20 Jan 2011 - Sponsorship is changing
The attitude of sponsors to the use of new media is changing. Traditional media is in decline. Sponsorship activation and positive PR campaigns now involves engaging new media such as Facebook, Twitter, My Space, YouTube, Buzz, Digg It etc. Sponsors are no longer just looking for exposure on third party sites. Sponsors are now using social media network platforms as a parasite to reach out and grow beyond the infrastructure of their own network, web site and audience in order to activate their brand. Many major sponsors have now created their own site in line with their sponsorship. These sites are used as umbrella sites that interact with the social media sites.
Sponsors are creating opportunities for themselves by tapping into the content and experiences of the sponsored, which their customers will enthusiastically share with their friends. They do this by integrating Facebook interaction such as follow me buttons to build up the sponsored associated links, tweets form the sponsored Twitter quotes, videos and viral marketing with YouTube, all just to maximise exposure.
Consider the popularity of Fecebook as an example. Facebook is the biggest Social Networking Site. It surpassed Myspace in 2008. Facebook's growth has now seen it overtake Google in popularity among US internet users. Statistics show that Facebook has scored more visits on its home page than the search engine. (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/67e89ae8-30f7-11df-b057-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1B2sIHSNC). There are now approx. 600 million users. According to Erik Qualman, author of Socialnomics, it took the Radio 38 years to reach 50 million people. It took TV 13 years. It took the internet 4 years. But it only took nine months for Facebook to reach 100 million people.
The potential of the social media markets cannot be ignored. The way sports teams, individual athletes and organisations can now communicate with their fans is revolutionary. Sponsors need to understand how to take advantage such markets.
Ask yourself this question: Can the best rate of return on your investment be achieved by ignoring these markets?