Aug 14, 2009 at 03:27 PM
written by Ron Seaver

Sponsorship: Bothersome Neighbor or Favorite Uncle?

The other day someone asked me what the difference was between "Sponsorship" … and "Advertising"?

A great question – and truth be told, sponsorship is really nothing more than a "kind" of advertising. After all, they both involve trading cash and/or in-kind "value" in exchange for commercial access to your customers and prospects. In that regard, a sponsorship isn't really all that different from … say … a Program Ad in your event collateral.

But that's where the similarity ends…

I'm obviously a big "shill" for the powers of sponsorship, but if you think about it – there's really no comparison. Sponsorships are ten TIMES more powerful than advertising!

How can I say this…? Simple …

In most consumer's minds, advertising is a "necessary evil". It interrupts the program they're "dialed into". It takes them away from their pleasure. (You're driving down the highway listening to a bunch of songs you grew up with – loving life, when suddenly the DJ comes on to say that they'll be back after these commercial messages. Poof – instant "buzz kill"! Same with a TV show or the last two minutes of a football game.)

Face it – advertising is that annoying neighbor that lives next door. (You know .. the one that shows up at ALL the wrong moments…??) You tolerate 'em, but you'd rather they just disappeared.

Not so with sponsors. Where advertisers are the bothersome neighbor, sponsors get to play the role of your favorite uncle. You know – the one you look forward to seeing?

They don't interrupt your pleasure … they enhance it. They make your pleasure possible. They support what you like, what you approve of, what you believe in. They're the "hero" in the story.

And that's your job as the person that oversees bringing sponsorship into your "mix" – your job is to make sure that your sponsors are presented with fond appreciation to your herd. Give them your gratitude, your respect and your endorsement to your group.

Do that and they'll be with you long after the advertisers have left the building.

Ron Seaver, president of Seaver Marketing Group and The National Sports Forum, and author of "Brought to you By... - The Ultimate Sponsorship Sales System" has over twenty-five years of experience in the field of marketing and sponsorship. View all of Ron's posts here