When we talk about sponsoring events, we often think about slapping a brand’s logo on a panel and call it a day. But companies that go the extra mile and come up with different ideas usually make a better impact.
Here are, according to us, 7 game-changing ways to sponsor events and take brand awareness to the next level.
#1 Pepsico and NFL
PepsiCo has been ranked top sponsor of 2015 by IEG, with a spend of approximately $370 million. Its most successful event sponsorship is, without a doubt, the NFL Super Bowl which takes places annually in the United States.
The success of the group in its sponsorship is thanks to its “One for all, all for one” strategy. PepsiCo looks to leverage sponsorship with activation programs that support its own marketing objectives as well as those of its partners. This can be seen with the sponsorship of the NFL’s Super Bowl.
For example, the sponsorship of the Super Bowl half-time show not only helped PepsiCo promote its brand but also helped the NLF extend the reach of its show by extending the half-time show. The group has transformed the Super Bowl half-time from one 12mn show to a larger platform that follows the whole season.
It does so through 3 primary platforms:
- 360-degree consumer touchpoints (field of play, in-stadium messaging and in-store promotions)
- Local market activation (retail promotions and other programs tailored to the local market)
- Sustainable activation platforms (PepsiCo partners with events that can be activated throughout the year or on a yearly basis to create links with the brand and the public)
Through using a yearly event and creating a stronger link with its consumers and the event organisers, PepsiCo is not only creating successful sponsorship of an event, it is also making sure that it will be able to leverage this event on a yearly basis.
#2 Coca-Cola and the Olympic games
Coca-Cola is also ranked as one of the major sponsors according to IEG’s report, it is most known for its sponsorship of the Olympic games, which it has been supporting through different means since 1928.
Its latest success story dates back to the Rio Olympic Games of 2016 with the #thatsgold campaign. As part of this campaign, there were two tv commercials which included archived footage from past games as well as current top athletes. In this way, Coca-Cola broadened the reach of the Olympics through the publicity for some of the athletes competing in it as well as promoting its brand.
They also promote the higher involvement of youth in the Olympics through the elaboration of the Coca-Cola Olympic Station in Rio’s Praca Maua neighbourhood. This “influencer program” also brought together hand-picked global bloggers and social media influencers who partnered with the brand to bring together more people under the #Thatsgold campaign and have it reach further.
The longstanding partnership between the event and the brand mean that Coca-Cola have had a great deal of time to perfect the leveraging of the event for both parties.
Through this partnership and the close relationship between the event organiser and the brand, Coca-Cola have truly managed to leverage the sponsorship of the Olympics to the best of their ability in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
#3 TED and Rolex
Rolex is a long time sponsor of the TED conferences. They have worked together since 2007 in order to boost the reach of the TED conferences alongside the reach of Rolex. Rolex was one of the first to create original branded content for TED conferences through short videos. They were targeted at specific TED Talks on topics related to Rolex’s DNA: innovation and design.
In 2012, TED and Rolex partnered up to create Surprise Me!. This app allows people to find Ted Talks that could interest them by inputting the amount of time they have to spare as well as the kind of talk they wish to listen to.
Rolex went from a “classic” event sponsorship to a true partnership. A more significant platform that allows the brand to engage directly with the TED audience (which is, of course, their target as well). Moreover, the alignment of TED and Rolex values (notably innovation) allows the watchmaker to enhance its brand image on these attributes.
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#4 TIFF and L’Oréal
The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and L’Oréal have partnered for a few years in order to produce this annual event. In the last edition, L’Oréal went above and beyond the traditional sponsorship such events, which is traditionally focused on the red carpet.
Indeed, the french firm produced special limited edition TIFF nailpolishes in order to bring more attention to the event as well as to their product. They also had an exclusive L’Oréal experience area made. This VIP area was open to only a select few, bringing exclusivity to the brand as well as its products and as creating a resting area for exclusive attendees of the event.
Through its “out of the box” thinking, L’Oréal was able to promote its brand all the while providing a service for attendees rather than just handing out products or relying on logos.
#5 BlogHer and Sara Lee
BlogHer is an online network of female bloggers with a fast-growing annual two-day conference that attracts more than 3,000 attendees.
In 2010 Sara Lee, owner of the food companies “Hillshire Farm” and “Jimmy Dean”, was one of the major sponsors of the event and decided to offer cooking demonstrations as well as tastings throughout the event.
Organising these activities allowed for direct contact between attendees of the event and the brand as well as the forging of relationships. The fact that many of the attendees were themselves bloggers with considerable influential power made this sponsorship program even more successful.
#6 TechCrunch Disrupt and New Relic
New Relic is a cloud-based software platform which analyses and tracks data. For several years they have been sponsoring the Tech Crunch Disrupt event which consists of highly recognised conferences within the technology industry.
The organisers created a pre-kickoff “Hackathon” during which New Relic provided food and drinks as well as sharing tweets and videos of the competing hackers on their social media and blog.
Assisting in the media coverage of the hackathon helped both Tech Crunch promote their event and New Relic promote their brand and products.
#7 SXSW Interactive and Ten-X
Each year, South By Southwest (SXSW) music and film festival brings together the world’s creative leaders and brightest minds in innovative thinking to Austin Texas.
Ten-X, an online real estate marketplace, sponsored the event for the first time this year and in order to announce their sponsorship of the event, they organised a contest with as prize, tickets to attend a partner festival.
Through this Ten-X created a relationship with those interested in SXSW and its future events even before the event started, creating a longer lasting relationship with attendees and organisers.
Whether it’s by giving exclusive products or offering cooking classes, engaging with the audience is always key to develop brand awareness. Original sponsoring programs clearly have an impact, the example of Pepsico shows that an event sponsorship’s success resides in the activation of said sponsorship.