Sponsorship in the Marketing Mix

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Sponsorship in the Marketing Mix

Leverage your sponsorship with all your other marketing!

Sponsorship can be leveraged with every other marketing program. 

  • Your marketing budget will typically include spending categories like advertising, public relations, digital media, printed collateral, trade shows and sponsorship.
  • The sponsorship budget covers the fees paid to the rights holders, just like the advertising budget will cover the cost of placing in the ads. 
  • The big difference with sponsorship is activation. 
  • Successful companies spend from one to three times the amount of the sponsorship fee on activation, by coordinating other marketing programs to leverage the rights obtained with the sponsorship.     BUT WAIT - that does not mean additional money in the budget; it means leveraging other marketing activities by tying them in to the sponsorship.
Peter Drucker

Peter Drucker

Management Guru

"Marketing is not a function; it is not a specialized activity.
It is the whole business seen from the customer's point of view."

Traditional definitions: "Above the line" marketing (ATL) - advertising.


 "Below the line" - everything else (BTL). Sponsorship can be one of the most cost-effective programs in a company's marketing mix.


These definitions are widely used but they miss the important point made by Peter Drucker. Think of the brand or the business from the customer's point of view. 


Notice the line in the Communications column in the Marketing Spectrum diagram below. Sponsorship is a BTL activity that can be leveraged across the entire Marketing Spectrum. 


You'll learn how to leverage all ATL and BTL components of the marketing budget with smart sponsorship activation.


Rights holders - pay attention here!  Understanding this will help you sell your sponsorship and then make it successful!


Marketing Spectrum

Use the Activation Creativity Worksheet to brainstorm activation ideas. Use it together with the Marketing Spectrum as a checklist - go through all the activities in the Marketing Spectrum to trigger more ideas.

Sample sponsorship Activation brainstorming

Download the tools

  • Marketing Spectrum
  • Activation Creativity Worksheet - PDF
  • Activation Creativity Worksheet - Sample
  • Activation Creativity Worksheet - XLS

The next lesson - Activation Activation Activation will go into detail on ways to use sponsorship to achieve business objectives for a wide range of audiences.

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