It was time for a new definition

Nobody scrolling down Interbrand’s list of the world’s top 100 brands can fail to be struck by the huge and obvious role sponsorship plays in building brand equity.
And yet the world of marketing has always struggled to embrace the concept – and for too long the practice has been dismissed by the advertising industry.
Times have changed – and with them, there was need for an a priori definition of sponsorship and an honest reappraisal of its strengths and weaknesses.
‘Defining Sponsorship’ brings together the insight and thinking of over 40 contributors, including the IOC’s Dick Pound, pioneers of the sponsorship industry such as Frank Craighill and Patrick Nally, prominent brand exponents including Peter R Franklin of Coca-Cola and former Redmandarin NED David Wheldon, then of Vodafone, and contemporary thinkers in branding and brand communications including Kevin Roberts, Peter Wells, Mark Earls, Martin Lindstrom and many more.
The result is a fascinating vision of sponsorship’s pervasive role in contemporary marketing and a redefinition of what is at the heart of a marketing practice which polarises the industry.
Defining Sponsorship was published by Redmandarin in 2009 to celebrate its 10th anniversary – but remains relevant today. To browse online or download, please click on Defining Sponsorship.


The traditional definition of sponsorship is purely transactional – and offers little value. It’s certainly not a vision for the industry.

For Redmandarin, sponsorship is itself a model for integrated marketing.


  • deploys the organisational assets of two or more partners
  • offers brands the opportunity to model their promise and values in areas of social and/or emotional relevance
  • has as its primary focus the deepening of relationships with consumers


Perfect? No.

But for us, it feels closer to the mark. The emphasis feels right.