Authenticity: an essential component for sport sponsorship

Authenticity: an essential component for sport sponsorship

Episode #20 – T. Bettina Cornwell explains how sports organisations can seek out partners with similar values, and why the wrong fit – no matter how commercially lucrative – can be disastrous for brand image

Greenwashing. Pinkwashing. Wokewashing.

Nobody wants their brand to be accused of anything to do with -washing. But it’s not just about what an organisation does itself – it’s also about the activities of the companies and individuals that organisation is associated with. 

Money, of course, is what primarily drives sponsorship, but increasingly sponsored properties (such as sports teams, leagues and federations) are beginning to understand that being financially lucrative cannot be the sole criteria of commercial partnerships. Values have to be aligned in some ways, or other stakeholders – such as fans, media and high-profile members of the community – may call it out.

T. Bettina Cornwell, this week’s guest, is one of the world’s foremost experts on sport sponsorship and has devoted her career to investigating what makes a commercial partnership authentic.

During this episode, Cornwell defines what authentic sponsorship is and explains how sports organisations can align with appropriate partners, through:

– Creating their own mission statement and company values

– Judging sponsorship opportunities on criteria based on fundamentals and relevance

– Consistently pursuing shared values with commercial partners

She also uses a handful of best practice examples to illustrate her key points.

Listen to the full episode here:

And if you want more insight related to the economic, social and environmental side of the sports industry, subscribe via iTunesSpotify and Stitcher.

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