Sponsorship used to be a relatively simple endeavour. You had a brand. You had a budget. You identified partners that matched the essence of your brand. Assets were judged, negotiated and shared. A sponsorship was born.
The advent of digital and social media is a game-changer. It may not have altered the essential nature of sponsorship, but the value that companies look for in sponsorship professionals. Think about it. Asset value calculation and negotiation skills are still important, as is the ability to uncover partners that can enhance your key brand attributes. But new, digital assets – e-newsletters, microsites, blogs, videos, whitepapers and more new content demands a keen understanding of how these elements can add to brand value, and thus, sponsorship ROI. Social media such as Facebook Fan Pages, Twitter feeds and more demand an entirely new and deeper understanding of how consumers interact with your brand, your partner’s brand and how it all adds up to a better sponsorship result.
A marketer who possesses a strong understanding of new tools of the trade is now of greater value than an “old school” sponsorship practitioner. Companies looking to hire the brightest and best for sponsorship roles need to place greater emphasis on a candidate’s digital/social media skills. Existing professionals need to evolve, to enhance their skills in this area.
Passive sponsorship is dead. Active sponsorship, driven by new digital and social media tools – and the people who know how to leverage them – is here to stay.
Where do you fit in?