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Sponsorship & motorsport - the smart combination

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  1. How does sponsorship work?
    1. Different kinds of sponsorship
    2. Comparing sponsorship to other media vehicles
    3. How do firms manage sponsorship?
    4. The sponsorship market: facts and figures
  2. Focus on motorsport sponsorship
    1. Environment of study
    2. Generally accepted idea
    3. Benefits of sponsoring motorsport

Advertising is invading our life. Ads are everywhere: in the subway, in newspapers, on bus shelters etc. With all this clutter, the creative work behind the ad is often the only way to make it stand out of the mass and be retained (under the condition the message is clear enough). Media communication is dominating but faces a severe crisis which makes sponsorship the new trend with a 25% growth over the last 3 years according to the International Event Group. It has significantly matured over the last 15 years and accounts for an average 91% of firms' communication budgets in France (2,6 billion for the year 2005 to contrast with 29 billion spent on advertising). Moreover, sponsorship is perceived has a highly cost effective way to communicate. Contrary to classic advertising, which is principally meant to sell, sponsorship allows the brand to associate itself with the values of an event, a team or a star thus increasing its brand image along with its awareness. The gain may be seen as abstract but shows real impact not only on sales but on a very broad range of activities. To achieve a good ROI however, the sponsor needs to be thoroughly selected. Since he will be expected to represent and foster the values the brand wanted to express, the smallest mistake may result in unwanted associations which will be highly damaging for the sponsor. This memoire will primarily focus on the sport side of sponsorship since it represents 80% of the total sponsorship market (commonly admitted number due to the difficulty to come out with precise figures). To understand the business stakes of sponsorship and answer our problematic we will first determine the different kinds of sponsorship. Who is sponsoring? In what area? With what tools? For what effects? Then, we will find out the place of sponsorship as a channel of communication by comparing its advantages and disadvantages to another Famous French football player, Zinedine Zidane, in front of a wall of sponsors during a press conference media vehicle. Sponsorship is the relationship between a sponsor and a property, in which the sponsor pays a cash or in-kind fee in return for access to the exploit-able commercial potential associated with the property. (IEG, 2001). Sponsorship dates back from the Antiquity with the idea of patronage. It continued during the Renaissance where the aristocracy and the Church patronized many artists in the hope that some of their glory would spring back on the generous giver. This is the premise of sponsorship: paying to associate itself with the success of someone. The first commercial usage of sponsorship appeared in 1861. The British food company Spiers and Ponds sponsored the British cricket team in Australia thus earning a ROI of 11,000£.

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