Prism chief casts doubt on brand tie-ups

The future of sponsorship lies in creating events tailored to brands’ needs rather than looking for existing tie-ups, according to a leading sponsorship consultant.

Brian Greenwood, UK chief executive of sports marketing agency Prism, says that bespoke events offer brands greater focus among the increasing number of marketing messages that are aimed at today’s consumers.

He says: “Buying into an existing sponsorship property is a compromise. You have to ask if the benefits outweigh the clutter. If the answer is no, creating a unique event might be the solution.”

Greenwood points to the Land Rover G4 challenge – a multi-sport competition created to convey the brand’s spirit of adventure, now broadcast in 50 countries – as an example.

But he warns that creating an event is most effective for established brands with a strong sense of identity. He also cautions that careful planning is required when it comes to broadcasting the event, as there is a “large dustbin” of unwatched television and Web content.

He adds: “Some existing big events have fantastic reach but there is a lot of ‘marketing noise’ around them, so it’s very difficult to carve out some space and say something specific about your brand.

“However, branded entertainment is more complex than regular TV – what you produce needs to be both engaging and correctly promote the brand.”

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