Have you ever asked yourself what motivates companies to spend large amounts of money on different forms of sponsorship?

One of the benefits attributed to sponsorship is that it can be more efficient than other forms of marketing communication because it generates both audience appeal and also links the values of the sponsored entity to the sponsor.  A typical instance will be the English Premier League which has millions of passionate followers in Nigeria. In a country with a strong football culture like Nigeria, companies who sponsor football related events are likely to appeal to and have favorable response from these audiences.

Other benefits of sponsorship may include:

Marketing tool

Sponsorship of events in particular can be an effective 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. Also, 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 firsthand.

Shaping consumer attitudes

Companies often explore new means to improve on how they are perceived by their target audience. Sponsoring events that appeal to their market are likely to shape buying attitudes and help generate a positive reaction. Etisalat, for example, is always looking to generate a positive influence of their products in the minds of their consumers and as such regularly support events they feel can influence consumer opinions.

Creating positive publicity

Every sponsor is seeking wide exposure in both electronic and print media. Positive publicity helps create heightened visibility of products/services. In addition, the kind of media coverage a sponsor may get is often expensive if the company were to think of purchasing it and if it were available. To maximize this objective, it is important for the sponsoring company to have a comprehensive media campaign to augment the regular media coverage promoted by the organizers. In essence, sponsorship can often generate media coverage that otherwise might not have been available.

Marketing leverage

Sponsorship also appeals to corporations as a marketing communication medium because it can be tied to other marketing activities that are designed to influence both customers and strategic partners. It moves a customer from the interest stage of the product adoption process to the desire stage, the stage which involves a serious evaluation about whether or not to purchase a product.