Fast Food Chains Serving Up Sponsorships

by Tara Trask | Consumer Insights on February 8, 2011

in Advertising, L&S, Public Relations, Quick Service Restaurants, Retail

With the Super Bowl in hindsight, the number one thing on many consumers’ minds is the ads.  But, their recall only lasts for so long.  How can brands continue to spread their message in the world of sports that will impact recall longer?  One word – sponsorships.

Sponsorships bring the brand and the consumer face-to-face and create relationships. General Motors Co’s director of global social media, Christopher Barger, referenced to the impact sponsorships have on consumers:

“You start with ‘them’ rather than ‘us.’ The value you provide to them will determine the message they receive. If I lead with a commercial, people may remember that Chevy was there, but they will dismiss it. But if I enter into a relationship knowing what they want to do, people will remember that Chevy was there.”

In the last two years, the world of sponsorships has taken a bit of a dive.  According to IEG, “less money was spent on corporate partnerships in 2009 than in the previous year, a never-before-seen circumstance.”   In 2010, there was a 3.9% increase in total North American sponsorship spending.  And for 2011, IEG suspects significant increases at 5.9%.  Growth in sponsorships compared to advertising and sales promotion will be ahead of the traditional mediums.

Where do all these sponsorship dollars go to?  IEG reports that 68% of sponsorship dollars go to sports.  The hot trends of who are buying sponsorships include Fast Food Restaurants, Telecommunications, Health Care, and Consumer Electronics – just to name a few.

In the world of Fast Food, McDonalds has just renewed its partnership with the NHL and YUM! Brands extended its contract with the Kentucky Derby for an additional five years as a presenting sponsor. And I can’t forget to mention Papa John’s three-year agreement with the NFL.

Sponsorships allow Fast Food Restaurants to step up business ideas, add credibility, and stand out through the clutter of competitors. It isn’t just about brand awareness but simply having a memorable conversation with the consumer.


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