value in a market that goes beyond their core service offerings, the more effective we will be at recruiting these companies as sponsors. Sponsorships are no longer about logos and signs; they’re about helping companies make meaningful connections with their audience; so remember that the next time, before you send out that generic, “cookie-cutter” sponsorship package.



Welcome to my Blog on Sponsorship and Partnerships!

Welcome to the home page of my newly launched blog on Sponsorships and Partnerships.

The main reason I launched this blog is because the people I talk to through our consulting projects and workshops have expressed a need for an on going forum to ask questions about their sponsorship or partnership initiatives, share ideas and best practices and connect with like-minded people. I also generally have a lot to say on this issue.

Technology has made it possible to connect like no other way; but to make this work, I’m going to need your help. Here’s what each of you can do to make this forum a living, breathing community of sponsorship and partnership professionals.

  • Ask questions
  • Share your opinion
  • Share your knowledge and experiences
  • Post links of useful information

And one more thing…we all work hard (most times) and we’re all serious about being the best at what we do, but a little levity helps break up the constant pressure we put on ourselves, so let’s not be afraid to have a little fun with this and see where it goes….

The first thing I’d like to do is clarify what I think the difference is between “Sponsorships” and “Partnerships”.

In my view, partnerships are two or more organizations working together to achieve a common goal. Partnerships can be short or long-term and usually involve a sharing of responsibility, resources (financial or in-kind), risk and reward.

On the other hand, while the term “sponsor” has all kinds of meanings depending on your environment, sponsorships are essentially a commercial arrangement where one party receives cash or in-kind and the other party receives some form of tangible / intangible benefit in return for their contribution. In a sponsorship, you may be working together to fulfill an agreement but odds are, you don’t usually share the same objective. When’s the last time a sponsor of yours had the same goal?

Thanks to Gomery, the word sponsorship still has some kind of connotation to it, but the fact is that more and more people are turning on to sponsorships as a legitimate marketing tactic and/or means of generating revenue for their organizations. On this issue, I’d like to pose a question:

Is the term “sponsorship” still relevant in today’s environment or is there another term (besides the word sponsorship) we can use to describe the act of an organization contributing cash or in-kind in exchange for access to, and a closer association with a particular audience? It would be great to hear offshore merchant account some of your creative ideas around this.