I have followed the recent debate on sponsorship with interest (MW February 28, MW March 7), but it seems to me that, in the various deliberations on the subject, almost everyone appears to be missing the point.
I say almost because Roger Baird at least is right when he reports that it is not enough for companies to throw money at events and then, in isolation, expect this to produce benefits which are in line with the level of investment. Sponsorship is a sophisticated tool and does not easily lend itself to such a simple equation.
The real winners of Euro 96 (apart from the Germans) were those organisations who pro-actively supported their investment with associated promotions, and who then went a stage further by looking at non-traditional activities. In the case of Coca-Cola, this was manifested in an extensive city dressing programme which created and sustained high levels of visibility for the brand at each of the host venues.
Rather than bemoaning a poor showing in the RSL research, I would suspect that those companies who did not make it into the RSL top ten are already reredefining their approach to build on the initial platform that sponsorship undoubtedly provides.