How to make the most of sponsoring the arts?

Sponsorship refers to a mutually beneficial relationship between an arts organisation and a business, fostering collaboration between them, where the sponsor provides financial support or in-kind contributions in exchange for commercial benefits. By working together, both parties enhance the value of an event, with its success generating tangible business benefits for the sponsor.

Such partnerships create memorable and meaningful experiences for customers, employees, and other stake holders, while also building brand awareness and reputation. Additionally, businesses can use arts sponsorship to align themselves with the cultural scene and promote their corporate social responsibility, enhancing their public image and attracting positive attention from consumers and the media.

By supporting arts and culture, businesses contribute to the development of local creative talent within a strong and vibrant community, an investment that can lead to better business opportunities.

Here are some tips to help you identify the most effective sponsorship opportunities and important steps in developing a successful strategy.

Identify your business needs

So, you are interested in exploring potential marketing opportunities with sponsorship an arts organisation to help meet your business needs. Before proceeding, it’s important to identify your specific goals and objectives to ensure that the partnership is mutually beneficial.

Do you want to to increase sales and grow your business? Change consumer perceptions of your product? Develop networking opportunities? Boost your staff in a different way? Engage with customers in new ways? Raise your profile and stand out in a busy market? Make connections with your local community?

Once you have identified your specific goals and objectives, you can work with the arts organisation to develop a customised sponsorship package that meets your needs and aligns with your brand’s values and messaging.

Know your target audience and where you want to be seen

Before selecting events to sponsor, it’s important to understand who your target audience is and what types of events they are most likely to attend and engage with. Knowing this will help you identify where you want to be seen. Find events that allow you to increase your visibility within the community, where you can engage with customers. Look for events that align with your brand’s values and messaging, as well as those that are popular among your target audience. This could include local festivals, concerts, art shows, and other cultural events.

Think long term

You can also partner with established local arts organisations to sponsor their activities throughout the year. This will provide exposure for your brand and demonstrate your commitment to supporting the local arts community.

Your relationship with the organisation shouldn’t end after an event you’ve sponsored is over. Maintain your relationship by
keeping in touch with the organisers, attending other events, volunteering your time, offering feedback, and providing ongoing support. This way you can develop a long-lasting and meaningful relationship.

Also, you don’t want audiences that have seen you at an event to forget about you. The organisation has a group of fans and followers that you can keep engaging with. Make sure they see you in the long term.

Get actively involved

It’s important to look beyond the sponsorship fee and consider leverage opportunities to maximise your involvement. It could be investing marketing resources to promote and advertise the event, providing media support to ensure greater visibility, or contributing products or services to make the event a bigger success. You will then increase your brand’s exposure and create a lasting impact that extends far beyond the event itself.

To become a valuable sponsor of an arts organisation, it is crucial to support it through various means such as purchasing tickets and inviting others to their events. By becoming an advocate for the organisation, you can build a relationship with the team members, which can lead to recognition and opportunities to become more involved in the organisation’s initiatives.

Joining arts organisation committees and boards to support them through volunteering time, donating money, and providing other resources helps to promote and develop a dynamic cultural environment, for both residents and visitors. Serving on a board or committee can provide you with opportunities to expand your network and meet business peers from other organisations who you may not meet otherwise. These experiences can offer a fresh perspective and sharpen both leadership and teamwork skills. Participating in fundraising efforts can enhance problem-solving, creativity, and salesmanship skills. These experiences often inspire new ideas and approaches that can be applied to one’s own organisation. It can be very fulfilling.

Get your staff involved

Supporting the arts presents a unique opportunity to engage your staff, but this potential value is often overlooked. You can provide staff with tickets to arts events, but also offer them opportunities to volunteer at the event or to mentor an arts organisation. Mentoring can be an excellent way to offer staff a fresh perspective on their work and expose them to new challenges. For example, working on the marketing of an arts event can provide a valuable opportunity to utilise skills in a new and exciting way.

Measure your success

To ensure that your sponsorship strategy is effective, be sure to measure your success and track your return on investment (ROI). This could include tracking sales, brand awareness, and customer engagement. You can then determine if your sponsorship strategy is effective and adjust your approach as needed. You will also be able to make more informed decisions about future sponsorship opportunities and investments in the arts.

By leveraging your sponsorship, you can create a meaningful impact on your business, while also making a positive contribution to the arts community. By directly participating in the cultural scene, you can foster a positive environment that promotes talent retention and growth, adding value to you company’s brand.

Author: nathalieb