Sponsorship an Effective Public Relations Strategy

Recently, my colleague Dennis, and I stopped at a coffee and donut shop to discuss business strategy. During that visit, I noticed that the display which included photos, trophies, and memorabilia of a little league that they sponsored was no longer there. The back of the establishment that was a TV lounge with pillowed chairs was closed off, obviously due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Those of us that frequented the establishment were impressed by the owner’s support of youth sports. Sports events are the most popular by far at an estimated 69% of sponsorship.

As the states of New Jersey and Pennsylvania start to relax restrictions in the coming months, sponsorship is a PR strategy that enhances the reputation of a business within its community. Sponsorship is one of the fastest-growing forms of marketing promotions.  Causes require a for-profit business to partner with a non-profit organization. This strategy includes contributing a portion of the sales to the non-profit.  The attendees of the event are informed that a set percentage of sales will be donated and a deadline given for the purchase. Sponsoring events to improve the stature of a company by being linked to a worthy cause, and resulting in increased sales and profits.

Another advantage of sponsorship is that it is a cost-effective way of reaching your targeted customers. With traditional advertising, you are paying the media to promote your products to a mass audience of consumers that have no interest, this is referred to as the shotgun approach. Sponsorship allows you to target the customers that you are trying to reach.

Courting local media gives the non-profit and your company coverage that is free advertising with much more credibility than paid promotions.

A hypothetical example is a sporting goods company specializing in tennis equipment, sponsoring a tennis tournament, supplying equipment to top players for endorsements, and donating a percentage of sales to the charity fundraiser. This is a WIN-WIN for all parties involved.


Weigold M, and Arens W. (2015) ADVERTISING, 3e.   Dubuque:  McGraw Hill 

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