The race is on for sponsorship

Cameron Day’s letter (MW July 8) on Carlsberg’s switching support from football to the arts raises some interesting issues as to how companies should direct their sponsorship budget.

As he rightly says, any investment needs to be relevant and integrated within a broader programme, if it is to make the right connections with customers.

Sports with global appeal, such as motor racing, football and rugby, have become prohibitively expensive options for all but the largest corporates, and often fail to generate real return. For many companies looking for a cost-effective alternative, however, international sport continues to excite the public like no other activity. The trick is, therefore, to identify a sport that will help to raise awareness across a number of markets and whose participants can directly reflect its brand values.

This is why sailing is the fastest-growing area of international sports sponsorship. Kingfisher, for instance, continues to derive a tremendous return from its original £2m sponsorship of Ellen McArthur. Alex Thomson too, who holds the world speed sailing record, has a strong appeal for companies with an entrepreneurial spirit and whose brands challenge the status quo.

He is looking for a title sponsor for his entry in the Vendee Globe round the world solo yacht race in November – at £1.4m this represents a very different scale of financial commitment from the eight-figure sums demanded for name sponsorship of a leading Formula One racing team or the Premiership, for instance.

Personalities are of course key to this, but modern technology also allows huge numbers to follow international races on the internet, keeping the associated brands constantly in public view.

Proponents of other major sports can no doubt make strong claims for their chosen activity.  The bottom line in corporate sponsorship, as elsewhere in life, is as one door closes another opens – just make sure you know what you are looking for.

Keith Mills

Co-founder

AT Racing

Gosport, Hampshire

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here