The Sponsor Sprint

The Chevron Houston Marathon is an iconic annual multi-race running event in Houston that took place this past weekend. Amazingly, this year, all 27,000 participant spots for both the marathon and half-marathon were full! Those less althletically-inclined joined the crowd of more than 270,000 in-person supporters. With an audience like that, it’s no wonder all kinds of companies and brands jump on the sponsor train.

Depending on the scale of the event, sponsorships can get very expensive, very quickly. With that in mind, is it worth it to dish out the time and money to be associated with an event, activity, or group? We think so, for three main reasons: brand awareness, brand exposure, and corporate responsibility.

Awesome Awareness

Through sponsorships, you have the opportunity to change the way audiences think about your company. It is also a crucial opportunity to build brand awareness. When choosing to sponsor an event, especially one as large as a city-wide marathon, it needs to be a strategic decision. One that aligns with that company’s values and one that will evoke positive feelings in their audiences’ minds. The Chevron Corporation makes its goal of helping communities in need a priority. And naturally, they want their customers to know that when they think of them. Whether they sponsor a health-conscious event or volunteering at the local food bank, they make sure their audience knows they are more than an energy company. Especially their customers that live in the energy capital of the world.

Involvement in something your customers care about creates a positive association for your brand in their mind. What do you think about when you hear the name Chevron? What do you think your customers think about when they hear your company’s name?

Reaching for Greatness

When your company decides to sponsor something, it opens a range of opportunities for brand exposure. Often, the names and logos of sponsors are prominently placed throughout the event (i.e., the Chevron Houston Marathon). But it can also strategically placed on all swag given out, whether that’s a shirt or a bag of goodies. Not only does the crowd of 270,000+ in-person supporters see the Chevron name everywhere, but so do the thousands of others who are watching on ABC-13 and ESPN3 from home. That is a lot of exposure for one company! No matter the sponsorship, great exposure can help brands stay top of mind, enhance relationships and attract new customers.

Stepping Up

One of the biggest drivers of sponsorships for important causes stems from a concept that has skyrocketed in recent years: corporate responsibility. The two biggest sponsors for the running events (Chevron and Aramco) are energy companies, who both take pride in giving back to their communities. This participation is especially important in today’s society, in which corporate responsibility and sustainability are gaining value. “Younger” generations specifically are significant drivers of this sentiment, with 87% of Millennials and 94% of Gen Z believing that companies should address social and environmental issues. Check out how Chevron and Aramco are making a difference.

While not every opportunity may have a reach as extensive as the Chevron Houston Marathon, sponsorships and becoming involved in something your customers care about can change the way they see your brand. The possibilities range far and wide, from small school events to local sports teams to non-profits.

Not sure where to start, but know you want to get involved this year? We know a few pups that are looking for great pawtners for their event. Check out Turn Up with Your Pup, a summer festival put on by Wet Noses to raise funds for the Houston SPCA! We think it’s a great way to get involved in the local EaDo community. Stay tuned for more details on Turn Up 2020!

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