If there is something that we all have in common, it’s that one particular ‘c’ word has dominated our lives in 2020. However, as we discussed earlier this year, out of this ‘c’ word came another – creativity. When the going gets tough, communicators get creative, and whether in PR, sponsorship or wider marketing, we’ve witnessed some wonderfully creative ideas and concepts over the past ten months. Now that we’re hurtling towards the end of a difficult year, people’s attention has turned to 2021, and with that another ‘c’ word has come to the fore – community!
Communities have been a key pillar throughout 2020, with people rallying together to support one another to generate a feeling of positivity against a backdrop of uncertainty. With the stark reality that COVID-19 isn’t going to disappear once Big Ben strikes twelve on the evening of December 31st, industries and organisations are thinking strategically to overcome a potentially challenging start to the year.
One such industry is sponsorship. The wonderful thing about the sponsorship industry is its ability to react and reflect societal trends and adaptations. In recent years, the industry has positively responded to important issues such as sustainability or equal opportunities for minority groups. Brands have been provided the opportunity to align themselves closely with this messaging and use sponsorship as a key platform to deliver their stories, values and responsibilities.
Now it’s about putting community at the top of the sponsorship messaging and priority list. Only recently European Sponsorship Association Chairman, Andy Westlake, said that “Community, coupled with sustainability, will be a really important sponsorship trend going into 2021.” Further to this, Anne Ristau, Head of Global Sponsorships at Dell Technologies, also mentioned the important role community will play into 2021, particularly off the back of their McLaren F1 Substitute Teacher campaign.
If we take ourselves back twelve months, community and grassroots campaigns would have factored in conversations around sponsorship trends, but certainly nowhere near the extent to which they will right now. Just because priorities have shifted away from areas of recent progress, it doesn’t mean that the industry has taken a step back in any way.
As already mentioned, the beauty of sponsorship is that it is able to quickly and effectively respond to societal changes. It provides a platform by which brands can best tell their story, and to do that it must use current movements and areas that best engage with its audience on both a passionate and emotional level.
Whether you’ve already planned a community-based campaign, or you’re considering how best to tell your story through this medium, then we’re always happy to talk to you about finding the right property and activating that partnership. One ‘c’ word may have dominated the world this year, but let’s all do our best to make sure that ‘c’ word in 2021 is community!