What Is Sponsorship Advertising? - Definition, Advantages & Disadvantages

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  • 0:00 Definition of…
  • 0:25 Criteria For Sponsorship
  • 1:40 Advantages and Disadvantages
  • 2:55 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Shawn Grimsley

Shawn has a masters of public administration, JD, and a BA in political science.

If you have been to a charity or sporting event, you probably have been exposed to sponsorship advertising. In this lesson, you'll learn about sponsorship advertising, including its advantages and disadvantages. A short quiz follows.

Definition of Sponsorship Advertising

Sponsorship advertising is a type of advertising where a company pays to be associated with a specific event. In fact, sponsorship advertising is very prevalent with charitable events. Besides from charitable events, companies may sponsor local sporting teams, sports tournaments, fairs, and other community events. The idea is to get your name out and be viewed positively as a participating member of your community.

Criteria for Sponsorship

Author Jim Karrh suggests four criteria for a business to use in determining whether to sponsor something:

Relevance - The event, organization, or cause you are considering sponsoring must have some degree of relevance to the services or products you provide. For example, a running shoe company may consider sponsoring a local marathon, but it really doesn't make much sense for a local brewery to do so. You want to match your sponsorship of events or organizations to those that involve your target market.

Brand fit - Your brand fit must fit the event. A computer company sponsoring a gaming event using a game that is not compatible with its computer makes no sense and may be counter-productive.

Mission alignment - The interests of the event or organization should not conflict with the interests of the company. A tobacco company sponsoring a cancer awareness walk may not work out that well for the tobacco company.

Business result - The company must have a reasonable basis to believe that the sponsorship will create a tangible business result. It doesn't necessarily have to produce a profit, but it should at least increase company awareness, brand awareness, or help foster a positive view of the company.

Advantages and Disadvantages

So what are the advantages and disadvantages of sponsorship advertisement?


Sponsorship advertising provides some distinct advantages. It's a somewhat passive form of advertising where you are not directly pushing yourself on the consumer. Fans of sporting events or supporters of charitable events often react positively to companies that sponsor their events or causes. It's also a good way to not only build brand awareness and loyalty, but also to create a positive view of your brand and company. All of these factors help to increase the probability of sales.


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