Making sure there is a natural fit between a sponsor and a property is one of the secrets to a successful sponsorship. When you hear the term “fit” it usually refers to one of two main breakdowns: personality fit or category fit. Personality refers to the brand and property themselves. Category is more related to whether the brand fits the category. Based on my experience, I broaden the definition of fit to include target audience fit as well. So, when you are evaluating that next sponsorship pitch that comes across your desk or if your preparing that pitch, make sure you are you asking the following key questions:
Do the personalities of both of sponsor and property mesh together?
Does this category make sense for the brand?
Is my target audience involved?
With those questions in mind, let’s take a look at a sponsorship that in my opinion, albeit biased, is a great example of sponsorship fit. Note: I may have worked at the property during this partnership.
Frito-Lay is a very large player in the sponsorship industry with multiple brands under their umbrella. They evaluate fit down to the sub-brand level in the majority of their relationships. So, what was their ideal fit sponsorship in the eyes of this author? The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. From a fit standpoint, this was a marriage made in sponsorship heaven. Let’s look at the key players in this partnership, starting with Tostitos.
We are talking about tortilla chips, salsas and dips, which are consistently promoted to sports fans and party goers. The property is the Fiesta Bowl, a community-based non-profit whose flagship event is a college football game named after the Spanish word for celebration. The category and target audience appear to be a clear match, but what about the personality of the properties?
The Fiesta Bowl always prided itself on being leaders in hospitality, wanting their guests to always feel as if they were living up to their “Fiesta” namesake from pregame festivities to individual hospitality. That hospitality mantra is shared by Tostitos and together they developed an image that was synonymous with each other. Thus, creating that superpower, we like to call Image Transfer. Does anyone question that as a perfect fit? Would you look at it the same way if it was Funyuns Fiesta Bowl? That is another Frito-Lay product, that on the surface would still work, but doesn’t bring the same level of fit to the equation.
Fit isn’t a benefit of sponsorship.
Fit is the prerequisite in order to see any benefits from a sponsorship. It is what helps brings the audiences of both the brand and the property together naturally and helps achieve the ultimate purpose for any sponsorship. When evaluating sponsorships both from the buy and sell side, make sure you are always asking does this fit with my brand, product or messaging? If you do, you are one step closer to success. If you have other sponsorships you think are great examples of fit, let me hear about them. And stay tuned into to our CHARGE Insights as we explore the world of sponsorship fit.