Making sponsorship an absolute win-win

From Kathy Farren-Price, BB Print
The value of sponsorship to build your business’ profile and give back to our local community can often be underestimated.
Sponsoring a local event, sports team, community organisation or local facility should be a win-win for business. Your business gets ‘feel good’ points with current and potential customers and greater brand awareness in the community as a whole – plus you know you’re helping to support the community in which your business operates.

Be sure to get a plan from the organisation that you are dealing with in writing. What does your sponsorship involve? How much will it cost or can you offer goods and services in-kind? How long will your sponsorship be acknowledged and what is their marketing plan? When will your logo and name be displayed? And what will be the promotional advantages to your business? Ask who will they be targeting, how often and what channels they’ll be using so you can assess cross-promotion opportunities wherever possible.

Sponsorship is even more powerful when you match the sponsorship to your brand. For example, you are a local restaurant. The perfect opportunity might be to sponsor the Gourmet Safari food trail event in the Mackay Mazda Festival of Arts. You’re exposing your business name directly to people in the region who already have a prime interest in what you do.
The value of naming rights, if you have the budget, gives your support an added boost. In all media when the event, team, organisation, or facility is mentioned it will include your name every time. That can work out be quite a lot of extra advertising and, therefore, worth the extra investment.

Did you know there may be a tax benefit associated with your sponsorship expense as well? For your in-kind or cash contributions to be treated as an advertising expense for tax purposes, you must meet eligibility criteria that includes receiving something of value equal to that of your contribution in return. To be eligible includes; having your business name/logo displayed on team jerseys, tents, signage or other forms of advertising to qualify.

A lot of community activities could not survive without business sponsorship. When you get on board, it’s a chance to build a solid reputation in your community. Take the opportunity to give back and encourage locals to support locals.