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Today's guest post is from Sandy Lawrence of Perceptive Public Relations.  Sandy is also the publicist for Decisive Minds.  Click here for her free PR assessment.

What is a sponsorship? Who is a sponsor? According to Wikipedia (right up there with Google as our resource – right?). “To sponsor something like an event, activity, person, or organization financially or through the provision of products or services is to support them, in other words “give them money.”The sponsor (or sponsors) is the individual or group that provides the support, similar to a benefactor.”

Sponsorship means different things to different people or organizations. If you look at the websites of any live events, conferences or even organizations, you will see a list of supporters or sponsors. Typically the sponsors have something in common with the organization or event, but not always.

Another area where we see companies with their name on websites or even highlighted at an event would be sporting events. For example, look at some of the football (NFL) games or auto races (NASCAR) and see how sponsors are critical to their success.

The third week of May is National NASCAR (The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) week. NASCAR is a family owned and operated business venture that sanctions and governs multiple auto racing sports events, and sponsorship is important and can be expensive.

National NASCAR Day, annually celebrated on the third Friday in May, is a celebration of NASCAR drivers, sponsors, celebrities, corporate partners, media, and millions of fans who come together to raise funds for charitable causes. “We believe our greatest asset is the power and passion of our NASCAR fans: passion both for the sport and for giving back.  NASCAR Day is an annual celebration of this NASCAR spirit.”

At the track or on TV, it seems that nothing in NASCAR is without a sponsor. Cars are covered in logos and stickers, drivers have patches from shoulder to shoulder and every race is brought to you by one company or another. Sponsors pay a lot of money to NASCAR. Over three decades, sponsorship has evolved past the alcohol, tobacco, and auto companies of the early years to include the likes of M&Ms and GoDaddy.com.

In addition to auto racing and football, many companies sponsor nonprofit events or support a cause, typically one that is near and dear to their heart. For example, as a publicist who also loves to read, I love books, so I support programs or organizations that help increase the literacy rates in our country and particularly in Houston where I live. 

As a business owner, I also sponsor events when the attendees are those I have identified as my ideal client. One live event that I sponsor on a regular basis is Michele Scism’s annual three-day event in Houston. I love to support and help promote events like Michele's Legacy Event. 

Sponsorship gives the sponsoring company visibility and exposure, which is one of the key reasons for getting through the noise and becoming “known.” So, when I sponsor an event that targets small businesses and business owners, I become known. Thus, it becomes part of my business development efforts.

So, whether giving to a cause, a NASCAR race, a sporting event or a business conference, businesses can look at sponsorships as another way to promote their products and services, create new and lasting relationships, and reach their target market.


Sandy Lawrence is a “people person” who works passionately to take her client's message to the world. Her PR skills are available to anyone who needs a truly perceptive marketing expert.

Sandy is a publicist, speaker, creator of DIY PR and marketing programs. She is the Founder and CEO of Perceptive Marketing and received awards for being a top 25 Marketing/Public Relations Firms in Houston. Sandy is the author of several books, including the Do It Yourself PR Guide and the recently published, Soar 2 Success in Marketing: 58 Tips to Getting the Word out and Growing your Business.