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  • Writer's pictureHearst Pittsburgh

How Sponsorship Marketing Benefits Brands

With the big changes going on (and the big ketchup bottles coming down) at Heinz Fiel- oops, we meant, Acrisure Stadium, sponsorship is on Pittsburgher’s minds. Whether you’re up in arms about the new name for the Steelers’ home field, or ready to embrace this new era, there’s no denying that corporate sponsorships can trigger big reactions. Just take a look at that spike in Google searches for "Acrisure" in Pennsylvania on the day that the new sponsorship deal was announced:

Source: Google Trends. Numbers represent search interest relative to the highest point on the chart for the given region and time. A value of 100 is the peak popularity for the term. A value of 50 means that the term is half as popular. A score of 0 means there was not enough data for this term.

With one sponsorship deal, brand awareness for Acrisure went from 0 to 100 overnight!

Your company's sponsorship marketing budget may not compare to Acrisure's - the insurance company reportedly struck a deal worth more than $10 million dollars per season for the stadium naming rights - but sponsorships can still be a great way to build up your brand.

Businesses can leverage sponsorships to boost awareness for their brand with relevant promotions in exchange for their partnership and support for charities events, trade shows, sporting events, live performances, virtual events, and more. Sponsors leave lasting impressions on participants whether they get involved on the ground at the event or supporting on-air and online coverage.

Sponsorship Marketing Benefits:

  1. High-Impact Brand Visibility Sponsorships are a great way to put your brand in front of large audiences who may have been inaccessible through other marketing tactics. Sponsorship arrangements can come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, and many include opportunities to feature your brand in promotions ahead of the event or show, as well as signage, on-air displays and shout-outs during the event. Pro Tip: Including your brand on sponsored giveaway swag at an event makes for an unmissable impact. Attendees and TV viewers are sure to take notice if everyone at Beaver Stadium is waving a co-branded rally poster with your logo on it at a Penn State game this fall!

  2. Boosted Brand Perception Attendees' and viewers' positive feelings about a great event extend to the event's sponsors. By partnering with a top-tier event or program, you are demonstrating that your brand is top-tier as well. Your involvement can make a great first impression or reinforce all the good things consumers already know about you. Pro Tip: Strategically align your sponsorships with your products and offerings. If you sell something delicious, sponsoring the ingredients for a cooking show like Plate It Pittsburgh is a fast-track to being a talked-about fan-favorite.

  3. Community Clout Your brand's involvement and support for an event demonstrates your commitment and connection to the community. By sponsoring a beloved community event, you are tying your brand to a joyful moment for attendees and forging the kind of authentic, emotional connection that drives actions and purchase. Pro Tip: Communities love to rally around local teams, especially in the Pittsburgh region. Sponsoring news coverage of sports at any level, including Operation Football's high school coverage, shows hometown pride and a winning brand personality.

  4. Content Creation Sponsorships are a great way to create and collect fresh content for your website, social channels, PR efforts, blog and more. In addition to promotion before and after the event, keep the buzz going afterwards by sharing the photos and videos you capture throughout! Pro Tip: Sponsoring an interactive experience at an event like a photo booth at a pre-game event for a Pitt football gives attendees a keepsake to share across their social channels with your brand on it. How's that for going viral? Don’t forget to engage with them on social when they post!

  5. Return on Investment When sponsorships are done right, they serve to build the lasting, emotional connections between brands and event participants that convey value and drive purchases. Whether your sponsorship is on-the-air, online, or on the ground at the event, you are forming the quality relationships with consumers required to turn these fresh leads into lifelong customers. Pro Tip: Determine your sponsorship goals ahead of time, and plan your tactics accordingly. For example, if you want to drive website traffic, be sure to include QR codes in your promos. Or, if you want to capture leads, consider sponsoring a contest for new subscribers to your newsletters.

There's a lot to think about when it comes to sponsorships, and getting started can feel overwhelming. At WTAE Hearst Pittsburgh, we work closely with the brands who join us as a sponsors our initiatives, including our premium sports casts, broadcast specials, Very Local content, and more. We can customize sponsorship packages designed to meet your goals and connect your with our engaged audiences.

If sponsorship is something you're considering to boost your brand, reach out to us and we can get started on a Sponsorship Package that fits your budget and goals.

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