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THE SPONSORSHIP EXPERTS

Paul Poole

The yachting industry in Southeast Asia has seen significant growth in recent years with yacht shows, races and regattas increasing in both size, numbers and frequency. Sports tourism is becoming a buzzword and entrepreneurs, investors and governments are all buying in.

This presents a huge opportunity for organisers to put on bigger and better events and for brands and businesses to reach out to a specific target group of high net worth individuals, build brand identity, and align their marketing initiatives with some of the region’s biggest and most prestigious events. It also means that there is a growing need for marketing consultants to help sponsors and organisers to maximise their potential.

Below are some steps organisers and sponsors can take to make successful events and get the most out of the partnership.

Before the event

Planning is the key to a successful event and it is important that sponsors and organisers identify their objectives. Sponsorship is a value-adding exercise for both organisers and sponsors and it is important to approach it from that point of view. Organisers should understand the needs and objectives of brands and businesses, just as brands and businesses should understand the particular event and its participants in order to maximise the benefits of the sponsorship.

During the event

Activation is the key to a successful sponsorship. A rule of thumb is for every dollar spent on sponsorship, sponsors are encouraged to spend an additional dollar on the activation of the sponsorship. The world of advertising is changing and specialised events such as yacht shows, races or regattas offer a perfect opportunity for brands and businesses to engage and interact with their target customers. With event participants active on a variety of social media platforms, sponsors also have a vested interest in being highly visible throughout the event and organisers can increase their visibility by being associated with brands and businesses who already have a large following.

After the event

Now is the time to measure the benefit of the sponsorship, and while most sponsors are looking for a return on investment, which they can quantify in terms of actual sales and leads during the event itself, there are benefits which aren’t immediately measurable, such as long term brand attributes, increased awareness and indirect sales.

As Southeast Asia’s yachting calendar becomes increasingly busy, and consumers and participants have more shows, races and regattas to choose from than ever before, it is crucial that organisers and sponsors work together to ensure events remain relevant, attractive and entertaining – or they risk losing out to the competition.

About the author

Paul Poole is the founder, managing director and chairman of Paul Poole (South East Asia) Co., Ltd., an independent marketing consultancy based in Bangkok, Thailand. The company specialises in commercial sponsorship and partnership marketing, working with both rights holders and brands. Paul Poole (South East Asia) Co., Ltd. has packaged, sold and managed sponsorship and partnership opportunities for a number of Southeast Asia’s leading yachting events. www.paulpoole.co.th

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