To date, sponsorship or sponsorship (sponsorship and sponsorship will be used as a single word) is no longer a communication tool amateurism and opportunism. It becomes an important policy tool and a complex internal and external benefit for the business user concept (Brown et al. 2003).
This is a tool that is part of the communication mix with the ultimate aim to sell. In this method, which is more subtle branding, the reputation of the company does not interfere with the participant or consumer, but creates a special relation without appeal to the latter’s conscience. Sponsorship allows targeted actions and helps to better position the brand and its image (Derbaix and Lardinoit, 2001). Sponsorship role is to customize and brand to define a given character to build or develop a brand image (Deimel and Zentes, 1991). Indeed, branding, for example, a telecommunication company combines its image; a football or tennis does not have the same objectives and guidelines (Harvey, 2001). Football reflects an image of popular sport accessible to everyone; on the contrary, tennis reflects an elitist and finer image. However, the sponsorship can achieve a single objective measure of its effectiveness as all communication techniques already established
It is therefore difficult for a sponsor to convey a clear message about the sponsorship (Cornwell et al. 2001). Sponsorship allows companies to communicate solely on appearances and logos not on product presentations, apart from a few exceptions especially when launching a new product. The message is indirect and subtle and conveys that only the consumer can decrypt their own way, for example, by increasing the likeability of a brand, sharing interests or rewarding as raising its connotations of a need to belong (Hickman et al. 2005). In addition, many organizations today include sponsorship in their communication strategy.
It becomes a major communication in companies (Westphalen, 2005). Studies have shown that companies, to obtain a favorable change in the attitude toward the brand, should enhance their brand image by the transfer of positive associations that sponsored the event and, to increase and improve their awareness, use more sponsorship which these objectives have been proven (Pitts and Slattery, 2004). In addition, there are two types of exposure to a sponsorship deal (Anne and Cheron, 1991): the direct audience grouping individuals after the event at the location of the hearing process and its indirect grouping individuals following the event through media (Chandon and Mazoyer, 2004).
Of all the areas of sponsorship, sport events are the area which draws the largest contributions. Historically, sports have had almost a monopoly on sponsorship expenditures. Today other stakeholders have started to take up the battle for sponsorship contributions, sports however still tends to draw around 70 per cent of all expenditures (Verity, 2002). Shank (1999, referred by Abrahamsson, Forsgren and Lundgren, 2003) has defined sport sponsorship as.
The main reasons to make sport sponsorship a part of the marketing communication mix is because of the widespread appeal of sports across all ages, areas and lifestyles (Brassington and Pettit, 2000 referred by Abrahamsson, Forsgren and Lundgren, 2003). Grˆnqvist (2000) further suggests that sport sponsorship growth is due to the fact that over half the population are involved in sports and exercise, and that sport is a grand ìstageî which can offer laughter, humour, drama and tears, as well as draw superior media coverage.
n general companies with philanthropic motives often undertake sponsorship of sports, in other words for the general benefit of society as a whole. This type of event is not limited to large-scale or a national involvement. Support in form of sponsorship is sought from local industries and commerce to help local authorities fund programs that develop sports in general. Local leisure centres receive the funds in order to promote social and sporting activities: karate, tennis, table tennis and gymnastic are some of the sports that are being offered. Sponsorship of this kind is with the purpose of offering the sport at affordable price.
Sponsorship of a sport in particular can be illustrated by Kentucky Fried Chicken in the USA, which for many years has supported youth programs in athletics by financing training courses and training facilities. Most companies, however, are more interested in supporting a specific competition (e.g. Canon Football League, Virginia Slims Tournament (tennis; USA), IGI Sunday League (cricket)). With sponsorship of an individual team or an individual person, the sponsored activity may receive money.
Media coverage potential is sponsorship
Almost every sponsor is grateful for media coverage and the resulting enhancement of their public profile, however, the importance of media coverage potential of sponsorship activities will vary. Some companies view the media coverage as a bonus, where as for others it is of major importance for their involvement in sponsorship. Where media coverage is sought as a primary criterion the sponsor should seek involvement with sponsorships whose established audience profile matches that of the target market (Meenaghan, 1983). Abratt, Clayton and Pitt (1987) highlight some aspects of media coverage in regards of sport sponsorship. The downside to sponsorship of a team is that if a team does badly in a competition, it will either be eliminated in an early stage or not receive much media coverage at all. The same goes for sponsoring an individual, where the loss of form by the player, leading to poor performance or injury results in a loss of publicity and exposure
Sponsorship is as effective in a B to B application as a B to C application. Many municipalities have addressed their funding issues by selling naming rights for parks and buildings, train stations and more. The real key is to find an organic linkage. One that makes sense to the public. Initially most sponsorships were endemic, like tires and tools for race teams. But as time has gone on the industry has learned that certain fans have loyalty to sponsors of the sport, community or cause that they care about. That is how we wind up with M&M’s on a race car and pink ribbons on a can of soup.