Almost 90% of consumers think that businesses should invest in a cause that matters to their community, from a local charity to an international humanitarian effort. Consumers shop with their hearts, so to speak, supporting or rejecting businesses based on the positions they advocate. It may be shocking, but 87% of consumers buy based on values, whereas 76% boycott based on values. Brand loyalty is hard to come by these days, but one of the most effective ways to reach customers is to support the issues customers care about in an effort to build trust and a sense of community. On a local level, this means supporting community growth, stimulating local economies, and giving back through sponsorship of local events.
Corporate sponsorship, loosely defined as “a form of advertising in which companies pay to be associated with certain events,” can take many forms. This could mean anything from sponsoring a Little League game, partnering with a 5k charity run/walk, or hosting in-house events. Even entire festivals are sometimes backed by brands, such as the Annual Duck Tape Festival in the town of Avon, Ohio, sponsored by Budweiser, among others. One of the world’s most popular beer brands, Budweiser, has been part of this unique event for over a decade, featuring attractions such as a duck tape parade, a duck tape fashion show, and weekend-long family fun events that garner national attention. Though not every business can quite reach this scale of event sponsorship, there are opportunities for virtually every size and variety of business if you know where to look.
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According to the 2017 BrandMuscle Effectiveness Index for the most effective local marketing channels, hosting events, participating in events with booths, and sponsorship rank very highly, and yet few businesses see the value. They instead rely only on social media and digital ads to get the job done. Between 2016 and 2017, companies that used event marketing strategies within their communities saw a -22% decrease in leads on an average, but a +14% increase in sales.
71% of local businesses are satisfied with the results of community sponsorship. Establishing a presence in the community leads to features in local newspapers, blogs, community calendars, local publications, and even industry newsletters. Non-profit organizations are always looking for extra partners as the corporate dollars behind these sponsorships can increase production value, visibility among the community, and opportunities to grow. Altogether corporations give more than $17 billion to nonprofits every year in charitable donations, but 70% of these nonprofits have a hard time demonstrating the real impact of these gifts. Instead, smart business leaders look for options that involve collaboration and group efforts instead of mindlessly dumping dollars into nonprofits.
Corporate sponsorship is one of the most effective marketing channels available to most businesses, but few have tried it. What’s holding you back? This infographic details the unique benefits of local event sponsorship, how it boosts visibility, grows businesses, and generates brand loyalty through action, rather than just words.