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27 April 2004, 03:34 pm
It Is No Longer Throwing Money At The Unknown
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Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006

Global events like Volvo Ocean Race are proving more and more effective for sponsorship as Peter FISK, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Marketing explains.
'Marketers can start to track and find which types of sponsorship works and which don't,' says Mr. Fisk in the new issue of Volvo Ocean Race Magazine, published 1 May.

Research conducted by the CIM suggests that sponsorship is winning a bigger slice of the marketing budget than ever before, even though marketing as a whole has gone through a relatively depressing period when the economy was stalling.

'With sponsorship you are associating yourself with something else,' says Mr. Fisk and continues. 'Whereas when you are advertising, you are just talking about yourself. Sailing is about bravery and endurance and overcoming the impossible… you piggyback onto something else.'

There are three main reasons companies choose to sponsor a sport:

It can reach a group of people who are particularly interested in that sport The sport does something for your values and says something about you The sponsorship shows you are doing something for the broader community

Dutch-based bank ABN AMRO recently announced that they will participate in next Volvo Ocean Race with two boats. In the new issue of Volvo Ocean Race magazine, Tom de SWAAN, boardmember of the ABN AMRO bank, says. 'The Volvo Ocean Race, which visits almost all of the continents, emerged as an ideal candidate. Especially considering the range of commercial opportunities by participating.'

Sponsorship generates plenty of media coverage, which generates sales. But it can also work as an internal motivation vehicle and to change the public perception of the brand. Surveys are carried out on how people's perceptions of a brand and how their propensity to choose that brand or trust a brand have changed.

Sponsorship might be more difficult to evaluate and justify than, say, direct marketing, where the response and sales can be directly measured. But techniques of evaluating sports sponsorship have developed.

Mr. Fisk concludes. 'It is high time that companies ask for marketers to justify themselves. It is absolutely possible to measure. It is no longer throwing money at the unknown.'
Lizzie Green (As Amended by ISAF News Editor)
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