Commercial sponsorship is an essential source of funding for many activities at local, national and international levels.
Without sponsorship, many disciplines would face extreme difficulties and possibly, extinction.
Through sponsorship, the nation's sporting, cultural, environmental, artistic, media, humanitarian and educational heritage is nurtured, enhanced and spectator choice widened. All parties to sponsorship - the sponsor, the sponsored event or activity, the media, the participant(s), the viewers and spectators - benefit from involvement.
Although sponsorship is an integral part of the marketing strategy, it differs from advertising as well as from patronage with respect to objectives, messages and control.
As with all financial investments, a potential sponsorship investment has to offer a viable return to justify a corporate sponsor's involvement. Sponsorship decisions are increasingly being made at strategic level within marketing departments, with directors accountable for investment decisions and the resulting returns. A corporate sponsor is accountable for investment decisions to four major stakeholders: its staff, its clients, its shareholders and the community. It is essential that a sponsor is able to justify corporate sponsorship expenditure and ultimately can produce a return on investment.
Sponsorship offers a potentially valuable platform for marketing communication between a company and its target market. Successful involvement in sponsorship shows that a company and its brand are part of a wide beneficial involvement in society of which the consumer is a participating member.
Therefore the strategic marketing rewards of a successful sponsorship in terms of exposure, awareness and positive image building are immense. To ensure successful sponsorships the entire sponsorship industry should operate according to uniform rules to lay a strong foundation for continued positive growth and healthy rewards for the industry and the nation.
It must be stressed that this Code of Practice is a "living" document and will be updated and amended when the need arises, by the industry as a whole.