The first step in any sponsorship is choosing which property to sponsor. This can be a team, league, celebrity, museum, zoo, school, youth athletic club, etc. Any entity that has a viable audience whose lifestyles align with your brand could be worth sponsoring. We have a client who is in their ninth year of a NASCAR team sponsorship. The first time they went to a race, one of the senior executives looked at an associate and said, “These are our people.” Finding “your people” is the first step.
The challenge is finding a viable audience—one that is not only right in number, but in lifestyle and passion. This selection process does not have to be difficult. We do not recommend it, but sometimes a brand sponsors a property simply because the CEO wants to do it. We can identify an audience based on “gut” or we can leverage great consumer data that is available in the marketplace. No matter your process, here are some factors for
- Size of the group… obviously.
- National or Regional Audience. NASCAR fans are national. Baltimore Ravens fans are regional.
- Propensity of fans to use your product. As Seth Godin says, “People like us do things like this.”
- Quality of performance or experience.
- Cost required to reach the group. Sponsorships should create budget efficiency.