When a brand acts as a sponsor for an event, location, or something else, it benefits both the sponsor and whatever’s being supported. This win-win relationship has helped many brands:
Become more visible within communities and target audiences
Establish positive reputations
Increase their bottom lines
Event sponsorship for CPG brands can include anything from placing a product in a giveaway bag at an event to having a stadium named after the brand (i.e., Citizen’s Bank Park where the Philadelphia Phillies play baseball). This makes sponsorship opportunities accessible for even the newest and most cash-strapped brands.
Brand sponsorship is a powerful tool for brands and should be part of any CPG marketing strategy. If you want to boost your CPG brand event sponsorship tactics and opportunities this year, here are some best practices to follow when attending or sponsoring events.
7 Creative Ideas to Boost Brand Sponsorships in 2023
1. Collaborate with influencers.
Partnering with social media influencers and content creators who align with your brand values and target audience can have a significant impact on your brand. Influencer Marketing Hub reports that the trust level for influencers is significantly higher than for brand content alone (61% vs. 38%), while 60% of marketers say influencer-generated material performs better than other types of content.
People pay close attention to influencers, who can help amplify your brand messages and reach wider audiences. Consider innovative collaboration formats like influencer takeovers, sponsored content series, and live streams. Combining influencers and sponsorships can be a successful strategy for growing your brand.
2. Explore esports and gaming sponsorships.
The esports and gaming industry has seen exponential growth in recent years, with a current audience of 540 million worldwide that’s expected to grow to 640 million by 2025. Many of those audience members are also in the coveted younger age brackets.
Brands can tap into this market by sponsoring esports teams, tournaments, or gaming events to get their names in front of this massive (and growing) audience and grab young consumers during their formative years. The key to effective esports and gaming sponsorships is to find relevant gaming platforms, events, or teams that align with your brand and audience.
3. Focus on experiential marketing.
In a post-COVID world, people are craving in-person experiences and ways to interact with brands beyond screens. Experiential marketing fulfills these desires and increases connections and loyalty to a brand because of the intensity of the experience.
You can create memorable experiences for consumers by organizing interactive events, pop-up shops, or brand activations. Engage all senses and encourage participation to foster a strong connection between your brand and the audience. Emphasize the "shareability" of the experience to extend your brand's reach through user-generated content on social media.
4. Support social causes and sustainability.
Consumers are increasingly conscious of brands' impacts on society and the environment. They want to support brands that align with their values. While it can seem controversial to take a stand on these issues, it can be done in an authentic way your audience will appreciate.
You can show your brand's commitment to social causes and sustainability by partnering with relevant nonprofits or initiatives, encouraging your customers and employees to support them, and by sponsoring events that help them raise money. This can help build a strong and positive brand image and attract consumers who align with these methodologies.
5. Embrace virtual and augmented reality.
Virtual and augmented reality are not the future; they’re becoming the here and now for many consumers. Embracing these new technologies as an early adopter will position your brand to take advantage of their opportunities to reach a wider variety of consumers and expand your target audience as more people become familiar with it.
Start by incorporating virtual and augmented reality experiences into sponsorship activations to create immersive and engaging experiences for consumers. This could involve creating virtual brand environments, product demos, or interactive games. By leveraging these technologies, brands can capture the attention of audiences in unique ways.
6. Utilize user-generated content.
Content generated by users of a brand is viewed similarly to influencer content as it signifies actual people using the products and vouching for the brand. Per ComScore, user-generated content (UGC) increases brand engagement 28% compared with traditional marketing.
Encourage consumers to create and share content related to your brand and showcase it in your sponsorships. This can be done through contests, challenges, or branded hashtags. UGC not only generates buzz and engagement, but it also serves as authentic social proof of your brand's appeal.
7. Explore unconventional partnerships.
Partnering with other (sometimes even similar) brands can amplify your reach and allow you to connect with overlapping target audiences that will be receptive to you. Instead of being limited by your marketing budget, you can combine your available funds with those of one or more other brands and buy bigger sponsorships than your brand could afford on its own.
Look for unique and unexpected collaborations outside your industry for the biggest reach. This can help your brand reach new audiences and generate excitement. For example, consider partnering with artists, musicians, or designers to create limited-edition products or experiences.
A Winning Strategy
These creative ideas will help your brand win with sponsorships and use them to best advantage. Sponsorships are among the best ways to get a brand’s name out before the public and inspire people to find out more about what it offers.