I am writing regarding the Leader entitled “Is sponsorship worth the cash”, and the article “Euro 96 sponsors fail to secure public awareness”, both in the February 28 issue. In these pieces you suggest RSL’s research showed that events such as Euro 96 and the Olympics were not successful for their sponsors. This is not the case.
Sponsorship is a complicated promotional tool. It is not simply extending media value nor targeting higher brand awareness among the general public. Most companies’ use of sponsorship tends to be targeted with three specific objectives:
Reaching small, high-value segments of the population relevant to the brand;
Creating a specific image among its core target market;
Optimising the supplier’s relationship with its customers (as opposed to consumers) through the use of corporate hospitality.
The Euro 96 sponsorship was clearly targeted at those who are not interested in football and our research among these consumers shows very high branded recall associated with the event while it was on.
The press release on our Sponsortest service, which formed the basis of your article, provided only a national aggregated picture for the UK population for all of 1996. To understand how individual brand sponsorship performs, it is necessary to put it in the context of the time of the event and the intended audience.
Although we welcome additional coverage of our service, the article in Marketing Week was not based upon precise information and therefore the conclusions it draws are too general.
Comment is free, but the facts are sacred, as CP Scott used to say. And the comment in MW was a fair one: Are sponsors really getting value for money? Note, incidentally, that the Leader did not state that awareness is the only criterion of a successful deal. But it surely played an important role in something as massively popular as Euro 96. Editor