The Increasing Value of Sponsorship

It seems as though everything is sponsored these days, from sporting events to concert venues, even the morning traffic report. Sponsorship is increasing in popularity and becoming more competitive among major corporations. Why? Because its value is on the rise.

According to the International Public Relations Association, sponsorship spending is globally estimated at more than $30 billion, with sports sponsorship being the largest sector.

The Sanderson Farms Championship, Mississippi’s stop on the PGA TOUR, is a primary example of the impact sponsorship can have on not only the sponsor, but also the surrounding community. This year nearly 20 sponsors contributed to the Championship, with the biggest contributor being the title sponsor, Sanderson Farms, Inc.

Sanderson Farms took on the Championship in 2013. In 2014, the Sanderson Farms Championship raised more than $1.4 million for charity, with $1.1 million going to Friends of Children’s Hospital, benefitting Batson Children’s Hospital. The final donation from this year’s Championship has yet to be announced. In November, Sanderson Farms signed a 10-year extension, committing to sponsor the tournament through 2026.

“From the beginning, we’ve felt our involvement in the tournament could significantly impact Batson Children’s Hospital and the state of Mississippi,” said Joe F. Sanderson, Jr., Sanderson Farms’ Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board. “Now we are certain of the opportunities the tournament provides, and feel it shows our commitment to both our state and its children.”

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Looking at the effect the Sanderson Farms Championship has had on children at Batson, the city of Jackson and the state of Mississippi, we see the immense impact solid sponsorship can have. While Sanderson Farms does not benefit from the tournament in a monetary manner, there are several rewards that come with sponsoring a major event, which is why more companies are looking into sponsorships.

Here are six reasons the value of sponsorship is on the upswing:

– Exposure

Sponsorship is a simple way for a company to raise awareness of its brand. This is perhaps the most obvious reason for sponsorship, especially when it’s tied to an event. Your name, logo and entire image are connected to that which you are sponsoring.

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– Media Coverage

Sponsorship delivers both guaranteed and potential media coverage. Title sponsors are guaranteed at least the mention of their company’s name in coverage, but there is also potential for features, specials and other types of extensive coverage.

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– Corporate Hospitality

Sponsors are typically given special benefits made available only to them in exchange for their funds. This provides opportunity for those sponsors to deliver a unique corporate hospitality event for both existing and potential customers.

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– Product Showcase

More companies are signing on to sponsorships because of the high profile opportunity they provide for showcasing products or services to a captured audience.

– B2B Relationships

Sponsorship provides networking opportunities that companies may otherwise not have. It puts company leadership in a prime position to meet new contacts or build on existing relationships. It also creates an environment for creative partnerships to be forged.

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– Emotional Connection

Sponsorship allows companies to exhibit more personality and form an emotional connection with audiences by being linked to events or products that support their interests or lifestyles. It helps build a relationship between the brand and its consumers.

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All in all, sponsorship provides opportunities companies do not have access to through general advertising and marketing. It directly involves the audience in a conversation, rather than simply giving them information. It provides goodwill to the company and essentially adds value to the overall brand.

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