A broadcast sponsorship is almost always more than just a sponsorship

There was a time when broadcast sponsorships were just that – a mix of spots of various lengths leading in and out of every break around a programme or strand of shows. They would typically deliver excellent value, offer high levels of frequency and have the potential to shift several metrics. The same principals are still at the core of every sponsorship. But these days, whilst the sponsorship is the backbone and still the primary reason to do the deal, it isn’t the bit which excites. It’s the additional opportunities broadcasters build in that really whet the appetite. The add-ons can include talent; additional content; data sharing opportunities; innovative digital programme extensions or formats; licences and product integration. The aim of these extras is to offer a more complete, in-depth partnership. In many cases they do just that and there are number of great examples in the market of these fuller 360o sponsorships.

There’s no shame in just sponsoring

Whilst for the right programme we absolutely promote buying in to all the extras, there are still great arguments for buying a broadcast sponsorship simply for the idents. These considerations range from offering a cost-effective solution to bolster spot campaigns, to providing an alternative to a TV spot campaign, or guaranteeing an association with content loved by your core audience. Whilst the big ticket sponsorships will almost certainly require buying all the ancillary elements to secure the property, there are often many sponsorship opportunities in the market to suit a range of budgets and audiences.

Content isn’t always King

Too many brands considering broadcast sponsorship focus on waiting for the perfect content to become available. That can be a major barrier to taking the plunge. The reality is, the right content at the right time comes round very infrequently. Even with less-than-perfect content there are many ways a broadcast sponsorship can work for a brand. It can be great for isolating a specific audience, for being live in a certain daypart of day of week, or for simply offering longevity on air and stretching a budget. In 2017 two very interesting research studies on broadcast sponsorship came to market – Channel 4’s ‘Sponsorship Rocks’ and Thinkbox’s ‘Get with the Programmes’. Both studies offer fresh insight and evidence on why broadcast sponsorships can be such an effective platform for advertisers. The next few months will see several new and exciting sponsorships come to market. Among the highlights will be Great British Bake-off opportunities, particularly attractive after the programme’s proven successful relocation to C4, and of course the FIFA World Cup.

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