Fit and Authenticity in Sponsorship and other Horizontal Marketing Partnerships

T. Bettina Cornwell, University of Oregon

No offense intended, but brand communications can be boring. Sports, the arts, and music can be exciting, even captivating. In a content driven media landscape, it is not surprising that brands partner with their world to tell stories, to communicate their values, and to ride the wave of excitement. How though to find the best partner for this adventure? In this Lunch Lecture @ MSI guided by Bettina Cornwell, we will begin with the popular idea that brands should fit or be congruent with that which they sponsor—the “running shoe-running event” maxim. As an alternative to fit, we will discuss authenticity in partnerships- why you want it, how you measure it, and what it gives you. This thinking can be applied in sponsoring, brand placement, endorsements, and internal marketing⁠—and is just as relevant for a cycling team or charity as it is for a Fortune 500 company.​



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