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Co-Sponsorship and Cause Marketing

All cause marketing is a form of co-branding. But one kind of co-branding is far less common in cause marketing than in sports sponsorship, namely the kind of co-sponsorship you see at the left in this page from a Shopko sales flyer.

The sports folks have long been very good at mashing up sponsors.

The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, for example, could be sponsored by Ford. The Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl could be presented by Dasani water.

Stateside local sports arenas… especially for pro sports… are almost certainly named for a sponsor; Wrigley Field, Rich Stadium, Coors Field, MetLife Stadium, etc. Inside each of these facilities are hundreds of square feet of advertising for non-competing brands.

So while you might see ads for five or six car dealers, Coors’ naming rights allows them to exclude Budweiser at Coors Field in Denver. Likewise, there’s no Coors sold at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

[Kate B. in Louisville tells me that the State of Missouri has a "law that establishments serving liquor (bars, baseball stadiums, etc.) cannot sign an exclusive liquor contract (although they can have exclusive contracts with soda companies). I received a business degree from St. Louis University (which has received lots of funding from Anheuser Busch), where I learned about that law. Busch Stadium gets around it by having 1 very small stand that serves Schlafly beer (a smaller St. Louis brewery)].

Some charities have done this kind of co-sponsored cause marketing with certain media properties. But I can’t recall too many charities that have pulled off this kind of co-sponsorship with one of their main charitable efforts.

And notice how smart the match is between Iams, the premium pet food brand and Febreze, the household odor eliminator.

The Helen Woodward Animal Center would be in line for special praise for having pulled off this feat of co-sponsorship except that both Iams and Febreze are manufactured by Procter & Gamble. Nonetheless bully for them for having sewed up two brands from one company, itself a major achievement.

But ignore the fact that both brands come from the same company and concentrate instead how you could apply co-sponsorship to your cause or your sponsorship of a cause.


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