From my observation sponsorship is often really misused within a marketing mix. Often it’s driven by the personal interests of the CEO or a knee jerk reaction to any approach by a potential group.

Sponsorship should be considered carefully and rather than waiting for a potential organisation to contact you, you should identify potential organisations that have a good fit with your organisation or brand and be proactive.

Jayco Cycling

Jayco's sponsorship of the UCI Road Cycling World Championships

I saw a recent example of a poorly selected but very expensive sponsorship. I’m a keen cyclist and follow the professional sport so was watching closely at the recent UCI Road Cycling World Championships. The principal sponsor of the Australian team was Jayco, an Australian caravan manufacturer. To me there was a huge misfit between a caravan company and elite cycling.

I’m sure the sponsorship cost them their entire marketing budget for the year and yet it totally missed on me. The main reason I saw this is that the key target market for caravans in Australia is surely ‘grey nomads’ most of whom have absolutely no interest in cycling so very few of them would have even noticed the sponsorship.

The sponsorship was supported by a very average television ad that ran often during the ad breaks. It was a throwback ad from the 80s with shots of caravans in various locations accompanied by a 80s ballad-style song. Yuck.

I’m not sure of Jayco’s motivation or reasoning but it was totally wasted on me. They would be much better off steering their sponsorship dollars towards events or activities that are reaching their main target market.

I’ve actually just had a look at Jayco’s website and discovered that they do a lot of sporting and other sponsorship. I’ll happily admit that some of it works with the brand like the Country Music Festival. Well done.

So when you’re considering a sponsorship submission think about how it works with your brand or company and don’t let your personal likes and dislikes dictate where you spend your sponsorship dollars.