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It’s Not Easy Being Green – But the Right Sponsorship Can Help
‘Green sponsorships’ have gained momentum in recent years. This momentum has impacted the sponsorship environment from two angles: i) corporate interest in environmental organizations and programs ii) properties increasingly looking to tie sponsors to their own greening efforts.
With the greening trend being so popular these days it’s very easy for sponsors and properties to jump on the bandwagon without approaching the opportunity strategically (or sincerely!). Sponsors and properties should always be mindful of the fact that being ‘green’ isn’t just a marketing buzz word – it needs to be genuine. Green marketing is brand/cause linkage that can often build positive perception while strengthening the underlying brand value. A failed green sponsorship, however, can actually have a potentially large negative impact on a company or organization’s reputation (years of skepticism from consumers = not good).
Here are some key points for sponsors and properties to consider with respect to green sponsorship initiatives:
Know your Objectives:
As with any sponsorship, success will come from understanding your objectives and aligning with a company or organization that provides the right fit – brand, target, and reach. At first, it may be challenging for sponsors and properties to ‘take the plunge’ into the world of ‘green sponsorships’, but getting it right will make an impact.
Walk the walk:
If a green sponsorship is undertaken only as a marketing tactic and lacks consistency with other activities of the company or property, it will be fighting an uphill battle against a cynical audience. Properties and sponsors need to examine each other closely to ensure both sides are comfortable with each others green practices and policies.
Communicate the Impact not the Association:
With so many companies actively promoting green initiatives, consumers are becoming increasingly familiar with, and potentially desensitized to, these efforts. To counter this reality, sponsors and properties need to communicate the actual impact of their green initiatives through tangible information and results that grab attention and resonate with their intended target audience.
Remember your Audience:
While a sponsor or property may leverage their earth- friendly association, it is important for them to execute fun, exciting and interactive sponsorship plans and activations. Although consumers may have a strong desire and appreciation for green movements, they also most likely still want to receive an engaging experience filled with all of the ‘good stuff’ (interactive activities, entertainment, contesting and giveaways). Delivering a strong activation will drive the success of a sponsor and bring attention to the green association/program by engaging the audience and promoting participation.
Approached and executed strategically, green sponsorships give sponsors and properties the opportunity to appeal to their audiences, while leaving a long-lasting, positive impression.