Why sponsors failed to hook onto rugby

The fact that the Rugby World Cup was the biggest sporting event for the English nation for many years appears to have escaped most marketers, in particular those of the sponsors of the team and the tournament.

Almost without exception they failed to capitalise on the potential to promote brands by harnessing the mood of the country.

The reason why this happened during the Rugby World Cup, as with most other events, is that sponsorship is perceived as a branding and hospitality opportunity. It sits outside the marketing mix.

But the fact is that sponsorship potential is only realised if it is used as a media platform to exploit the emotional bond created between brand and consumer. It must be supported by other channels in order to close sales with consumers.

If sponsorship is used correctly it easily eclipses any other form of above- or below-the-line communication because it harnesses consumer interests, creating compelling messaging. What is more, it can be used as a tactical sales driver or as a way to generate long-term sales, even when the initial sponsorship deal has ceased. But until sponsorship is brought into the marketing mix, investment in it will largely be wasted by most companies.

Cameron Day

New projects director

The Works London

London SW6

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