Sponsorship is a popular tool used nowadays at both corporate as well as institution level to promote the image of the company and associate it with a cause or an event. This is a form of below the line based advertising for an entity and can be paid for as well as voluntary. “Corporate sponsorship is a business relationship in which two entities exchange things of value, including a public display of support. This value can be financial, in-kind, or benefits related to visibility/exposure, publicity or market reach. It should not be confused with donations (philanthropy), with advertising, or with innovative approaches to purchasing goods and services.” (Davidge 2002)
In most cases however the sponsorship is usually paid for. One of the most common cases for paid sponsorship at a brand or a corporate level is the agreement that a company makes with an athlete. According to this agreement the athlete associates the product or the brand with himself and adopts the product and its values. He is paid usually extravagantly for this agreement of sponsorship. The company on the other hand earns a reputation in the market form the agreement with the athlete which is derived from the association between the product, the company and the athlete. The main objective for any sponsor when sponsoring an activity, a cause or a person as in the case of athlete is that they want to increase their popularity in the market.
Similarly companies with a target market of university kids or youths tend to sponsor sporting events as well as fundraisers and special events at the college and university level. This increases the exposure for the company, specific to the target market while being more effective. Moreover the companies also end up spending much less in sponsoring than if they had to launch a large advertising campaign to catch the attention of the audience. Moreover sponsorship also tends to be more cost effective and beneficial in terms of the results when compared to the methods and tools of traditional advertising.
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