AOK Events are one of the UK’s largest event agencies with our hospitality department, AOK Cavendish, recognised the biggest hospitality brokerage in the UK. So why have we launched AOK Connect, the AOK Events Group’s Sponsorship Consultancy?
Across all of The AOK Events Group's six brands, one directive has always remained true: AOK Events help you have better conversations with your clients, consumers & employees, through brilliant events.
Founded in 2000 and with nigh on 20 years of trusted client relationships, AOK Connect has been launched to help continue those conversations through aligning brands to the most relevant rights holders. We have already found that AOK Events clients looking for hospitality suggestions and live event ideas can marry all their objectives through sponsoring an art exhibition, as White & Case can testify to with their sponsorship of Sotheby’s African Art Auction – a deal brokered by AOK Connect.
Consulting with clients, drawing up a partnership brief and then sourcing suitable opportunities from rights holders, we will be working across every corner of the sponsorship industry and leaving no stone unturned in our quest to deliver unique, innovative and original partnerships to the brands that we already love working with.
For AOK Connect, there are always few key points to remember when considering whether sponsorship is right for your brand:
Increasing brand awareness
Short-term activations have become very passé as brands realise the importance of sustaining impactful messaging over the duration of a partnership. The importance of creating a strong on-brand narrative throughout any partnership must always be prioritsed and can often be the gateway to increasing awareness and building strong relationships across target markets. In the crowded world of advertising, brands must compete to differentiate themselves from competitors.
Developing and maintaining a positive image
Sponsorship has been a great way for brands to develop their corporate image. McDonald's have been using sport as a vehicle for years, dating back to the 1976 Olympics and the 1994 World Cup. Receiving constant negative press about impacts on health (remember the 'Super Size Me' documentary?), McDonald's uses sport to combat these negative associations. Other brands, however, use sponsorship to maintain their image. The luxury retail brand Louis Vuitton partners with the Americas Cup as an opportunity to reinforce its prestigious identity.
Giving back to the community
Brands have become increasingly more aware of their role within the community and have used sponsorship as a platform for positive change. Greggs, for example, have formed a partnership with the organisation ‘Surfers against Sewage’ who work with communities to protect oceans, beaches and wildlife. CSR sponsorship can have a significant effect on brand reputation and therefore increase the benefits of retaining loyal customers in the long-run.
Targeting specific markets
Rights holders now have large databases of segmented consumer characteristics. From age group to household income, rights holders can bring target niche markets directly to sponsors. But do be aware of the occasional pitfall…such as when Emirates announced a deal with Portsmouth’s Spinnaker Tower, they received backlash when plans were announced to paint the tower red (that of Portsmouth FC’s arch rivals Southampton FC). By means of redemption, hundreds of litres of red paint were given away for free and the tower was painted blue!