Brands should be 'fearless' in sponsorship marketing

Brands with smaller budgets need to be "fearless" when it comes to sponsorship marketing, Colin O'Toole, marketing manager for the Cadbury Premier League Partnership, has said.

Cadbury: brands should be 'fearless' with sponsorship
Cadbury: brands should be 'fearless' with sponsorship

He added that businesses also need to put their trust in the agencies they work with and make sure they are fully behind the strategy.

O’Toole was speaking on a panel held by MKTG today called The experience economy: driving business value through sponsorship and shared experiences.

He said: "We have a lot of smaller brands and they don’t have the budget that Cadbury has [such as Green & Blacks]. You need to focus on what you are trying to do, so on one metric and [be brilliant on that].

"Be fearless about what you’re trying to do. If you don’t take a risk you’re going to get lost, but there’s a fine line between fearlessness and stupidity. You’ve got to trust agencies that they will do their job and give you the best advice and then you have to back them."

O’Toole explained that the campaigns that Cadbury’s has been able to deliver successfully are ones that the brand has "pushed the boat out a little" but has remained within its values.

Andrew Curley, head of sponsorship and events at Vauxhall Motors, warned that brands should make sure they are entering a sponsorship deal because it fits in with their business. For example, he said to keep clear of opportunities that arise because the managing director may be a fan of a particular sport.

He added: "If an opportunity appears you have to be sure it has real value for money and delivers to the business. It doesn’t have to be expensive but if you go for reach it will cost."

Charlie Wylie, managing partner at MKTG, also warned against blowing the budget on rights deals, and making sure there’s enough left for the activation.