Event sponsorships are surpassing traditional marketing strategies, event guru Bruce Erley told PRSA Colorado members recently.  Media is fragmented and TIVO makes ads less effective.  Events provide a chance to create a personal connection with  customers.

But companies miss the boat if they don't bring the sponsorship to life by activation, which  Erley defines as the mechanism where the sponsor's connect their brand experientially and emotionally to the consumer.  Example: at the Colorado Flower Show, Ch. 7 had a weather screen where a child was filmed doing the weather in front of a tornado. The family got a DVD to take with them, generating great interest in the booth.

At the Cherry Creek Arts Festival, Volvo charged $1 for kids and $5 for adults to place paint handprints on a car that was clear coated and auctioned to benefit Children's Hospital.  The car company made a connection with families making the handprints and demonstrated corporate social responsibility with the fund-raiser to benefit a popular charity.

Activation:

— Increases PR opportunities connected with the event

— Maximizes the intangible value of association with the event

— Increases the opportunity to achieve sponsor's objectives