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9 Sponsorship Opportunities That Can Build Your Brand

by Monika Jansen on February 3, 2011

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Not able to cough up $1 million to sponsor this year’s Super Bowl in Texas?  Rip a page from the marketing strategy of huge, multi-million dollar companies like American Airlines, Frito-Lay, and Papa John’s Pizza and build your company’s brand by sponsoring local events where your customers are more likely to notice you.

Depending on the event and type of sponsorship, your company’s name and logo could appear in multiple places: banners, print ads, direct mail, emails, newsletters, programs, websites, and even on the radio.   Your sponsorship need not be monetary either—you could offer your company’s products, services, or employees to organize and staff the event instead.

The DEMO Conference Austin networking event

Here’s a handy dandy list of 9 sponsorship opportunities that are worth your while:

Special events
These are events that only occur once in a while, like a ribbon-cutting ceremony, conference, trade show, concert, awards ceremony, or gala.

Annual community events
I am sure some of you could add more to this list, but here are events that happen every year in my community: free outdoor summer concert series, holiday parades, fireworks on July 4th, Oktoberfest, food festivals, art festivals, and free children’s programs during holiday and summer breaks.

Networking events
Sponsoring networking events are the perfect opportunity for B2B companies to build brand awareness with potential clients.  Networking event organizers typically have robust marketing campaigns via email and LinkedIn, so your name will be seen multiple times every month.

Newsletter or Blog
If your industry or association has a newsletter or blog, consider sponsoring it or even contributing a regular column or guest post on your area of expertise.

Fundraisers
Schools and local charities hold numerous fundraisers every year, affording numerous opportunities for local businesses to sponsor a dance, silent auction, concert, or walk-run event.

Non-profits
Small, local non-profits such as museums, nature centers, performing arts centers and groups, and theaters always need sponsors for regular events they hold, such as monthly dinners, lecture series, exhibits, concerts, etc.

Websites
The websites of all of the above events and organizations need to be designed, optimized, updated, and maintained, and it takes money, time, and know-how to do that.  This is the perfect way to display your online design and marketing talent.

Local sports teams
Every summer, my family joins a group of friends to enjoy an evening polo match in the Virginia countryside.  A refined audience for sure, but all local sports teams, from Little League to ice hockey to polo teams, need sponsors to help pay for (or provide) uniforms, equipment, trophies, and more.  Depending on the sport you sponsor, you could reach a very diverse audience.

Image via Flickr by The DEMO Conference (Creative Commons)

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