If events or sponsorships were part of your marketing strategy at the beginning of the year, chances are your plans are changing rapidly.
The industries we work in at St. Gregory involve a number of event and seasonal sponsorships. Due to circumstances neither our clients nor their partners could have controlled, not all of those plans will be working out this year. If you’re experience is similar, you’re likely working out adjustments and revisions already.
There will be pain.
Whether that pain is going to last depends to a great degree on how you approached the sponsorship from the beginning and what you and the partner expect from the relationship. Are you just casually dating the other brand or looking for a serious commitment?
A common offer from sponsorship partners is to roll over your investment to the following year. That may come with some added value thrown in or an option on the Platinum Level package at the Gold rate. Or whatever.
So, should you bite?
Extending sponsorship agreements to make up for cancelled events or a shortened sports season is one option, but it only makes sense if the sponsorship still fits with next year’s strategy.
And that’s the key.
Sponsorships are most effective when there is real alignment between the two brands in the partnership. In the best partnerships, fans or participants are attracted by some attribute that your brand shares, whether that’s adventure, competition, compassion or a love of kittens. When that alignment is there, your sponsorship partner can deliver value far greater than attendance figures and camera time.
Those are relationships that increase in value over time, meaning that despite the pain you’re experiencing now, the longer-term investment just may be worth it.