Bubble ready to burst for sponsorship…

Your Leader “Is sponsorship worth the cash?” (MW February 28) was interesting, as were the inevitable findings by RSL Research Services.

Sponsorship creates many images among the British public and at long last we are seeing major companies say “no”. This increasing spiral of perceived value and cost in a relatively unmeasured industry is starting to see the bubble burst.

There will still be organisations willing to pay inflated prices for little more than associated advertising. Evaluation of sponsorship activity by media analysis rarely shows any economy of scale as it surely should.

To identify and establish value for money is a virtual impossibility as all those who try have a vested interested in supporting the notion.

The agreements that fold due to greed or inflated self-worth, may encourage a wider view to be taken by potential sponsors.

You can present sponsorship in many ways, each can be convincing, “viable” and meet organisational priorities but the proof of the pudding is in the eating and some are now clearly wanting fruit salad instead of gateau.

Sponsorship values are over-estimated. With digital TV and further channels, the value of all but a very few prestigious sponsorships will surely fall and common sense will prevail.

There is clearly a “Premier League” of sponsorships. Some enter the arena inappropriately (why did Fujifilm even contemplate being involved with Euro 96?) Others feel almost obliged to be associated out of fear at not being in the big league.

My research has indicated that organisations are unclear about sponsorship, its value and role. Some see it as public relations, others as advertising, a few seek a “partnership” or “relationship”.

Andrew Burman

Sponsorship adviser

Sutton Coldfield

West Midlands

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