The field of marketing communication is replete with various tools of engagement. These mechanisms enable marketing professionals and brand owners to get ahead in the game.
Advertising helps to get the right message to the right audience at the right time and place. To gain a sustainable positive image across all ‘publics’, public relations comes handy. To rev up our sales targets, we develop sales promotions to get ahead while direct marketing cuts out the hassles of people and process to sell directly to the end user.
However, in our clime (Nigerian and the sub-Sahara Africa) sponsorships, a very potent tool of marketing communication has not been given the seriousness it deserves by brand owners and its custodians despite the tons of cash and resources that are committed to various activities in the sector.
In the US, Statista estimated that about $62.7 billion was spent on sponsorships. Globally, analysts in the industry estimated that about $300 billion were spent within the sector last year. Nigeria’s advertising is projected to hit N240 billion ($663 million) by the end of this year. In Nigeria, there are no verifiable data to provide guidance on what the sector gets in revenue but experts estimated about N20 billion ($55 million). Should we judge the sector based on this premise, we can conclude that sponsorships seem to be playing ‘no-fiddle’.
There are various myths encircling the sector; some believe sponsorship is too costly for a small or growing brand. Others believe there is no reliable measurement of returns on investment of sponsorship expenditure and efforts. Also, those who claimed to believe in it also engage in sponsorships with faulty strategies, tactics and reasons. Some do it for the ego, me-too mentality while others do not know why they sponsor a TV show and or a football match.
However, with the right kinds of professional guidance, brands can do more exploits, increase revenue and unlock new markets with the right use of sponsorships. As a tool of marketing, sponsorships has made many iconic brands what they are today, however, a faulty deployment of this tool also carry negative consequences as well.
The secret is knowing what it is and how to use it to the advantage of your brands and businesses.