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BENEFITS OF SPONSORING
What the marketers say:
Sponsorship is the material support of an event,
activity or organisation, it is a good way of increasing brand awareness, which
helps to generate consumer preference and to foster brand loyalty. A company
can reinforce awareness among its target market by sponsoring an event or
organisation that attracts a similar target market.
Sponsorship of events in particular can be
especially effective as a marketing tool because it can be a means of accessing
a wide range of audiences such as decision makers in business, government
entities, and of course customers. It can be particularly beneficial for
companies that take part in international trade, because sponsorship transcends
cultural and language barriers.
A growing number of marketers think that
corporate sponsorship is better than other methods as it provides opportunities
to gauge customer response to products immediately. Events allow business
owners or executives relate directly with their customers, while they give
customers the opportunity to try out the products of a company first hand. In
comparison, marketing research methods such as focus groups are usually costly
and may not focus on the right kind of people, while market surveys or
questionnaires usually do not allow prospective customers the opportunity to
try out products.
Heightened visibility due to positive publicity through the media is another reason corporate sponsorship of events - especially those that attract large numbers of people like popular sports events - can be the most effective marketing tool. Every corporate sponsor seeks the widest exposure possible in both print and electronic media. This publicity increases the visibility of the company's products and services. The various kinds of media that cover the event usually include the names, and even pictures, of the sponsors. This kind of mass coverage by the media that the sponsor gets is usually unaffordable, if the company were to purchase it. Therefore, in order to maximize the impact, the company sponsoring the event should augment the media coverage the organizers arrange. In fact, sponsorship often can generate media coverage which may not have been otherwise available.