What does “TV” sponsorship mean anyway?


It’s no secret that TV audiences are in decline. Having worked on various TV sponsorships over the years, I’ve noticed that with this can come a sense of nervousness and questions around why a brand would buy into a TV sponsorship. Let’s face it, they’re not cheap and in this day and age a savvy digital and social media plan is usually more attractive.

But, what is a “TV” sponsorship these days anyway? No longer is it just about buying into a TV deal, placing ads around a show and inserting a bit of product placement into the show itself.


It’s about buying a licence into a property that gives you realms of opportunity. Leveraging a property that people love (regardless of whether or not they are physically turning on their TV) and taking it to them – anytime, anywhere!

The Bachelor for example, not quite the TV ratings you’d expect from an X Factor or The Block but a strong property never-the-less. A highly engaged, chatty audience with through-the-line brand integration opportunities. If the audience is right and you’re clever with what you do with it, then you shouldn’t let TV ratings get you down, keep your audience engaged elsewhere – make them come to you.


It’s no longer just about what your sponsorship looks like on the TV but what you are doing with it everywhere else. Taking your brand message beyond the safety of the TV screen and using the sponsorship cleverly to tell a consistent brand story, in strategic ways and in strategic places.

Most importantly, it’s about the way in which you use every touch-point that’s going to make you stand out and truly engage your audience! Asking yourself – what is the role of channel (commercial airtime, in-show, online, social, activation, point-of-sale etc.) in taking the audience on a journey, one which they too can get involved with.

If the decline of TV audiences is making brands reluctant to buy into big “TV” sponsorships, I urge marketers to look beyond just TV ratings and think more about what the property really means for their brand…

Does it fit?

Does it talk to the right people?

Is it talking to them no matter where they are?

Does it give my brand the opportunity to be a part of that conversation no matter where it is?

The answers to all of those questions will almost always be YES…It’s just about how you use it!

Challenge your agencies, media and production partners to push the boundaries and develop sponsorship strategies that are going to allow the property to evolve just as quickly as the audience does. Ensuring that your brand message is a part of that evolution and is getting to the right people, at the right time.



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