If your franchise relies heavily on local consumers, then sponsoring a local event can be a great way to spread the word about your business. Every town has community activities, youth sports teams, drama groups, and more that look for sponsors each year, and the investment to sponsor a local event is typically not very high.
For example, if your franchise sponsors a local youth sports team, you may spend around $500, but the rewards can be far-reaching. Not only does your name appear on the uniforms, but it may appear on banners at the field, on programs and mailers, in newspaper announcements, and in any and all pictures of the players that run in local online and offline media, because your name is on the uniform!
Benefits of Local Sponsorships
How can a sponsorship help your franchise? Take a look at the five biggest benefits below:
1. Local sponsorships boost brand awareness and recognition
If your franchise is new or growing, then a sponsorship is a great way to get your brand name in front of a large group of people who will see it again and again. That’s how you build brand awareness!
2. Local sponsorships typically last for an extended period of time
Local sponsorships usually include a pre-event promotional opportunity where your franchise name could appear in ads or brochures marketing the event to the community. Additionally, your franchise will be promoted during the event on signs, handouts, shirts, and more. Your brand could be featured again in post-event news articles, and of course, even more people could see your brand mentioned in all of the social media sharing that happens before, during, and after the event!
The possibilities for extended brand promotion are significant with local sponsorships. Consider the youth sports team example at the beginning of this article. If your franchise sponsors a local sports team, you’ll get brand exposure during the entire season, which usually lasts for several months!
3. Local sponsorships help create customer relationships with your brand
Consumers are loyal to brands they form relationships with. Local sponsorships allow you to position your franchise as an integral, caring part of the community, which in turn, leads to a sense of comfort and security from consumers. Ultimately, that comfort-level translates into a relationship with the brand and thus, into loyal customers.
4. Local sponsorships provide PR opportunities
Promotion of your local sponsorship shouldn't be left up to the event organizers. Take the opportunity to hype your sponsorship in your own newsletters, press releases, brochures, social media updates, blog posts, and so on.
5. Local sponsorships help your franchise and the community
The best part of local sponsorships is that they help not only your franchise (for a relatively small investment when compared to other marketing and advertising prices), but they also help your local community and make you feel like a contributing member of that community.
Consumers notice the companies that care about the community and are likely to choose those companies over non-participating, seemingly less committed businesses.
Tips to Choose an Event or Group to Sponsor
When you select a local event or group to sponsor, be sure to request a formal sponsorship contract, which should outline specifically what you get as the sponsor such as ads, banners, uniforms or shirts, and so on. Don’t be afraid to ask for more!
Also, the length of the sponsorship should be clearly defined, and it should include information about any other sponsorship opportunities that are available. The reason for this is two-fold. First, you need to know if there are any other sponsorship opportunities that could overshadow your own, hindering your investment from reaching its full potential. Second, you need to know what other sponsorship opportunities are available in case your top competitor invests as well, which could detract from the return on your investment.
Whenever possible, speak with previous event sponsors (particularly businesses in your industry or a similar industry) to learn about the results they saw from their sponsorships of that event in the past. And last, select an event that your target customers are likely to be involved in or participate in to ensure the right people see your name and message or you won’t get an adequate return on your investment.