Sponsorship can be a great way to raise awareness of your brand, but you need to work the investment to get maximum bang for your bucks.

Promising a Melbourne-Sydney showdown of epic proportions, the recent AFL Grand Final saw 6.5 million people across the nation glued to their televisions. The NRL Grand Final, held the following day, drew a TV audience of more than 4.2 million. With Australia’s love of sport offering enormous exposure for sponsors, it’s hardly any wonder that brands as diverse as Toyota, NAB and Carlton Draught have hitched their wagon to the AFL, and Telstra, Holden, Destination NSW and KFC have signed up to support the NRL. 

It’s not enough to splash the cash though, you need to be proactive to ensure maximum return on your investment. 

1.    Match investment with resources. Never invest in sponsorship unless you have resources to follow up. From social media and PR, to an advertising campaign or a special product offer, it all costs money, but there’s limited benefit in a sponsorship investment unless you follow through.

2.    Check the number of sponsors involved. If there are many, you may have less chance to stand out from the crowd. There are likely to be various categories of sponsorship. Make sure your spend equates to the profile and outcome you are chasing.

3.    What’s the best bang for your buck? It may be worth investing more, depending on what you want to achieve. If so, ask for sectoral exclusivity, making you the only sponsor from your industry.

4.    Be prepared to negotiate. The organisers may think they’ve offered great benefits but is it all useful to you? If not, negotiate. You want benefits that are valuable to your business.

5.    Don’t breach privacy. Be aware that privacy laws may not allow you to have access to contact details or a database.

6.    Always be actively involved. Turn up and “work the room” before, during and after your sponsorship.

To find out more about how to make sponsorship work for you, check out the latest edition of Business Connect magazine
Check the number of sponsors involved. If there are many, you may have less chance to stand out from the crowd.