Why Nobody Cares about Logo Placement in Sponsorship
In this world, you don’t get something for nothing. That goes for sponsorship as well. In exchange for funding your event, the sponsor gets…what? I know what you’re going to say: logos. It’s easy to fall into the trap that logos are the be-all, end-all of sponsorship, but they’re really, truly not. I’d even go as far as to say that no one cares about logo placement in sponsorship. Why is that?
Logo placement doesn’t matter as much in sponsorship because there are more important things. If a well-placed logo is your top asset, then you need to scrap your assets list and start over, because you should have something more valuable to offer the sponsor. Also, today, logos aren’t as eye-catching as something like a branded floral wall or neon sign.
So yes, let’s say it again for those in the back: logo placement is not something you want to hang your hat on in sponsorship. Keep reading to learn even more about why that is. Trust me when I say you’re not going to want to miss this post!
3 Reasons Why Logo Placement Doesn’t Matter in Sponsorship
Logos Are Only Somewhat Valuable Assets
In my guide to sponsorship valuation, I talked about how businesses and organizations can get a little too logo-happy during the valuation process. I can understand if this is your first time pursuing sponsorship and the best idea you can come up with is to put logos on everything, but you have to think way, way outside of the box with your assets.
First, let me rewind a little, especially if this is indeed your first sponsorship opportunity. As you begin work on customizing your sponsorship package, you need to create a list of valuable items the sponsor will be interested in buying. These items, called assets, are what you give the sponsor in exchange for their promotion and/or event funding.
I always recommend you create an assets list by thinking of everything and anything that may be valuable to the sponsor. Invariably, logos are going to come up as part of that discussion. This is okay, but add logos to your assets list in one area and then move on. Getting stuck on the logos idea is a novice move.
Per that post, here are some ideas that you can use to start creating your assets list:
- Employee benefits
- Traditional media
- Paid media
- Venue use
- Pass-through benefits
- Newsletters and other mailings
- Social media
- Speaking and/or exhibiting opportunities
- Product samples and giveaways
- Signage (outside of logos!)
- Program naming rights
- Physical space naming rights
Take your assets and categorize them per the list above. Now, it’d be nice if your work was done from there, but it’s not. Next, you have to go through and evaluate each asset. You can use market research, audience data, competitor information, and even input from the sponsor themselves to gauge the value of each asset.
What you may find is that a logo is not as valuable an asset as you would have assumed. I want to quote myself from the link above and repeat this, as I think it’s pertinent. “Sure, putting logos on stuff is part of sponsorship, but unless you have an audience of 10 million people you won’t make a cent with just this in your inventory.”
I’m sure your event won’t attract 10 million people; very few do. And that’s okay. This is the primary reason though why you can’t depend on logos alone to secure sponsorship. They’re just not valuable enough to attract a sponsor, at least not one that’s worth having.
Logos Alone Won’t Drive ROI
To get sponsorship, sometimes you have to think like a sponsor. If your organization or business was in a big enough position where companies came to you for sponsorship, why would you accept a sponsor agreement?
Not simply because you want to help, but because in assisting another company, you’re achieving a few of your business objectives as well.
Sponsors have all sorts of reasons for offering sponsorship, which I talked about in this post. If you need a recap, here are a few driving factors behind why sponsors work with smaller businesses and organizations:
- To reinforce their image
- For more sales
- To increase customer loyalty
- For the media exposure
- For a greater audience reach
- To build their brand
- To showcase a new service or product
- To try a new role
- To look more socially responsible
- To boost lead gen
How many of those goals can you achieve with a logo or two? I’m being serious here. Not many, right? Nope, not many at all.
A logo on its own can’t generate leads, nor can it alone increase sales. Logos don’t do a whole for customer loyalty, nor for building a bigger audience. If a sponsor wants to embrace a new role, a logo doesn’t help nor hinder them, nor does the logo aid in their goal of becoming more socially responsible.
Logos can be handy for media exposure, to a degree, at least. A logo is also useful for branding, and when showing off a new product or service, a snazzy logo could help.
Altogether, logos aren’t totally useless in achieving the needs of a sponsor, but you also cannot fulfill those needs solely through a logo. Further, if your target sponsor is less interested in product promotion or branding right now, then a logo doesn’t do squat for them.
Here’s a post highlighting 10 ROI metrics sponsors care about. The usual KPIs are there, including email open and click-through rates, product sales, and web traffic. As you look through that post, you’ll see where logos don’t really fit in as a money-making avenue that sponsors care about.
Logos Are Pretty Tired
When you stop and think about it, logos are pretty tired. You might not think so, but your audience will.
A logo is an advertisement, and people are up to their eyeballs in advertisements. According to marketing resource PPC Protect, in 2020, the average person sees 6,000 to 10,000 ads a day. These ads encompass everything from TV commercials to online ads to radio ads and billboards.
How many of those ads do you think someone would reasonably remember? Not many.
Now let’s consider two things. First, we’re not talking about something like a radio or TV ad here, but a static image like a logo. That already makes it more forgettable than your average advertisement.
Second, your sponsor’s logo is probably one of many at this event of yours. Why would your audience remember their logo over someone else’s?
Add to all that the growing matter that since around 2009 or so, resources like Social Media Today and many others have written that we as a society are becoming desensitized to advertising.
When you put all these facts together, you realize that a mere logo won’t suffice for making your sponsor stand out. If you need some ideas for branding that does grab attention, I wrote a post about just that. Here are some ideas you can consider instead of a tired old logo:
- Branded phone charging station
- Printed event badges
- Branded photo backdrop
- Neon signs
- Floating pool signs
- Floral wall
Those ideas are all infinitely more interesting than a generic logo. Before too long, these display ideas will get tired and overused too, so jump on them while they’re still fresh and impactful for your audience.
Obsessing over logo placement for your sponsor might seem like a good use of your time, but it isn’t. Nobody cares much about logo placement in sponsorship, and you shouldn’t either. Logos are far from the most valuable asset you can provide a sponsor. In many cases, logos don’t produce ROI or fulfill the goals that sponsors care most about either.
As a form of advertising, logos aren’t even especially useful. People see hundreds if not thousands of ads a day, so it takes a really special one to stick in their mind. The chances of a logo alone doing that are low.
I’m not denouncing the use of logos at all as part of your sponsorship package. You’ll want to add them in there; in most cases, they should be in there. Just make sure you don’t put too much value on logos, as they should be a very small part in what is overall a completely comprehensive sponsorship package.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Baylis is the President and CEO of The Sponsorship Collective and a self-confessed sponsorship geek.
After several years as a sponsor (that’s right, the one investing the money!) Chris decided to cross over to the sponsorship sales side where he has personally closed tens of millions of dollars in sponsorship deals. Chris has been on the front lines of multi-million dollar sponsorship agreements and has built and coached teams to do the same.
Chris now spends his time working with clients to value their assets and build strategies that drive sales. An accomplished speaker and international consultant, Chris has helped his clients raise millions in sponsorship dollars.