Is sponsorship a win-win process or just social responsibility?

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Group marketing and public relations of FBC Holdings Limited Priscilla Sadomba

Chipo Sabeta
Corporates are now frequently investing a significant amount of money towards sponsoring sporting clubs.

Now, the questions is: How much value is generated from sponsoring the World Cup soccer tournament or superstars such as Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo? Or, how much do companies benefit from sponsorship deals?

While experts have tried to value sponsorships based on three components: benefits, exposure and intellectual property, others have accepted sports sponsorships as a corporate social responsibility system that makes their business more successful.

In addition, paying great attention to the collective popular sports such as football or basketball, significant support is directed towards stimulating the development of sports associations and also those that bring together young people with disabilities.

Last week, FBC sponsored $10 000 towards the Zimbabwe Cricket World Cup Chairman Invitation Golf Tournament held at Borrowdale Brook Golf Club over the weekend.

Group marketing and public relations of FBC Holdings Limited, Priscilla Sadomba, said it is part of their social responsibility to actively involve themselves in their community.

“Our participation is basically to assist the development of sports, in this instance, cricket. The current situation calls for responsible corporate citizens to come in to assist in times of need. We pride ourselves in giving back to communities; our participation in cricket is a response to a national cause requiring the assistance of an institution which values the national development of sports,” she said.

“In this case, cricket has a great and inspiring following which provides a fertile market for FBC’s products and services. The abilities to reach the audience are through the associated communication as espoused in the agreed sponsorship packages. There is direct communication with the followers of cricket which creates attention to the brand and generates interest and adoption of products and services, thus creating an opportunity for a long term relationships with target audience,” Sadomba added.

In terms of the exposure of the FBC brand, Sadomba said they are also eyeing long term opportunities as consumers make a positive response.

“Brand sports involvement is leaning toward event sponsorship that avoids advertising in favour of brand story-telling opportunities. The fact is that consumers respond better to storytelling than traditional advertising. The engagement is deeper, the impact is more sustained, and the Return on investment is stronger,’’ Sadomba said.

Emerging markets are increasingly picking up major sporting events, with FIFA taking the World Cup to Brazil, Russia and Qatar, for instance. This allows local sponsors to gain exposure on the international stage and this in in turn allows existing global sponsors to retain their foothold too.

Mobile network operator (MNO) NetOne recently unveiled a $1 million sponsorship package for the country’s three biggest football teams (Dynamos, Caps United and Highlanders)

Acting Chief executive officer Brian Mutandiro commented on what motivated NetOne to sponsor the three clubs for the season. He said the agreement is win-win situation.

“Let me hasten to say, we as NetOne envisage this partnership to be a win-win situation, as we anticipate clubs to play their respective parts in promoting our brand and endearing it to their multitudes of supporters. Various initiatives will be rolled out the entire year, as we seek to make the partnership sustainable.

“What it means is that clubs benefiting from our sponsorship have a major role to play for this partnership to be a success. As a business, our objective is for the clubs to be able to encourage their supporters to use more of the numerous NetOne packages available, to sustain the sponsorship going forward, “said Mutandiro.

On the other hand the sporting clubs will benefit from a direct financial input and an endorsement provided through the sponsoring brand, while the brand gets massive global prime exposure and an exclusive revenue-generating opportunity.

Emirates Airline seems to have found the perfect balance between promoting its image as one of the world’s fastest growing airlines and strengthening its brand partnership ties with major football clubs.

Last week, the Zimbabwe national cricket team received a timely boost after cement manufacturing company PPC unveiled a sponsorship package for the team ahead of the International Cricket Council qualifiers starting on March 4.

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