08.03.2016

SPONSORSHIP 2.0 OR MARKETING NIRVANA?

It was interesting to hear recently how bullish Adam Crozier, CEO of ITV was about the health of TV advertising. Some of his sound-bites included the fact that Google and Facebook spend 60% of their total marketing budget on TV. There is no other medium which can offer brands reach of 6 million+ in one sitting. Additionally television advertising offers excellent value on a cost-per-thousand basis. He of course is right on all counts since whilst viewing behaviour has clearly changed rapidly over recent years and we definitely watch less scheduled TV which is spread over many channels – we still watch similar amounts of audio-visual content – be it on-demand or supported by 2nd screen interaction. There is no more powerful mass-market medium than TV – evidenced by the fact that brands in the US were prepared to pay $5m per thirty second slot to appear in the centre-break of the Super Bowl!

The relevance of the health of the TV industry to the sponsorship world is that the sponsor value proposition has been built on the premise that top-rated shows such as live sport, The Brits & BAFTA’s offer unrivalled editorial exposure. When aligning brand stand-out with clever brand narrative - sophisticated sponsors (such as MasterCard and their “Priceless” proposition) have taken sponsor-marketing a step further and cleverly leveraged association to drive brand consideration metrics upwards.

The opportunity which now presents itself however is for the sponsorship industry to pioneer a new approach. Let’s call it Sponsorship 2.0. Still jealously valuing exposure and association – but integrating content creation, social media conversation, affinity-led promotions and a well-thought through data strategy as standard into partnership campaigns with rights owners. So, whilst the TV industry noisily seeks to convince brands to keep the faith, the sponsorship industry quietly invents a whole new marketing model.

David Stubley

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