It’s probably the wrong sponsor

As the country reaches sports melt down and sponsorship investment scales new heights, it is interesting to consider Carlsberg’s investment in the Royal Academy of Arts (MW June 17). There is no doubt that there are huge opportunities in the arts, music and entertainment sectors for sponsors, but an about-face from football to high-end arts takes more than a little understanding.

Recent surveys of consumer attitudes to sponsorship reveal that it has more impact than any other media in influencing brand positioning in the short, medium and long term.

However, even though well designed sponsorship can produce extraordinary results from both a sales and brand perspective it is necessary to build an activation strategy into its use.

Sponsorship is too often used in an ad-hoc manner. By placing it outside the marketing mix sponsorship loses its strategic potency. It is at its strongest when used as a platform to launch above- and below-the-line activity.

Research repeatedly shows that sponsorship makes relevant and compelling connections with consumers but too often they are not capitalised upon, particularly though promotions and direct marketing. It is ironic that at a time when marketers have to find strategies that cut through clutter and reach consumers more effectively, most still misuse one of their best options.

For Carlsberg to succeed as a credible arts supporter it must take time to educate consumers on its relevance and brand heritage in partnering the arts. It must also consider how, through its relationship with the Royal Academy, it can provide consumers with real benefit.

Cameron Day

New projects director

The Works London

London SW6

E-mail address for letters: Please include your home or business address

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