Partnership through sponsorship
A Royal & Sunalliance case study

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Page 1: Introduction

Royal Sunalliance 2 Image 1Twenty years ago sponsorship of the arts developed as a way of funding tours, performances and exhibitions. If it had not been for corporate sponsorship, many orchestras, ballet or opera companies might not have survived or even exist in the form that we know today. Over recent years corporate sponsorship has grown dramatically. Few leading sports or arts events do not have some form of corporate sponsorship. Sponsorship has developed as an acceptable way of providing additional funds or support for a wealth of activities and functions, in turn providing corporate exposure.

Sponsorship involves the donation of material or financial support of an activity, function, person, organisation or event by another organisation. There are many different types of sponsorship and the word may be used to describe many different types of financial support. It is important, however, to clarify the differences between charity (philanthropy), patronage and sponsorship which might either overlap or be applied incorrectly.

  • CHARITY - This is the providing of money, a gift or other form of assistance to relieve need or distress. Registered Charities cover a range of activities and a feature of some of these organisations in the UK is that many of them have become very successful in raising funds and have developed a business-style structure and organisation to support this activity. When supporting charities, companies will normally donate money, time or expertise, not for any corporate gain, but because they believe in the principle or objective being supported. Many large companies, including Royal SunAlliance, donate significant sums to a range of charities.
  • PATRONAGE - A patron is a person or group of people who use money or influence to advance or defend the interests of a person, cause, institution or arts. Sponsorship and patronage are strongly linked as many sponsorships resulted from the interests of particular individuals in the sponsoring company. The patronage element is likely to diminish in future years as commercial sponsorship becomes a more established element of the overall advertising spend and as sponsoring companies develop and define their own sponsorship policies and strategies.
  • SPONSORSHIP - A sponsor is an organisation or person supporting or promoting a sporting or artistic activity or performer, more especially in return for advertising and promotional support. Commercial sponsorship is a mutually benefiting relationship. The organisation benefits from the receipt of money (or benefits in kind, such as the use of facilities or expertise). The sponsor benefits from either advertising, public awareness, product sales or some combination of these.

Royal & Sunalliance | Partnership through sponsorship