To limit the consideration of a media sponsorship or advertiser funded programme (AFP) solely to the standard value of the media space/time fails to recognise the full potential of these
marketing communications channels. As such, investment decisions should not be made based on methodology used for standard media buys. Image transfer, product placement, access to
IP and audience engagement are just some opportunities that can be leveraged. Therefore, if activated effectively, the benefits of media sponsorship and AFP extend beyond exposure,
reach and frequency.

While these benefits cannot always be easily defined in monetary terms, they can be measured and should not be disregarded. 2017 will see the third edition of AIB’s ‘The Toughest Trade’ on RTÉ 2. This is a best-in-class example of AFP in this market. While AIB has undoubtedly benefited from increased media exposure, it has also grown its social media community, increased the attendance at the AIB Club Championships finals and enhanced its brand image. For example, 77% of customers agreed that AIB supported its local communities through the sponsorship of the Club Championships in 2016. The onus is on media owners and agencies to establish a robust method for proving the value of these vehicles. It is not sufficient to simply say these benefits exist – it must be proven that they deliver a measurable return to the marketer. Doing so will establish an environment that is braver and more collaborative in formulating media sponsorships and AFPs.

Follow the links to read part one or part two of our outlook.