BioZyme® began its youth investment strategy in 2007. That year, we sponsored two Junior National beef shows – Angus and Hereford. Today, we sponsor 13 – World Pork Expo, Hereford, Angus, Simmental, Shorthorn, Gelbvieh, Red Angus, Maine and Chi, Saler, Charolais, Limousin, Mini Hereford, and Brahman. The reason we choose to make this investment is simple. Youth are the future. The next question that always gets asked is how does this investment provide return.
In the ag world, it is common to get calls from the locals – FFA, 4-H, local cattleman’s association – asking for sponsorships or for you to be a volunteer. Association trade shows and exhibitions also turn to sponsors to get their program off the ground. In most cases, these organizations will ask for a modest amount ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars in exchange for some type of advertising, like logos or banners.
Deciding what to sponsor can be tricky, as certain opportunities may be a complete waste of money, while others may pay off in gold (i.e. marketing your company to potential customers). In addition, sponsoring an event for someone who already sings praises about your dealership enhances that relationship, and because you are helping him or her meet a goal, they sing even louder.
Obviously making sure these choices are a good investment of your time and money is important to your checkbook. Whether you’re being recruited to provide time or money, ask yourself the following questions before deciding to invest:
- What is the target market for this event?
- What kind of exposure do I get for my investment?
- Can I get this kind of exposure without this investment?
- Do I get direct access to the audience?
- Does it make sense for me to be there?
- Which business goal does it help me complete?
- Are other sponsors my competitors?
- How does this enhance my credibility with who/what I’m helping?
- Why wouldn’t I do it?
After you decide to invest, don’t forget to assess the results. Some metrics you should consider analyzing include: sales activity, lead generation, lower customer acquisition cost and/or attitudes toward your brand or business. BioZyme looks to Sure Champ® sales as our metric to measure success. The below graph shows the investment is paying off in more than just goodwill.
At the end of the day, the key to managing sponsorships is ensuring you get the “best bang for your buck”, while minimizing risk to your brand or business. I am sure the sponsors of the 2012 ING NYC Marathon did their due diligence. Unfortunately, they could have never predicted an event the magnitude of Hurricane Sandy. City officials, sponsors, as well as race organizers were divided on whether or not to proceed. It was a difficult decision to cancel, but the right decision. So, whether you are a title sponsor for a major event, like ING, or a smaller sponsor at a local event, setting your objectives, ensuring you have the right sponsorship partner, leveraging the association beyond just a sign, will yield better business in the long run.