We have all turned on the TV and seen adverts that have caught our eye.  We have all seen or been to a sporting event and seen company’s names on players tops, on the side of cars or bikes, or sewn into the clothes of the sports people wearing them. There are various areas to pursue when it comes to advertising and sponsorship. It is crucial to know the distinctions between each and the advantages and disadvantages before making a decision. Although the terms “advertising” and “sponsorship” are sometimes used interchangeably, they are in reality distinct. Using the term “advertising” suggests that someone has paid for an ad with a particular message. In contrast, a sponsorship indicates a far more substantial and frequently continuous connection between the sponsors and the event’s organisers.

The power of advertising is undeniable. It’s fantastic. Banner advertising, TV commercials, print layouts, billboards, rink boards, backlit posters, pop-up ads, video messaging on a website or other sites, and so on are some of the ways in which advertising talks to its audience. It is a method of intrusive advertising. Sadly, most people don’t take the time to read the billboards as they drive down the street. The primary motivation for tuning into a broadcast media outlet isn’t to see or hear the advertising yet, ads are defined as intruders into people’s ideal experience. As the names imply, advertising consists of one message, usually with a call to action attached. It works, but it’s a two-step process. No connection between brand and the target demographic is made. The target demographic might be targeted but it is still the choice of the people reading, seeing, or hearing the advert to interact with it and to engage with it. 

An additional benefit of sponsoring is that it is a marketing tool. It’s a more in-depth relationship marketing tactic than advertising. Through a property or organisation or a person, it fosters a sense of familiarity and trust between a certain target audience and the brand. Since a brand promotes a cause that the client is passionate about, the consumer develops an emotional connection to the brand and its product. To sponsor a product is to give financial or in-kind support in exchange for the commercialisation of the sponsoring organisation’s brand.  Wearing a brand on your top, means that you have joined that brand and they have invested in you, as a person.  How many times have you heard on the news that sponsorship has been pulled from some sports person, after they have done something illegal, or that they shouldn’t have done?

That sponsorship is a relationship between business, brand, person, company, and implies on-going payments and an on-going relationship that links the elements together.  

If you have a business, and you are looking to sponsor someone through your business, you have to make sure that it is the right person, and they align their ethical and moral beliefs with your company.  A good Sponsorship match can boost sales.  A Bad sponsorship match can make you a laughing stock and can bring your company down.