Sharpening up sponsorship

I have to dispute David Benady’s claim that “sponsorship is a blunt instrument”in his article “Not so football crazy” (MW March 14). While there are instances where this may be case, it depends entirely on what the sponsor is trying to achieve.

If the objective is to increase brand awareness, then displaying a logo via sponsorship in a forum watched by millions of the target market may well be more cost-effective than trying to gain the same reach through advertising.

Of course, sponsorship can also be razor sharp. Sponsoring a horse-race primarily to allow the best customer (who loves racing) to award the winner’s trophy is a pretty powerful way of thanking him or her for their custom and re-affirming the relationship for the future.

I think the deflation in the sponsorship market is good for all concerned, even if it is painful to rights holders in the short term. It will make sponsor seekers work harder at improving the value they offer and will encourage new sponsors to come forward as the financial barriers to entry are reduced.

Pippa Collett

European sponsorship manager

Shell

London

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