Sponsorship is a partnership between a corporation and a rights-holder or property (e.g., sports event, entertainment event, athlete/celebrity/musician, endorsement, product placement and brand integration, in television or movie, naming rights for buildings, promotion, etc.).
The sponsor provides financial or other support to the rights-holder or property which in return provides access or exposure for the purpose of satisfying the sponsor's specific objectives such as sales lift, corporate or brand exposure / enhancement, sampling, hospitality.
Sponsorship is maximized when integrated throughout the many different corporate areas including advertising, public relations, sales, promotions, employee relations, human resources, online, legal, business affairs, and event marketing.
Corporations engaged in sponsoring sports, entertainment, celebrities, athletes, musicians, product placement, or other lifestyle or educational properties are eligible to join the ISC as long as a significant percentage of its revenue does not come from the sales of sponsorship or advertising. Most of the world's largest and most recognizable corporations are sponsors. Membership in the ISC is subject to the approval by ISC management.
As members of the ISC, sponsors and their executives will be engaged with the principal trade association for sponsors. The ISC is taking a leadership position in the logistical, technological, and marketing strategy in the industry. In the changing world of marketing, corporations are investing in and relying heavily on sponsorship to gain a competitive edge. Being a member of an active industry association is yet another business advantage in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
ISC members benefit from the association's advocacy activities and from the broad array of products, services, and educational and networking opportunities developed specifically to meet the needs of sponsors.
Without sponsors, the landscape and success of events as well as other properties would be severely limited and, in some cases, cease to exist. Sponsors add critical value to the experience of consumer passions.
In recent years, sponsorship expenditures have outpaced most other forms in the marketing mix. Corporations invest major resources in the form of money, staffing and market positioning to ensure critical growth. The industries of sports, music, charities, and the arts are dependent upon sponsor support. The ISC and its members will assist in the further development and utilization of sponsorship as well as examine, discuss and manage industry issues.
"Without the support of the business community, without its technology, expertise, people, services, products, telecommunications, its financing – the Olympic Games could not and cannot happen. Without this support, the athletes cannot compete and achieve their very best in the world’s best sporting event."
Dr Jacques Rogge, President, International Olympic Committee