Teaming up: How do brand partnerships work?

27 May 2016

As Integrated PR professionals, we are frequently approached by clients to handle sponsorship. A fast-expanding and lucrative area of communications, in 2015, in excess of USD57.5 billion in 2015 (with the Asian region spending 13.3 billion of that) was spent globally on sponsorship or brand partnerships, as many specialists term it. But what is it and what does it entail exactly? More than just signage or the putting of two names together, brand partnerships represent a marriage of brands. Ideally, it is a synergistic relationship that is a win-win for both parties’ images, brand equity and profit line.

Types of sponsors
Support can come in many forms, and you’ll see with large-scale events that there can be a series of sponsors invited to participate. One must be careful not to have competing brands involved, or brands that do not share the same values as your client.

There are different types of sponsorship opportunities that can be considered for an event, including financial, in-kind, media, venue, labour or service, and title, or what some call signature, sponsors.

Client x Brand
Sinclair has been involved with several creative and high-profile brand partnerships for clients. We brought global NGO Conservation International to a new audience by securing exposure of eight of its Nature Is Speaking films at art and culture festival Clockenflap. We positioned beverage client Peroni Nastro Azzurro as “Style in a Bottle”, and aligned the brand with the HKFashionbloggers community creating a monthly meet-up event which we coined the Style Summit, bringing product, venue and concept to the table.

We united market-leading tourism brands Singapore Tourism Board with Expedia and helped them launch a Facebook game posted on both brand’s social media pages. “Singapore Star Hotel Giveaway” was a huge success and also let fans know more about the variety of hotels on offer in the city.  Another recent collaboration was on behalf of French fine dining establishment Epure. Sinclair approached fashion house Lanvin with the idea of creating a Valentine’s Menu inspired by their fragrances. The promotion was a great success, with our food client making the beauty pages of several leading publications.

How to secure sponsorship
When we reach out to brands for potential partnerships, we have already planned the event or activation with sponsors in mind. We identity the assets that could be utilised by the brand, count the impressions that could be achieved (physically on-site and through digital platforms). We put a valuation on the assets and tailor packages to suit both client and sponsor.

From there, we reach out to likeminded brands with the opportunity to collaborate. Remember, unless you are talking to the appropriate person at the brand, your proposal is going nowhere. Once you’ve agreed on terms it’s up to you to deliver on benefits promised and follow-up with all stakeholders.

There might be roadblocks, but teaming up your client with a likeminded brand, no matter how out of the box it might seem, could help your client reach a brand new, and previously unexpected, audience.

Ideally, brand partnership is a synergistic relationship that is a win-win for both parties’ images, brand equity and profit line.

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