Tip Sheet: Account For Sponsorship’s Real Value

Sponsorship’s greatest attribute is also its greatest curse. When companies and brands partner with sports, entertainment, cause-related or cultural events and organizations, they can forge powerful, emotional connections that change perceptions and behavior by tapping into the passion of their audiences. But determining the value of that impact—both its potential when choosing where to focus a brand’s sponsorship efforts, as well as the actual return on an existing partnership—is not as simple as calculating cost-per-thousand or reviewing ratings points. This, of course, is familiar territory for PR professionals, who often must justify the value of their efforts to leadership more comfortable with the “hard” numbers associated with advertising buys. Too often, communicators take the easy way out when it comes to sponsorship evaluation, merely transferring advertising surrogates such as media equivalencies and impressions to sponsorship, or using intermediate metrics such as exposure and recall to gauge performance.

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