Why size doesn’t matter in sponsorship

SQN CEO Claire Ritchie @MsRichTea discusses the power of sponsorship as a centre piece of marketing strategy to drive the value of the brand. 

Emirates_logo.svgI was really interested to read an article in UAE’s Khalee Times last week about the brand value of Emirates Airline having grown to a massive $6.6 billion and the company reaching the top 200 of the world’s biggest brands for the first time according to the 2015 Brand Finance Global 500 Report. 

Admittedly some of its success is down to its dedicated product and service excellence but sitting now at #196 and having jumped 38 places in just 12 months it also shows what a well guided and executed sponsorship strategy can achieve.  

With sponsorship as a lynchpin of its marketing activities since 1987 when it partnered the first powerboat race held in Dubai, Emirates has been a firm believer in the power of sponsorship and the value it can bring to the brand. The results last week suggest that their belief when the sponsorship industry was still relatively under-developed was well founded and justifies the rewards which they are now reaping big time.

Being a company leader working in the industry a large part of my job is to evangelise the value of sponsorship and the benefits it can bring to an organisation. His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and CEO Emirates Airline & Group sees sponsorship as vital in the airline’s marketing strategy and one of the best ways to connect with their passengers. It allows them to share and support their interests and build a closer relationship with them. That can be as true for a small mom and pop shop as for a global organisation and that is the beauty of sponsorship – you can cut your coat according to your cloth. 

Some people think that to do a sponsorship you have to spend millions but that is certainly not the case. If you are a large company and have the budgets to support it then all well and good but if you are a smaller organisation looking to punch above your weight and increase the value of your brand accordingly then sponsorship can be just as viable a platform for you as it can be for Emirates.