Using education as a brand building strategy
Before entering into a sponsorship, it is essential for brands to identify their goals and what they want their return investment to be – is it increasing brand awareness, brand affinity, or building brand loyalty? When the brand agrees on its objectives, it will then be able to create a successful sponsorship campaign.
If you’ve ever worked for a brand, your team at one point may have considered whether a sponsorship opportunity with a sports team or a popular event made for a good brand fit. But was education ever on the table?
Here are five smart reasons why more brands should raise their hand and participate in education this way.
- Making a difference!
Students today learn in an environment that’s hungry for a little extra help. EA Sports/Madden, for example, partnered with Discovery Education. The company creates high-quality digital content for K-12 classrooms and, in sum, takes learning to a new level. The partnership resulted in a program that leverages football to engage children with the math behind the game. “In this case, the magic of sports really helped open their minds to math and science,” says CMO of Discovery Education, Lori McFarling.
- Establishing expertise
Traditionally, the private sector enters the upper levels of learning, where the stakes are seemingly higher and the funds flow more freely. Yet, no less important is the need for expertise at the very foundation of a student’s education. It’s also a win-win-win. Not only do children associate the brand with its core subject, but involvement exposes students to advanced industry knowledge.
- Graduating your brand
Aside from contributing know-how to a good cause, the brands see benefits from a nobler association, which is an increasingly common practice. By building innovative programs, Discovery Education helps its partners drive authentic engagement and optimize the school-to-home connection.
- Fostering future employees
Some benefits will manifest in the years and decades to come. Brands like Siemens, Lockheed Martin and Alcoa, for example, drive learning in fields that are directly related to their business, but which require early nurturing. Those organizations are authentically connecting their brands to efforts to support student achievement in science, technology, engineering and math, and are connecting their efforts to their pipeline and workforce-development strategies. In other words, it’s an opportunity to streamline the hiring process by helping future employees gain core skills.
- The ROI
Each brand looks for different key performance indicators in their programs, but the true ROI might not be countable — and that’s a good thing. “The measure of our success is based on the success of teachers and students,” McFarling says, “the one metric they all share, however, is the desire to connect their brand to meaningfully impacting today’s youth while supporting the success of all learners…and isn’t that the most important measurement of all?”