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Making Sponsorship Work

The Opportunity

Sponsorship should help influence the attitude of the community towards the sponsoring Organisation.

Attitudes are not changed overnight, therefore sponsorships should be carefully chosen and sponsors should be involved for the long haul.

How the Public View Corporates

The public view corporates, for a multitude of reasons, as huge organisations who should not be making the size of profits they do, and are continually asking, "what are they doing for New Zealanders?"


They do not want to understand all the futuristic and developmental reasons why profits are necessary, they just love to hold these opinions. It is so much easier to criticize than attempt to understand.

Corporates are under increasing pressure to be seen to be part of our communities. With so many large corporates being owned off shore New Zealanders are increasingly questioning whether their profits should be laving New Zealand.

There are many examples of Companies who improved their service to New Zealanders once competition arrived. This only encouraged the question – why was the service so mediocre before?


What can Sponsorship achieve?

Sponsorship should create GOODWILL and should be part of a Corporate advertising plan.

When one sponsors, one is preparing attitudes so consumers will be more sympathetic to the advertising. When one advertises one expects sales.

Most Corporates are not gaining sufficient benefits from their sponsorship. Most have problems identifying exactly what is achievable.

The major problem with most corporate investment through sponsorship is they are not clear on WHAT they are trying to achieve or HOW to achieve it.

People’s attitudes towards a sponsor can be prepared in part by sponsorship if approached carefully.


For Sponsorship to work, we must understand People

To influence attitudes we must understand how the majority of people learn.

Most people retain information after they have heard/seen it between 13 and 23 times.

This statement is supported by the process we went through at school or in sport. Ten plus years at school, 5 plus hours per day and how much did we learn.

At sports practice the same basic skills were being practised, perhaps through a range of drills, even then we struggled to achieve mastery over the simplest sporting skills, catching consistently, throwing accurately, hitting straight etc etc.

So it is with gaining benefits from sponsorships.

Slow and steady wins the race.

These are simple realities that must be accepted if sponsorship is to work.

The good news is once learnt people rarely forget, like riding a bike.

So it is with sponsorship – get the people feeling good about the organisation and/or products and they will never forget. The Post Office is still fondly remembered by New Zealand’s older population.


How to make sponsorship work

Write a realistic policy for your sponsorship department including a focus, time frames and target groups.

Use sponsorship to prepare ground not retrieve it.


Have a mix of self owned and corporate shared sponsorships. This builds networks with other sponsors and shows a willingness to be part of the community.


Develop an appropriate stable of sponsorships covering such headings as product consumers, next generation consumers, product release opportunities, community successes, new ideas, building corporate networks, media, profile potential and many others.


Always include an educational tone to your sponsorship alluding to the fact the community is being charged less because of the money invested by sponsors therefore they deserve your support.


Skillful use of quality Role Models gets attention and adds an extra dimension to peoples feelings.


Be pro-active and approach groups with your organisational plan in place.


Having your sponsorship department well managed by people who understand people, sport, organising, media, systems and processes, experience in making things happen, vast networks, overseas contacts and most of all, plenty of ideas.



While no one should believe sponsorship will solve a corporates problems, if product, price, accessibility and service are all in place then sponsorship will add that little extra something that says "what a good corporate you are".


Managing your Sponsorship Budget

The Opportunity

The people managing sponsorship budgets should have specific sponsorship knowledge plus the skills to work with the sponsorship receiver to improve their output. The sponsor will then receive the best possible benefits.

With sport becoming more professional and the corporate market wanting more for their sponsorship $ and therefore requiring sport to be more accountable, the pressure is on the receivers of sponsorship to provide more accurate assessments of the benefits they can offer the investor.

Corporates need people who know the industry intimately to manage their sponsorship budgets. People who have successfully achieved returns for a sponsor, who understand what is possible and have the ideas, skills and systems to make it happen.

The managers of these funds could work alongside existing marketing staff and would add the extra specialised expertise required to gain the maximum benefits possible from your sponsorship investments.

There are many untapped opportunities available through sport that would improve the benefits for the sponsor and assist the sport.

The OPPORTUNITY is for corporates to contract a company capable of developing a package, managing the process and providing a unique point of difference.


How SMT can help

SMT has the skills, systems and experience to support and work with the sponsorship recipient on your company’s behalf to ensure the maximum benefits are gained for both organisations.

Also available to the sporting group would be, upon agreement, all the programs and systems required for sport to be successful and fully accountable in today’s market.


The Need of the Sponsorship Recipient

As sport enters the professional era and the pressures on management is increasing, we believe CEO’s and ED’s are becoming more and more isolated and do not have the support structures in place to help them.

In these days of accountability an independent opinion on important issues is a very responsible management and governance practice.

On one side are the boards of Trustees or Directors with whom they have limited time.

On the other side they have the organisation’s staff and clients who continually want information and support from their leader.

So often in organisations, if concerns could have been shared or identified earlier, molehills would not grow into mountains.

SMT can offer a service that will avoid these situations by sharing our ideas, experience and success in the funding and management of sport and leisure.

It is this successful experience that is imperative if you are to gain maximum value for your sponsorship investment. There are a lot of people available to ‘help’ with your sponsorship budgets but do they have the ‘hands on’ successful experience.

This 'managing your sponsorship' role helps keep both organisations focused.

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