EVENT MARKETING IS ABOUT THE BRAND
"For the sponsor, event marketing is about the brand. It is always about the brand," Ken Owens recently told a group of graduate students at Boston College Woods College of Advancing Studies.
Guest lecturer Owens informed the students that sports and events are the most effective marketing vehicles you can use to generate an emotional connection between your brand and customers and potential customers.
"Sports and events add excitement to your marketing, increase brand loyalty and differentiate your company and its brand from every other," Owens told the group.
"However," Owens warned, "you must decide what you hope to gain from a sponsorship or an event before you sign a contract. Doing that will go a long way toward guaranteeing your success."
According to Promo Magazine, 74% of the companies they surveyed who do event marketing use events to raise brand awareness. But there is significant pressure on companies to demonstrate that events provide a substantial return on investment.
Another survey, recently reported in Promo, indicated that events provide the best return on investment of any promotional tactic. And events bring an organization or a product to life in a way no other media can, according to Owens.
Using an organization's corporate or brand anniversary is a powerful way to promote your brand, Owens told the students. And events, frequently a half dozen or more of varying sizes reaching various audiences over the course of the anniversary year, are a critical component of any organization's anniversary marketing.
Owens is directing the 60th anniversary marketing effort of the College of Nursing at the University of Rhode Island and has developed a year's worth of anniversary events, including a major Alumni gathering and a gala fundraising party to promote the college.
"Events are the key element of the college's celebration of its milestone," Owens said. "And the reason is simple - they are the most effective. They work."
Owens, an associate of the Kullberg Consulting Group, was General Director of Olympic and Event Marketing for John Hancock Financial Services in Boston before opening Owens Marketing Group, which specializes in event and sports marketing.
The Kullberg Consulting Group is a strategic alliance of nearly sixty entrepreneurially driven marketing and marketing communications companies, with combined experience working with over 585 companies, in 21 major industry groups. The company is, itself, celebrating its ten year anniversary in 2004.