Are you afraid of commitment?…

I’d like to support Peter Gandolfi’s opinion (MW March 27) that sponsors should take a long-term view when forming any sponsorship association. Viewing sponsorship in the wider context is crucial to any company trying to realise the tangible commercial benefits sponsorship can provide. It is definitely not solely about levels of media exposure.

Harmony is key: a partnership must embody the brand values and key messages of both partners involved. I agree completely that brands looking for a quick return on their investment should steer clear of sponsorship.

However, I would add that while public awareness of a sponsorship is good, it is never enough, no matter how long the association. It’s essential that the target market should appreciate and buy into the rationale if a sponsor is to enjoy long-term success and create maximum impact. Real value comes if you can develop a close partnership that reflects and supports why any two brands are doing business together.

Sponsorship for BT is more properly regarded as partnership. Put another way, it’s like a committed relationship where there is mutual enjoyment and benefit. A good relationship should improve with age, as Gandolfi implies.

Paul Leonard

Head of sponsorship,

BT Group

London EC1

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