Sponsorship is a business relationship, between two parties. This relationship is determined through a trade of product, fund or services where both parties seek profitable benefits. Sponsorship is basically a relationship that is equally valuable to the sponsored as well as the sponsor. It is also the fastest growing form of marketing in the world, though it is still in its early stages. Companies find unlimited occasions to widen their competitive advantage by building their credibility and image to attract their target market through sponsorship. The IEG’s Complete Guide to Sponsorship defines it as: “Sponsorship should not be confused with advertising. Advertising is considered a quantitative medium, whereas sponsorship is considered a qualitative medium. It promotes a company in association with the sponsored.”

Sponsorship provides the possibility to companies to achieve multiple goals all at once. Jackson & Schmader explain state in their book “Special Events” that companies benefit from sponsorship in the following ways:

•    Enhances image/Shapes consumer attitudes

•    Drives Sales

•    Creates positive publicity/heightens visibility

Some examples of how sponsoring is done include the following:

•    Sponsoring an awards reception

•    Sponsoring programmers through napkins/drink cups

•    Badge holders

•    Shuttle buses (during world cup matches)

•    Educational programmers

•    Sponsoring press rooms

•    Sponsoring speakers or VIP rooms

•    Through banners

•    Tote bags/gift hampers

•    Sponsoring team uniforms/equipment

Sponsorship allows businesses to reach various marketing goals at the same time; it is also a very good way for companies to portray a positive image in customer’s eyes, by sponsoring events that their target markets are interested in, for example: Nike sponsoring a marathon for handicapped children. It is also a good practice for companies who want to avoid rising costs and still be able to remain in the public eyes.