Page 4: Sponsorship strategy
Vodafone sees sponsorship as involving far more than having a logo on a football shirt or a racing car. The company believes that its sponsees act as ambassadors for the Vodafone brand, saying to the world 'This brand is all about being dependable, empathetic, innovative, can do and full of vitality and life.' Moreover, Vodafone has established tangible links between the products and services it offers and the organisations that it sponsors. For example, Ferrari fans can subscribe to Multimedia Messaging Services (MMS), news services and chat forums, download games, ringtones, wicked welcomes, wallpaper and other images and play in quiz competitions. Similarly, the Vodafone Race Track racing simulator allows customers to compete in a racing simulator. Vodafone is thus committed to developing a range of value added connections to the sponsorship package. It explains this link in the expression. 'It's no good having the toys if you don't invest in the batteries to make them work'.
Organisations gain competitive advantage by developing USPs: things that only they provide and which make them distinct from anything provided by their competitors. Vodafone's link with Ferrari gives them a USP in terms of up-to-the-minute involvement with the world's leading racing team.