Belfast Telegraph

Sponsorship which engages people leaves lasting legacy

By Rachel Heron

Traditional forms of sponsorship deliver exposure and can be extremely valuable but sponsorship is not only about exposure, it's about engagement.

At BT our fundamental belief is that without real engagement on both sides of the relationship, sponsorship is meaningless. People only act if they understand, and only with real engagement on both sides can we provide real value and meaning. We have kept this attitude at the forefront of our actions in our role as principal partner to Derry-Londonderry UK's City of Culture 2013, delivering over 250 events across the programme.

Creating conversations with customers and creating collective experiences to generate a shared positive experience is one way a corporate sponsor can really add to the large-scale event in question. We do this by developing innovative ideas and creating opportunities for our customers and employees to engage with the projects to get involved and even volunteer.

Ultimately the goal should always be to leave a lasting legacy which has a direct and positive effect on the community where the event has been delivered.

A corporate sponsor should use their knowledge, expertise and manpower to fully support the event in question and only by applying a commitment to the project will real rewards be reaped. For the City of Culture we have committed to create a world-class communications infrastructure of next generation broadband technology which stretches far beyond the event and which has already and will continue to open up numerous opportunities to businesses located in the city.

This is our legacy.

In short, a successful corporate sponsor will engage with the event and its consumers, creating new and interesting dimensions which compliment the event and leave a legacy that lasts far beyond the closing party.

Rachel Heron is sponsorship manager of BT Ireland, the principal partner of Derry-Londonderry City of Culture 2013

Belfast Telegraph

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