Successful alignment through relevant sponsorships can play a key role in effectively raising the profile of the University and creating positive brand perceptions.
Sponsorship associations, well planned, play an important role in the brand communications mix. They provide links and synergies to the University of Tasmania, raising our profile among appropriate stakeholder audiences.
Successful alignment with relevant and appropriate activities and events can favorably raise the perception of the University to the broader community.
Below are some guiding principles to consider in developing a sponsorship between the University and a third party.
Should you have any questions or concerns about the University's involvement in a sponsorship, its rights, obligations, or the development of an association, please contact the Office of Marketing.
What is a Sponsorship?
Sponsorship refers to commercial arrangements for a cooperative alignment of the University of Tasmania with external organisations for cash or in-kind payment. The benefits of such an arrangement will usually be of marketing value.
The term relates to non-research, non-education commercial sponsorships, and is identified when the University provides cash or in-kind support to receive sponsorship rights.
In all cases, it is essential that the sponsorship participant is a reputable organisation whose public image, products, and services are consistent with the core brand values, policies, and strategic objectives of the University.
It is essential that an approved contract is created and agreed upon between the University and the sponsorship partner. The extent of the contract will be dependent on:
- The nature of the in-kind sponsorship made by the University.
- The amount of cash sponsorship provided by the University.
- The nature of the sponsorship rights granted to the University.
- The proposed duration of the sponsorship.
Corporate sponsorship can play a key role in the marketing of the University. It is important in shaping our brand image and improving recruitment and funding opportunities. Sponsorships can be directed to either the broader community or targeted at specific groups.
Different forms of sponsorship achieve different results and benefits. For example, outcomes can include naming rights, speaking opportunities, media exposure, and/or strategic alliances. It is important that any sponsorship undertaken supports the core brand values of the University and that the expected results are achieved.
For the University, there are three main areas in which corporate sponsorships can play an important role:
- Education and Recruitment sponsorship —
These types of sponsorships include events like expos and educational trade shows. They can provide an opportunity to educate core audiences about the University and what it can offer with the ultimate aim of recruitment both onshore and offshore. It is likely that such an activity will require will require some type of trade space. Given the opportunity, it is important to consider elements like promotion, positioning within high traffic areas, appropriate support materials, prominent signage, web links, and internet access. In any such activity it is important that key message and branding are consistent as it provides an important role in shaping the brand image of the University.
- Knowledge Transfer —
Involvement in conferences, seminars, and public lectures all form part of the University's commitment to knowledge transfer. It is through events such as these that the University can create positive exposure and potential longer term relationships with relevant groups or organisations. With these types of events it is important to consider all branding opportunities. This may include elements such as conference packs, programs, flyers, websites, and signage. This will help provide a consistent brand presence and ensure that the core values of the University are appropriately reflected. It is also highly advisable to consider media opportunities to highlight the University's academic leadership.
- Hospitality —
Many sponsorships, particularly in the area of performing arts will provide hospitality opportunities. Hospitality, well planned and thoughtfully utilised, provides an opportunity to support engagement with important stakeholder groups such as alumni. It is a way of strengthening relationships and can provide an avenue to show appreciation for support. Hospitality activities may include the sponsorship of an approved arts or cultural event or VIP function. When sponsoring an event it is important to consider all branding opportunities and ticketing arrangements to ensure that the sponsorship provides maximum enjoyment for VIP guests. Ticketing should be requested in blocks that enable structured hospitality programs to be arranged. Try to avoid loose hospitality arrangements like those that randomly target our executives.
Types of Sponsorship
With sponsorship it is important to consider all branding opportunities. This may include elements such as conference packs, programs, flyers, websites, and signage. Considering your branding opportunities will help provide a consistent brand presence and ensure that the core values and brand characteristics of the University are appropriately reflected. It is also highly advisable to consider relevant media opportunities.
Brand Equity Sponsorship
These sponsorships play a major role in the moulding of the brand image in the minds of the broader community. Typical benefits include brand exposure to develop awareness and brand salience, naming rights which can provide exposure and positioning through strategic partnerships, and positive media exposure.
This provides an opportunity to promote a specific discipline to a targeted audience or to the broader community. It can be used to develop strong strategic alliances, ongoing relationships and can provide a platform to promote the contributions and value of the University of Tasmania.
This type of sponsorship is utilised to ensure our brand maintains high profile presence in areas of strategic importance where competitors may be looking to counter our profile. E.g. another University trying to own the 'Tasmanian' equity.
Education Sector Sponsorship
These sponsorships can provide a two-fold benefit of recruitment and being associated with the right partners. It can strengthen the University's leadership position within the sector as well as enhancing business opportunities locally and internationally.
This can assist in forging strategic relationships with groups such as business leaders, politicians, lobby groups, and the alumni.
Community sponsorship provides a key environment in which to promote and raise awareness of the value of the University and the contributions it has made to the broader community.
What to Consider
When developing a sponsorship agreement it is important to have a clear understanding of the scope of the sponsorship, the potential benefits to the University, any public relations opportunities, and the potential for ongoing relationships that may occur as a result of the sponsorship. Some items to take into consideration prior to the development of a sponsorship agreement:
- Establish a clear understanding with the event organiser what your investment will be worth and how much involvement you will be given.
- Clearly define the naming rights or brand presence you will have.
- Understand whether the value of the investment matches what you will receive.
- Ensure that branding is integrated across all aspects of the activity.
- Ensure that all in-kind support is clearly identified and acknowledged.
- Investigate ways to maximise the investment before and after the event.
- Consider any potential Public Relations opportunities.
- Establish exclusivity in the educational space if possible.
Benefits to the University — Checklist
Potential sponsorships should provide a number of key benefits to the University. It is highly advisable to assess the worth of all sponsorships before any commitment is made. It is important to consider all of the following factors:
- Ability to connect with key audiences.
- Solus branding or exclusivity to avoid competitive clutter.
- Brand fit.
- Potential leveraging opportunities.
- Media opportunities & exposure provided by the arrangement.
- Strategic alliance opportunities.
- Benefits to the University, the broader community, current or future students, and/or staff and alumni community.
- Educational & knowledge transfer opportunities.
- Increase awareness of the University's research outcomes.
- Use of logo and University IP.
- Potential for staff and student involvement.
- Opportunities to attend events or functions.
- Ticket & hospitality value.
- Naming rights.
- Ongoing support.
- Cost to leverage (often, double the cash outlaid to leverage value).
- Itemise & cost the in-kind support that the University brings to the arrangement.