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 find an acceptable definition of sponsorship.
Most definitions lean heavily on the definition ratified by the International Chamber of Commerce – which paints a compelling picture: rights, exchanged for money, delivering value for brands.
But the same definition applies equally well to licensing. Or product placement. Or, for that matter, a straight media buy. The definition itself reveals much of our way of thinking about sponsorship, especially the lynchpin of ‘rights’. Rights, exchanged for money, deliver value for sponsors. Precisely the paradigm for selling sponsorship.
For this reason, we set out to analyse what constitutes the essence of sponsorship, its principles,
‘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 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.
Our definition of 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 for commercial benefit
But for us, it felt and continues to feel closer to the mark. The emphasis feels right.
To view or download Defining Sponsorship, click here.