Study: Sponsorship Pays Off

Online marketing is a more effective branding vehicle when marketers use a sponsorship model, according to new research by Dynamic Logic.

The New York-based research firm found interactive marketing campaigns using sponsorships perform noticeably better than standard campaigns, rating higher brand awareness, brand favorability and, to a lesser extent, purchase intent.

“The increased volume of online advertising is making it more of a challenge for marketers to successfully communicate with consumers,” the report said. “Consequently, a traditional approach to marketing is becoming more prevalent.”

In the fourth quarter of 2002, Dynamic Logic looked at 750 campaigns using its MarketNorms database, defining sponsorship as programs that seek to connect a brand with an event, person, place, content area or promotion. The approach has been common in traditional media for some time, particularly for advertisers sponsoring sports events.

The study found that online sponsorship campaigns have success in connecting a brand with an event. In addition, brand awareness was increased 37 percent, brand favorability by 50 percent, and purchase intent by 4 percent.

In the online world, content sites have dabbled with the sponsorship model. Women-focused site iVillage has touted its sponsorship model for years. Salon turned to it in January, when it changed its site to subscription unless a user was “sponsored” for a day pass from an advertiser like Mercedes Benz.

AOL, trying to rebuild its online advertising business that fell 40 percent last year and is slated to fall another 40 percent this year, has indicated it would look for more sponsorship deals. Jonathan Miller, AOL’s new chief, has said he thinks the model is more effective for advertisers.

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