A title sponsor is a patron of an event that provides money, goods, or services in exchange for the exclusive right to have the patron’s name appear prominently before the title of the event. The patron is usually a corporation or other type of business but can also be a famous person, country, public agency, or any other entity that has the ability to contract for sponsorship rights. Title sponsorship is typically the most prestigious class of sponsorship offered by event organizers and requires the most significant investment in the event.
Special events present important marketing opportunities for any company that wants to promote itself or its products. Prominent events are vehicles for companies to associate their names and products with something that has a certain prestige factor and a captured audience with cognizable demographics. Event organizers take advantage of this natural synergy by packaging opportunities to associate with particular aspects of the event. These opportunities for affiliation are called sponsorships.
Sponsorships are marketing opportunities that event organizers sell to raise money. These opportunities are often presented by level of investment. Each sponsorship level requires a certain monetary or other type of contribution to the event and offers in exchange either exclusive or non-exclusive acknowledgment of the company’s patronage. A title sponsor is often the highest level opportunity and provides a company with the exclusive right to have its name featured in conjunction with the title of the event.
The name of the title sponsor should be listed before the name of the event. For example, a title sponsorship might appear as “XYZ’s Battle of the Stars.” A title sponsor is sometimes also known as a presenting sponsor, and in that case the title of the event might appear as “XYZ Presents the Battle of the Stars.” In either instance, obtaining a title sponsor is one of the most important initial tasks for event organizers because the event marketing is dependent on knowing who to credit in the title. If an event starts its marketing program before a title sponsor is secured, the opportunity loses its appeal to investors.
Title sponsorship is a marketing opportunity that is negotiated and committed to contract. There is typically a lot of money involved, especially with larger, more prestigious events. The contract ensures that the sponsor makes the agreed upon investment, even if the check arrives after the event. It also ensures that the sponsor can pull out if the event somehow goes off the rails and the company no longer wants its name associated with it. Since the title sponsor is attaching its name and goodwill to the event, and the event often relies on the sponsor’s investment to meet expenses, the contract defining rights and obligations is of the utmost importance.