May 24, 2024

Many business leaders and their marketing teams dream of landing global sponsorship for their brand. When brands partner up with more well-known organizations on campaigns or get involved in helping to host a major event, it can exponentially increase the effectiveness of their marketing and sales efforts.

While every company will have its own ideas about which global players they want to work with, there are some basic tips that leaders in any industry can use to improve their chances of finding the best partnership for achieving their particular goals. Below, the members of Forbes Agency Council outline valuable advice they would provide to their clients to help them land global sponsorships that move the needle on their broader marketing initiatives.

1. Aim To Provide Your Audience With The Greatest Value

Aim to provide the greatest value to your audience when planning your campaign. Partner with an organization that allows you to create something completely new based on both of your resources. With added value and newsworthiness, you can win media partnerships that will further promote your campaign. – Melanie Marten, The Coup

2. Actively Work In The Interest Of Prospective Partners

Clients who want a global sponsorship need to actively work in the interest of the global business they are trying to attract—not just from a business perspective but also in their altruistic efforts. Even small companies can gain significant traction with larger corporations through their sustainability efforts. When the company values are aligned, more opportunities can arise. – Scott Miraglia, Elevation Marketing

3. Speak Truth To Your Brand Values

Being true to your brand values is especially important if you seek to sponsor a global social or environmental campaign or movement. The “fit” has to be real and genuine. For example, if the campaign celebrates or shines a spotlight on diversity and inclusion, it is best to have your own house (and your corporate commitments) in order. – Bess Winston, Winston Agency

4. Demonstrate A Truly Different Creative Strategy

In my experience partnering with the Denver Broncos and pitching partners on sponsorship deals, the thing that stands out when trying to land these partnerships is the ability to demonstrate a creative strategy that is truly different. For example, I ran a campaign targeting fans in the stadium and on digital billboards as they were leaving the game, then remarketed to them on social media. The cost-per-mille outcome was great. – Jerry Kelly, Marketing 360®


Forbes Agency Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?


5. Structure A Mutually Beneficial Trade Between Parties

I cofounded Model Volleyball in 2010, and with our niche concept, it has become one of the nation’s most notable events. Some of the main things I attribute our success to are our strategic partnerships. We went after large media partners and worked on structuring a mutually beneficial trade based on what each party could provide in value and matching monetary deliverables, which has led to us having iHeartMedia as a standing partner for six years. – Olivia Ormos, OO & CO

6. Research The Reputation Of Potential Collaborators

When partnering with another brand in a campaign, make sure to research the reputation of whatever businesses you might be looking at collaborating with to educate yourself on their views and morals and ensure a good fit. There’s nothing worse than having two mismatched companies involved with opposing company mission statements. – Adrian Falk, Believe Advertising & PR

7. Do Your Homework Before Swiping Right

It is important that you enter all partnerships with your eyes wide open. One of the smartest tips is to do homework on how potential partners have handled themselves when pressured by a crisis. Investigate incidents they’ve experienced—do their words and, more importantly, their actions sync with your values? If so, it suggests you may be compatible. – Jim Heininger, Dixon|James & Rebranding Experts

8. Know Your Niche And Build Relationships Within It

If you’re a cannabis packaging service, for example, you could forge a mutually beneficial relationship with a top cannabis delivery service. Develop cohesive relationships in your space and establish yourself as a trustworthy source. This way, you’ll be working toward solid partnerships with brands that can help you get your foot in the door. – Evan Nison, NisonCo

9. Don’t Just Try To Get A Partnership For The Clout

Make sure your goals and industry values align to ensure there is a mutually beneficial outcome for both parties. For example, it probably wouldn’t make much sense for a company such as Hot Topic to get in on the action of a global sponsorship with Nike. Initiating or agreeing to a partnership “just because” can actually backfire. Make sure it fits. – Bernard May, National Positions

10. Build A Business Case For The Partnership

You have to build the business case for why the two brands should be presented together. What are the synergies? Where do you serve common clients? How do you play better together than apart? How do both brands win? Once you establish those facts, they guide all of the executive decisions that need to be made. – Randy Shattuck, The Shattuck Group

11. Make Sure Potential Partners Resonate With Your Audience

Make sure the other organization, event or business not only complements your brand but will also resonate with your audience. A global sponsorship is great for generating awareness by association. But if it feels forced for your brand or alienates your customer base, it can cause more harm than good. – Donna Robinson, Collective Measures

12. Look For Opportunities That Make Sense

Look for opportunities that make sense and complement your message. Just gunning for the big guys who have lots of brand recognition doesn’t work if they don’t fit with your brand. If you are a shoe brand, you don’t really need to partner with a huge, national pet expo, for example. Do your research and find opportunities that make sense. – Christopher Tompkins, The Go! Agency

13. Set Expectations As To What Each Party Will Receive

Sponsorships can be a fantastic way to increase exposure for a brand, but partnerships have to have benefits for both sides in order to work. Make sure expectations are set from the beginning in regard to what each party will receive. Often, much of the sponsorship value comes after the event in terms of replays, highlights or clips that can live forever on YouTube. – Brian Meert, AdvertiseMint

14. Understand And Analyze Audience Overlap

The sheer reach that a larger brand can bring to a partnership can be a tempting prospect. But when evaluating any potential activity, it is vital to understand and analyze audience overlap. In order to protect and grow your brand in the right way, it is important that both partners share mutual audiences and have complementary market positions. – Chris Martin, FlexMR

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