For years we have been extolling the virtues of viewing major sponsorships as actual partnerships, whereby each party involved views the relationship with a true give-and-take perspective. This may seem simplistic, but it’s always been amazing to me to see sponsorship-seeking properties focus so much more on their own needs, offering only the most basic benefits such as logos, signs and hospitality to sponsors. Corporate sponsors have increasingly demanded greater value, and now, with the tight economy creating a buyers’ market, it appears that properties are finally coming around to viewing sponsors through a lens of partnership.
It has been refreshing to witness organizations that are looking at major sponsor recruitment increasingly talk about securing partners and promoting deeper forms of product integration, purchase and deployment, all of which are priorities for companies in certain sectors. Finding ways to really make commercial sense of a sponsorship for a company – think ROI – greatly accelerates the partner development process and helps to justify more significant sponsor investments.
So we have a little silver lining in the recession-driven sponsorship downturn, as the concept of true partnership becomes more the standard way of doing business for sponsorship-seeking properties.