How do you evaluate a sponsorship opportunity to determine whether it's worth doing or not? Here are six questions to consider when assessing whether to sponsor or not. We've focused on events for this blog, but the questions are equally applicable to any sponsorship.
How to evaluate a sponsorship opportunity
1. How does this opportunity fit with your marketing plan?
If this sponsorship opportunity isn't already in your marketing plan, how does it fit? Determine whether it is likely to support your marketing objectives and enhance your planned activities. If it doesn't add significant value, it's probably not worth doing.
2. Does this event align with your brand?
Does the event, and the people behind it, fit with your brand? Tying up with an event or organisation that has a strong reputation can enhance your company’s status just by association. Conversely, you can also damage your brand by sponsoring something, or someone, that your customers perceive negatively.
3. Who is the target audience?
Who is the event directed towards? Consider your target market and decide whether they are likely to be attracted to it. If the activity will appeal to a different demographic, then there is little point in your brand having a presence.
4. Will your competitors be involved?
Is there exclusivity or is there a chance that your competitors could also be sponsoring the event? Our advice is to steer clear of sponsoring if you won't have an exclusive platform particularly if the event is small. Spend your money where you won't have to share visibility with competitor brands.
5. What is the likely return on investment?
How much is the sponsorship going to cost you and what do you think it will generate? Assess whether the opportunity seems reasonable for what's on offer and whether the likely return will cover the cost and more. But, bear in mind that often the purpose of sponsorship is to raise brand awareness and this won't always generate an immediate financial return. This approach is fine if the opportunity fits with your strategy, as per question one.
6. Do you have the budget?
Sometimes even the most attractive sounding sponsorship opportunities have to be passed over because of lack of budget. Unfortunately, marketing isn't an exact science, and there are never any guarantees that it will deliver the results you are expecting. While the adage "you've got to speculate to accumulate" is often right, if you haven't got the budget then it's probably best to let the opportunity go.
If you've carefully considered all of the above and the opportunity stacks up, grab it!