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Is your brand festival ready?


While we can’t bank on the sun to make an appearance during the Irish summer, we certainly can count on having our pick of festivals to keep us entertained over the summer months.  From the foodie heaven that is Taste of Dublin, to the hipster mecca of Marley Park for Longitude, to the family fun on offer at the colourful Laya City Spectacular, there’s surely something for everyone.

Practically every town and village puts on a summer fest to bring the punters out in their droves.  If your taste is more niche in nature, we have the annual Twin Fest in August, the Matchmaker festival in Lisdoonvarna and a new one to us – pig racing at the Seabreeze Festival in Arklow. Festivals and events have always been a platform favoured by marketers and brand owners as a route to engage with a mass audience in a deep and engaging way.  Where the crowds go, brands follow.

Festival and event sponsorship can be a match made in brand heaven when the audience fit is right and the execution is impactful.

Whether you’re a brand owner looking for creative ways to amplify an existing festival or event sponsorship, or you’re on the hunt for a new sponsorship property that offers the perfect fit, here are a few pointers to make the most of it.   How to check is your brand festival ready:

  • Is it the fit right for your brand…. Really?
  • Is the target audience your bullseye?
  • Do you share brand values?
  • Have you allocated enough budget to amplify the sponsorship?  So many brands max their budget on sponsorship fees but there’s no point having a great partnership if no one hears about it!
  • Are you in it for the long haul?  The best brand event, festival and sporting partnerships have been in place for many years.  Robinsons have clocked up 80 years with Wimbledon and have just signed up for another five years.
  • What does success look like?  How will you evaluate the brand partnership in terms of reach and impact on brand equity?
  • Have you developed a bespoke PR plan to amplify your sponsorship amongst influencers and taste makers?
  • Lastly, be patient.  If you have your eye on headline sponsorship of a festival that’s already snapped up, be patient.  In the world of blue chip brands, global changes can mean local sponsorships come and go.

The beauty of festival and event sponsorship is that brands can get involved at many levels.  Some brands dip their toe in the water of experiential marketing by having a brand activation at a large scale event.  A creative and nimble execution can work beautifully and deliver real bang for buck.  For brands lucky enough to hold headline sponsorship of a top festival or event, keeping it fresh can be a year round job for an entire team but worth the investment due to the impact on brand equity.

With TedFest making waves in London from humble beginnings on Craggy Island ten years ago, who’s for the Mrs Brown Festival 2016 in Finglas?  

MCsquared are brand communications experts in sponsorship negotiation and amplification.  Most recently we have worked on Calors sponsorship of Macra na Feirma’s ‘Know Your Neighbour’ campaign, Ballygowan’s partnership as the official hydration partner of Dublin GAA, Kellogg’s’ sponsorship of Dublin Zoo and the inaugural Fruit Shoot Mini Mudder event at Tough Mudder 2015. 

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