Sponsorship can be a very effective and valid way for a business to gain exposure. But it is not as simple as handing over a cheque and getting your name on a jersey. Brydens Lawyers is a household name, this has largely been achieved through well positioned sponsorships rather than a bombardment of advertising.
At a recent meeting of Campbelltown Chamber of Commerce Lee Hagipantelis, the Principal of Brydens Lawyers Pty Limited led an expert panel on corporate sponsorship. I was also able to speak with Lee following the panel and get some expert advice on corporate sponsorships and partnerships.
1. What to look for in a sponsorship.
I asked Lee what is the most important thing to look for in a sponsorship? ‘First and foremost is the question of whether or not there is an alignment of the brands which
will enhance your business. Brand awareness and brand reputation is something that is incredibly important to any business and can take m any years to develop, however,it can be tarnished or depleted very quickly.’
Lee is quite passionate about selecting organisations and events to sponsor and believes there should also be a non-economic or personal return. This often comes from a personal connection with the organisation or event. He went on to add‘I look to ensure that there is a synergy between the philosophy, ideals and objectives of the two organisations.
2. Is sponsorship just for big business?
Lee quickly pointed out ‘Corporate partnerships and sponsorships can be incredibly successful for all businesses, no matter their size’ Lee firmly believes that small businesses can connect and collaborate with larger organisations through sponsorships. ‘Many organisations, let us say an NRL club for example, will have numerous properties available for sponsorship at varying cost or commitment which could be of significant value to a small business. That is, the small business aligns itself with a large business that has a very high profile. The small business will of course benefit by that alignment’.
Another point to remember is that you don’t need to sponsor a national sporting body. You could support a local sporting group and help locals.
3. Are there opportunities outside of sport?
While most people think of sporting teams for corporate sponsorship there are many other opportunities around. There are many charities, local festivals and award functions benefiting the community that rely on corporate sponsorship. Lee backs this up‘ think the broader community looks favourably upon corporate investment in community activities which is perceived favourably given that many of these activities would not be able to operate without corporate investment.
The broader community does recognise that any corporate investment would need to secure a return other wise it is unlikely to continue.’ These events are an excellent opportunity to connect with and support a part of your local community, after all they help make your business successful. Lee also pointed out ‘My philosophy has always been to fully explore all opportunities available within the local community before seeking to extend the frontiers. A great example is the recent Young Champions Awards Macarthur, where I myself was a category sponsor.
It was a wonderful opportunity to provide an award to one of the many young people achieving great things on our community, at the same time was able to grow my brand. I was also able to network with other grate local small business owners with similar values and passion. This event could not have happened without sponsors, and our local children would hove missed out.
4. Good for the community, good for business.
Businesses are a part of the community and I believe we all have an obligation to contribute to our community. Lee summed up this sentiment very well ‘Sponsorship
of community clubs, sporting organisations and local festivals has not only proven very successful for Brydens Lawyers in establishing a connection with the broader community which has served to significantly raise our brand awareness, but it also serves the recognition of our corporate responsibility to gives back to the community in which we operate. Successful businesses owe the community in which they operate for their success. That should never be forgotten’.
Sponsorship is a wonderful tool for businesses to grow brand awareness and grow a business. It is a more subtle form of advertising that benefits the community, rather
than just talks at them. You are able to demonstrate the values that define and set your business apart from others.
I would love to hear your opinions on corporate sponsorship and how it may benefit your sporting club, community group, event or business.