The Value of Sponsorship Can Come in Many Forms


By Laura Murphy


Senior marketers and competitive business players are increasingly moving towards sponsorships as a core part of a brand’s marketing strategy to create real business value. Used correctly, sponsorship has been shown to bring numerous benefits to businesses, the communities they work in and the individuals involved in a way that regular advertising techniques do not. Via Sponsorship shared some time with some of the keynote speakers who will be presenting at their conference to hear their take on sponsorship.

The Managing Director or QTS Group, Alan McLeish and Marketing Manager, Lisa McGhee explained how the company uses sponsorship in many ways to not only boost the brand’s awareness but also to give back to the local community and recruit talent to the QTS team. Looking to expand their Youth Athlete Programme further south in 2019, the firm are also the principle sponsors of the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative in Ayrshire and get involved with mentoring students in local schools. Lisa said, “This work within the community helps us to develop the professionals of the future.”

The director of Kilmarnock Football club and founder of Billy Bowie Special Projects, Billy Bowie emphasised how his involvement with Kilmarnock Football club allowed his company to secure more local work, develop the community and ensure that employment levels remained steady. Billy said “since the sponsorship more people are talking about us and learning what the company does. The local business that we are taking in here has increased by approximately 30% and this is a busy depot again.” He went on: “I had a gut feeling that I could make a difference and turn the club around to make it an employer again. I wanted to do anything to give people in the community a employment and a wage and with the way that the club is going, it is doing just that.”

Jaguar Land Rover, Wickes and FedEx have all used sponsorship to successfully reach their objectives and by working with companies like MKTG, are able to effectively measure the value of their sponsorships by using insights to maximise return. Specific tools such as MKTG Amplify have allowed rights holders to measure their worth in terms of IP and values and to demonstrate to sponsors that their association is enhancing their marketing effectiveness. Insight director of MKTG, Sandra Greer said: “We are working more with rights holders to help them prove their value of association. This allows them to go to brands and prove that it the association with their property can meet their business objectives” 

Aberdeen football club’s new sponsorship deal with health and wellbeing partner, Health Shield also goes beyond a traditional benefits package and adds real value to the club, its staff and the wider community of Aberdeen. As well as looking after the health and wellbeing of the staff, Health Shield are engaged with the club's award-winning community trust to bring positive change across the local community.  This includes a new initiative in which they are about to embark on which involves screening people for prostate cancer. Commercial director of Aberdeen FC, Robert Wicks said: “I believe it will be a very successful partnership as the mission, values and objectives of the new sponsor match those of the club.”

A key player in sailing sponsorship, Andrew Pindar explained how the projects that he is involved in have helped his company to win significant business, create B2B connections and make a global network connection. Not only this, but Andrews sponsorships have added huge value to the lives of many sporting individuals and allowed them to fulfil their sporting ambitions. The late quadriplegic sailor, Hilary Lister, whom Andrew sponsored for 14 years once described sailing as ‘giving her wings’ as it released her from the feeling of being trapped by her disability. Andrew said: “We believe in diversity and we believe in the sport of sailing which allows people with disabilities to go and compete. We wanted to support Hilary as we believed in her as a person and thought the world of her.” 

Upon speaking to each speaker, it became clear that the value of sponsorship can come in many different forms and can create great benefits for all parties involved. Further to this, it was noted that a key aspect to generating a successful sponsorship is to have a clear understanding on your motivations for the sponsorship and share the same values with your potential partner. Sponsorship should be treated as a relationship therefore, to gain the most value you must be passionate, get involved and work towards the same end goals to maximise the return and create the best outcome.


Gordon Ritchie