By Raheem Akingbolu

The seminar on Measuring Sponsorship Return on Investment (ROI) organised by Lagos-based consumer engagement agency, Connect Marketing, held Friday, with all speakers emphasising the premium place of sponsorship in the brand building and business driving index.

Speaker-after-speaker held that consumer engagement is the new business mantra, and that the important mechanism for delivering this remains sponsorship. “Sponsorship complements marketing. It plays a different role to advertising. If advertising waves at its target audience, then sponsorship has the opportunity to get close enough to shake them by the hand,” declared Qondisa Ngwenya, Group Managing Director, Octagon Worldwide.

“How can we engage the consumer in a conversation that is sustainable?” queried Mr. Tunji Adeyinka, host of the seminar and the Managing Director of Connect Marketing, in his introductory talk on “Sponsorship Overview of the Nigerian Market”. He submitted that sponsorship remains the answer, but added that while sports has been the dominant sponsorship window explored by companies, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), is about to take the lead as it is being widely activated globally.

Agreeing with Adeyinka, another speaker, Mr. Mathew Angus from Millward Brown, South Africa, said corporate reputation is currently a hot topic and of premium concern to business owners and Chief Executives. He disclosed that most large organisations have CSR policies enshrined in their operations, and that many countries have legislations that are increasingly examining corporate conduct.

Angus said in evaluating ROI on CSR Sponsorship, the question business managers should ask is: what effect does CSR have on the image of my brand? What impact does it have on my brand equity?

He disclosed further that the starting point of the evaluation process is the original insight.

Referring to the Nigerian environment, Adeyinka said the challenge facing the evaluation process of sponsorship is that very low measurement parameters are still in use, and the choice of programmes is still the prerogative of the Chief Executive Officer. What is in vogue, according to him, is the deployment of the same kind of sponsorship with the same kind of properties by almost every organisation.

The seminar attracted speakers from South Africa, including Mr. Nenani Banda, Director of Football, Octagon South Africa, David Sidenberg, Director, BMI Sports Info South Africa, Mathew Angus of Millward Brown, South Africa. Also in attendance were some members of the audience from Ghana. The seminar organised to provide insight on sponsorship evaluation including home grown tools for measuring sponsorship. Organisers also intended to provide insight into sponsorshipís impact on brand and customer equity based on quantitative research.

* Source: Thisday


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