Sponsorships can be a brand manager’s best friend and worst enemy. Sports events, industry conferences, or job fairs all share great brand-building potential, and sometimes fly below brand compliance radar.
Why is that? It usually comes down to habits and planning (or lack thereof). Sometimes, the team that’s managed the event for years keeps using the same materials, unaware they need to update the logo, color, or tagline for the new brand. Other times, a team is hours away from an artwork deadline, and they scramble to get a logo from a website or scan from a piece of printed material.
With the recent shift to virtual events, screen-resolution artwork is usually OK, because it’s all on a screen anyway. For physical events, needing large-format printing and signage, attention to art accuracy and quality is critical to look good.
Whatever the event or venue/medium, here are a few tips to avoid the unsightly off-brand placements and experiences, making sure sponsorships give your brand the best possible boost.
Provide paths of least resistance to do it the right way.
Provide a Sponsorship 101 guide, including a checklist, timeline, links to online forms, and a “do’s and don’ts” list, among other things. Making this available electronically via a website means easier updates each year as requirements change.
Internally promote the importance of high-impact branded media
TV, Web, video, social platforms, OOH/billboards, and venue signage all are very visible media that can have a big impact. Make sure any budgets for printing or promotion require sign-off, so you have control and know what’s happening.
Reward the people who use the process
If someone gets your support and input on a sponsorship, maybe you have some leftover swag, or you could work with another sponsor partner to create some additional bonuses to amp up the “wow” factor for the event.
When a sponsored event is on-brand and goes well, it usually multiplies, because word spreads about the success, and people want to get the same benefit for their own activities. If you reward the team who helped build the success, they’ll happily share what they learned so the next ones are even better.