Radio and television stations make money through sponsored programmes. Corporate organizations or individuals pay for specific programmes aired on radio or television. This gives their brands exposure to new and diverse audiences, and aligns these brands with certain causes, values, and beliefs, depending on the programme sponsored. Making money from programme sponsorship could depend on credibility and popularity of the station, as corporate organizations always want to identify with stations that have huge audience base.
What is TV Sponsorship?
Television sponsorship is the payment for specific or different contents aired on television by a corporate organization or an individual. This form of sponsorship provides brands the opportunity to get closer to great TV content by allowing direct association with programmes, genres or entire channels. Sponsorship could be full or partial. Full sponsorship is where only one corporate body pays for a programme to be aired and only adverts of that company appear during the programme. Partial sponsorship is where two or more companies sponsor a programme. It is also shared sponsorship. In this case, the corporate bodies are paying for airtime of that programme. Each of them is a partial sponsor. All partial sponsors run their ads during the programme.
Difference between Programme Sponsorship and Conventional Advertising
Programme sponsorship is different from conventional paid advertising. It involves a deeper relationship between the parties involved in the transaction – the sponsor and the station/programme producer. Here’s the difference. Advertising consists of a payment made to place an ad, with specific spots paid for by the advertiser. Programme sponsorship on the other hand, happens when one party (in this case a corporate or individual sponsor) agrees to support a programme to be aired on a particular station, in exchange for a predetermined amount of exposure. For instance, a company offers to sponsor an upcoming programme on radio or television in exchange for the right to run advertisements about their products or services during the programme.
Advantages of TV Sponsorship
Sponsors who choose this option stand to benefit a lot from it. Among the benefits are as follows;
i). The brand benefits from the emotional response and attachment of the audience to TV shows/channels. This is a powerful brand driver.
ii). The brand is seen to have a direct association with a TV show/channel; if the show is popular, the emotions can be transferred the sponsor’s brand.
iii). This kind of sponsorship saves cost for the sponsor. The cost of TV sponsorship is generally less than reaching the same size of audience buying a traditional TV airtime campaign.
iv). There is a wide array of TV options and this means there will be a solution available to elevate most brand attributes hitting a brands target market.
v). Many TV programmes and shows have loyal audiences and this means the sponsor’s message will be seen multiple times by the audiences. This frequency of views builds more brand awareness in a way that traditional TV does not. This is a major advantage enjoyed by choosing television sponsorship.
What is the difference between a TV sponsorship and a TV advert ?
A TV advert can contain product benefits and sales messages and a sponsorship credit is using an association with a show to promote a brand. As such, no product messages or promotions can be included. The sponsor can just make reference to the association.
Different kinds of TV sponsorship
Television stations make money through different kinds of sponsorship. They are as follows;
An entire channel can be sponsored for a period of time. This is very rare but a company can decide to do this in order to be associated with an exciting channel which has top quality production values. Such top quality channel known for good production aligns with the brand values of the sponsor. The sponsorship runs for as long as the organization involved pays to have its brands associated with the television station.
A sponsor could pay for specific genre of programmes on a television station. A television genre refers to specific category of programmes. It could be Indian soap opera, sports, music, epic African movies, etc. Genre sponsorship gives the sponsor opportunity to target specific viewers with unique messages. For instance, if you sponsor Mexican soap opera programmes you could target women and some men who love watching such programmes. Those who sponsor Indian movie channels could target viewers, especially women, with fashion brands.
Genre sponsorship gives brands opportunity to own entire genres, which could be across a number of stations, and they also hold every ad break within them for the period of sponsorship. Genres could be ‘Love Songs’, ‘Workout’, ‘Wind Down’, ‘Driving’, ‘Gaming’, ‘New Music’ and ‘Women in Music’ among others, which appeal to specific audience members. Through this sponsorship method advertisers get deep targeting opportunities through the ability to engage audiences at the most relevant and impactful time.
A daypart refers to a set time period that channels sell for sponsorship to brands that have a particular affinity with a time of the day. For instance, casinos can only advertise post 2100 so you see many casinos using sponsorship daypart 2100-2600 to dominate a share of voice at this time of the day. Shows that air within the daypart are sponsored. Some major direct response advertisers use daytime only 0930-1700 know that daytime is a good time to communicate with their brand.
This kind of sponsorship focuses on a single show. The profile, content and size of the show needs to suit the sponsor’s brand ambitions. The sponsor further ensures that the size of show can support the budget for the creative investment.
Television sponsorship also has set rules which stations follow, though this might differ in various parts of the world. Some of the rules include brands cannot sponsor News or Current affairs shows, sponsors must not influence the content of and/or the scheduling of a channel or programming as the broadcaster must retain editorial independence, sponsorship credit must be clearly differentiated from the actual show and distinctive from other standard TV adverts, and TV sponsorship messages broadcast around the sponsored shows must not contain calls to action or advertising messaging, only the association with the programming. Television sponsorship remains one of the major sources of income for many television stations.