Charity sponsors reap biggest benefits

publication date: Oct 17, 2012
Over two-thirds of Canadians (69%) would prefer to do business with sponsors of their favourite causes, according to new research conducted for Partnership Group - Sponsorship Specialists by Enigma Research. Significantly fewer Canadians (45%) said they would choose businesses based on sports sponsorship.

It's not the first time that sponsorship surveys have shown Canadians valuing charity sponsors more highly than sports sponsors. "This ongoing trend shows that charities continue to be the most influential affinity opportunity for brands," said Partnership Group head Brent Barootes.

Naming rights make little consumer impact 

Those consumer respondents had a big surprise for both sponsors and "properties" (industry parlance for the charity or event receiving sponsorship). They're not that interested in seeing a corporation's name on an event. Prizes, cash, corporate volunteers and free product all held more customer appeal than a titled sponsorship. 

The same preferences hold true for cause marketing. When a meaningful contribution to a cause is offered, 57% are willing to pay more for a product, compared to 35% who are willing to accept a contribution markup on arts or culture products. Even fewer (31%) will pay more for products benefitting sports organizations. 

The appreciation gap between cause/charity sponsors and sports sponsors is especially remarkable when it's compared with actual consumer involvement. Seventy-six percent of Canadians frequently or occasionally watch sports on TV, but that participation does not seem to be equally reflected in consumer response to sponsorships. 

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