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4 Tips for a Successful Sponsorship Activation

4 Tips for a Successful Sponsorship Activation
Jason Smith
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Planning fun, creative, and effective sponsorship activations helps properties retain brands and ensure a positive experience for all involved parties. However, activating a sponsorship takes some finesse, and every activation will be slightly different, depending on the brand’s goals and the property’s needs. A one-size-fits-all approach won’t work with sponsorship activations, so it’s vital to consider the specifics of the brand you’re working with and cater to their needs. 

But what makes a sponsorship activation successful? Maybe you’re wondering what sponsorship activation is. Here, we review everything you need to know about sponsorship activation and provide some examples. We’ll cover the common goals of sponsorships and offer four tips for successful sponsorship activation. 

What Is Sponsorship Activation?

Let’s start with the basics. What is sponsorship activation? Simply put, it’s taking the sponsorship from a passive ad to something more impactful. The process involves “activating” a sponsorship to help the brand and the property get the most bang for their buck. It’s taking what was paid for (ad space, billboard, etc.) and finding ways to get the most out of it. You want to find inventive, fun ways to engage and connect with existing or potential customers. 

Imagine you just bought a brand new, expensive sports car, but you leave it parked in your garage with no gas in the tank. You have the vehicle in your possession, but you’re not doing anything with it. Sponsorship activation is like taking the car out of the garage, gassing it up, and taking it out on the road. Instead of leaving it to gather dust, you’re using it to its fullest potential. 

Sponsorship Activation Examples

Sponsorship activation doesn’t look one particular way; it’s not a one-size-fits-all situation. Let’s discuss some examples of sponsorship activation.

Sports Activations

Sports activation includes various brand and property strategies to boost fan engagement, drive brand visibility, and maximize sponsorship impact within the sports world. These activations can take multiple forms, including experiential marketing, branded content, interactive fan experiences, and digital campaigns designed to resonate with sports enthusiasts. 

Brand Sponsorships

Brand sponsorships entail partnerships between a brand and a property like a sports team, event, or organization. In these scenarios, the brand provides financial support or resources in exchange for promotional opportunities. These mutually beneficial partnerships allow brands to increase visibility, build brand affinity, and reach target audiences through association with the property’s activities or events. 

Partnership Activations

Partnership activation involves collaboration between a brand and a property to leverage their sponsorship agreement effectively. It focuses on creating engaging experiences and initiatives that bring the partnership to life. The goal is to drive value for both parties and enhance the impact of the sponsorship.

Take a look at our case studies and testimonials to see how SponsorCX has driven results in these categories. 

 

What Are Some Common Goals of Sponsorship Activation?

The most common goal of sponsorship activation is getting the most out of the sponsorship deal for both the sponsor and the property. It’s about making sure people notice and remember the brand, engaging with them in ways that matter, and turning that engagement into loyalty and sales. Activation aims to set the brand apart from competitors, create positive associations, and build lasting customer relationships. 

Four Tips for a Successful Sponsorship Activation

Understand the Brand’s Metrics for Sponsorship Activation

If you’re a property doing sponsorship activation, knowing the brand’s objectives and success metrics is essential. This will guide strategy and help you ensure they stay happy with the partnership activation. For example, if the brand is prioritizing engagement, you’ll need to see that your activation strategy supports a genuine connection with the audience. 

To get started, ask yourself these three basic questions to determine whether your strategy makes sense for the brand’s goals:

  1. How does this fit into the overall objectives of the brand?
  2. What are we trying to achieve?
  3. What happens if people don’t engage?

 

Answering these questions for any sponsorship activation ideas you have will help you know if the plan meets the brand’s needs and expectations. Having these answers will help you throughout the next steps of the brand activation planning process and keep everyone on track for a successful experience. 

Sports Sponsorship Data Is Essential for Setting Budgets

Data is one of the most important things to consider for any sponsorship deal; sports activations are no exception. Brands need data to ensure that the sponsorship is helping them achieve their goals. This will also help them figure out if they’re using their money efficiently. Sponsorships, especially in sports, can be very expensive. Brands and properties must know they’re getting their money’s worth! They’ll likely have their own plan for obtaining data, but properties can make this smoother and more efficient for both sides. 

If a property can provide key information about its audience that is also shared with the brand’s target audience, the activation strategy will be more effective. For example, if the brand is typically engaging with people of a certain age range, income, or location that overlaps with the property’s audience, let them know. Providing this data empowers brands to make the best use of their resources. 

Get Creative! Three Out-of-the-Box Sponsorship Activation Ideas

Don’t just install a sign at your venue and call it a day. Allow brands to become immersed in the property and create engaging experiences. Let’s go over three creative sponsorship activation ideas:

1. Interactive Social Media Campaign

Create an interactive social media campaign for a brand sponsorship that encourages in-person and virtual attendees to participate in a fun activity. For example, hold a photo or video contest where participants can showcase their creativity while incorporating the sponsor’s products or logo. Offer prizes for the most creative entries to incentivize participation.

2. Virtual Reality Experience

Set up a virtual reality (VR) experience at the event or online, allowing attendees to immerse themselves in a virtual world related to the sponsor’s brand or product. For example, a car manufacturer could create a VR experience that simulates driving their latest model. This gives people a fun, unique, memorable experience that also promotes the brand and encourages loyalty. 

3. Branded Game or Activity Zone

Create a branded game or activity zone at the event where people can play fun and interactive games or do challenges related to the sponsor’s brand. For example, a sports drink company could set up a basketball shooting game where participants compete for prizes while learning about the benefits of their product.

Make sure you also take advantage of digital options, including social media and other digital media options. Participating in TikTok trends, creating filters, utilizing hashtags, etc., are simple and cost-effective ways to activate brands in a fun and immersive way.

Execute Brand-Driven Strategies

Brands want to feel appreciated and supported. Helping them execute, not just plan, their strategy for an event or period of time makes a difference. From concept creation to execution, properties can help brands every step of the way. Help them work through the budget, infrastructure, how many people they’ll need, and any other logistics involved in the deal. By showing them you’re willing to work with them on every level possible, you help brands know you value their sponsorship and put effort into your partnership activations.  

Creating engaging and successful sponsorship activations helps your property thrive. You can help make this happen by knowing the brand’s success metrics, obtaining and using data effectively, getting creative, and helping brands execute. Supporting brands and keeping things interesting helps them feel appreciated and encourages a long-term partnership. 

Customer Testimonials on Sponsorship Activation

Don’t just take it from us. Check out what our incredible customers at the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium have to say:

“SponsorCX has made my life so much easier as an account manager because it’s given me the opportunity to stay organized and efficient in my work … uploading videos and proof of performance as well as just communication in general.” Jarreau Smith, AD of Corporate Partners

“Whether you’ve been on the agency side, the client side, or really (the) venue side, you’ll understand what we go through. So, if you have a platform built by people from the industry for people in the industry … it’s easy because they get what we go through every day.” Robert Castellano, VP of Corporate Partnerships

 

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