Does sponsorship work?

5 August 2012 – 1:09 pm

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Mid-way through the London 2012 Olympics, there is much talk about corporate sponsors. Too much hold over the Games, too many empty seats reserved for this group and the wider Olympic family. During the London Games, sponsors are spending large amounts to ensure their goods and services have an association with the major event. But does sponsorship actually work; is sponsorship money well spent? There are many media measurement tools on the market, but their effectiveness is questionable. The metrics they measure are not definitive. The key barometer of success, is when sponsorship increases awareness and sales? In light of the many Olympic marketing pounds now spent, the obvious conclusion would be sponsorship must have value, otherwise companies would not continue to spend a high proportion of their marketing budget on this activity. The wider perception can be put down to high profile marketing campaigns being an easy target for the media, they are highly visible, (if successful), and large expenditure figures with little supporting evidence can be banded around with little acknowledgement to the full facts. It makes a good story.

Often forgotten in much marketing activity and especially with sponsorship, is the long tail effect. ie The ongoing brand/event association once the campaign has been officially put to bed. Good sponsorship, while successful at the time, usually has the added bonus of a significant long tail effect. Think Barcelona 1992 and the ongoing success of these Games for the sponsors and the city.

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