Your first couple of months and years as a new sponsor will introduce you to the most significant sources of ROI that you can gain from the partnership. It is essential to activate these sources as well as they serve as the foundation of your program. But what happens when you are ready to introduce a bit more sophistication into your program?
We see brands face challenges when they have made use out of the hospitality, the VIP tours and access for key accounts and the other more straightforward assets and things start to plateau internally. This is the point where your team needs to introduce strategy and creativity to build ROI in new ways with what you already own. We have two great places to start.
Introduce your assets to new divisions of your company or unassuming departments
Sponsorship assets are often leveraged with sales, marketing and leadership. These are excellent places to start and often have the largest use case for hospitality and access. That makes sense, but when the usage for those groups shifts you can find new value in these same assets you already have access to and delivering them to departments such as HR, engineering, maintenance or admin. Or in general, departments that might not always see a line of perks coming their way.
You will need to position the hospitality experience slightly differently than you would with your sales or marketing teams. If you are a primary sponsor of a race team, try bringing an HR group to an event where they can see all of the dramatic displays of teamwork that happens in the sport. You can build creative content around how this type of teamwork relates to the teamwork HR promotes each day in the office.
Your engineering and admin teams might not get the chance to interact with outside elements of your organization as much as they might like. Leveraging assets at an event you are the title sponsor of might be the perfect opportunity to treat the high performers on an experience that showcases your brand externally. Hospitality assets you have access to works nicely here, as do personalized driver appearances. Any chance for these internally-facing teams to see your brand on a larger stage will be a massive treat.
Bonus: prospective customers
We imagine you first activated your assets with existing business - again, a great start. Don’t forget to overlook the draw of showing prospective customers what doing business with you is like. Build a business summit or event in where you will deliver relevant value to them on the same day you educate how your sponsorship can work as part of the relationship as well. A special follow up will put the cherry on top of what makes you so unique.
Hook up activations you are running during the year to an unrelated event
Sponsorship offers a strategic mix of assets that generally revolves around a certain sport. Sponsoring a NASCAR team offers you assets around NASCAR. Sponsoring a Formula 1 event will provide access specific to F1. This is why it is critical to be hyper-strategic with your sponsorship approach, so you ensure whatever you sponsor offers the opportunity to tie back to your objectives.
There are still going to be certain times where you need to engage different audiences at the same time. This is your chance to integrate a marquee activation of your year into a completely unrelated event. The contrast alone will stretch the minds of your audience and introduce a new dimension. The options are limitless, and your guests will love time to go wine tasting the day before they are treated to VIP access at Sonoma raceway for the IndyCar finale.
Also, no one expects you to build this kind of value and sophistication alone. The right partnerships have gotten you to this point, and the right partnerships will carry you forward.