Consumers reward charity sponsorship more than sports

publication date: May 30, 2012
author/source: Janet Gadeski

Calgary sponsorship expert Brent Barootes of Partnership Group - Sponsorship SpecialistsTM has just polled 2,000 Canadians about whether sponsorship influences them to switch brands. "Almost 58% will shift when the brand supports their favorite charity and 51% when the band aligns itself with an arts organization," he says. By contrast, not even 40% will switch to a brand that supports their favorite sport or sports organization.

That may surprise you, although the findings are consistent with earlier research on the same topic. "So overall," Barootes states, "charities provide the best brand alignment and cause marketing channels."

And that's despite the fact that in general, sport delivers affinity, interactive and fan experiential marketing much better than arts and charities, he points out.

"If the arts and charities could better understand how to harness this opportunity and do it correctly instead of unprofessionally and randomly, they could benefit tenfold over what they are now doing," he believes.

The survey also shows that women are much more likely to make or influence a brand shift around an association with the arts and charities than men do for brands with sport affinities. Not many charities are taking full advantage of that, he notes, although the Re/Max - Children's Miracle Network alliance, which links beautifully with the female influence in home buying, is a notable exception.

What it means for you

In most cases, Barootes continues, the arts and charities fail to recognize the strength of the female buying position, the strength of brand affinity to their organizations, and how that can deliver results for a brand. Too often, they want immediate results instead of building a relationship and nurturing a brand affinity program to yield bigger results down the road.

It's puzzling to see that expectation even in charities that are fully aware of the need to cultivate and steward major donors for optimal long-term support.

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