The Official Sponsorship of Official Sponsorships

The ‘70s had disco. The ‘80s had Rubik’s Cubes. In the ‘90s, it was Starter® jackets and for the new millennium, it was Scientology.

But now that the “Twenty-Tens” are in full swing, an advertising trend is helping define the decade. No, it’s not the selfie. It’s the official sponsorship.

Since the turn of the century, businesses have become increasingly obsessed with visibility, and rightfully so. Where there’s visibility, there’s brand recognition. So corporations began to team up with other noticeable brands. With die-hard fan bases, huge TV ratings and specific all-sports networks, sports franchises are lightning rods for public attention. It’s a big pie (I’m guessing it’s Boston Cream) and corporations want a piece. That’s why their names and logos can be found plastered on press conference banners, more than three-quarters of NFL, NBA and MLB stadiums and, in soccer, on the front of each player’s jersey.

But now, companies are taking sponsorships to a whole new, and abstract, level. By advertising themselves as the official sponsors of pretty much anything and everything that’s not another brand.

Although not new to advertising, this trend became mainstream prior to the 2012 Summer Olympics. That’s when Proctor & Gamble came out with their advertising campaign touting themselves as the “Proud Sponsor of Moms.” Since then, marketers have hopped on the intangible train and some have done it better than others. Omaha Steaks has had success as the “Official Sponsor of Tailgating.” Transition Lenses is now the “Official Sponsor of Sightseeing.” Even Mutual of Omaha has become the “Proud Sponsor of Life’s Aha Moments” (whatever that means).

The most effective example of corporate sponsorship is the American Cancer Society (ACS) who now uses “The Official Sponsor of Birthdays” as their company tagline. This poignant message ties back to the mission of the ACS and serves as a rallying cry of their goal to save lives.

“Every year on your birthday, you get a chance to start new.”
-Sammy Hagar

Overall, these efforts have proven successful from two different angles. From an advertising standpoint, it puts a name with an action by giving the company a simple connection to concepts/ideas where consumers are emotionally invested. From a business view, being an official partner implies that the brand is an expert in that field.

As the ‘10s chug along with wrecking balls, frozen yogurt stores and our obsession with memes and gifs, remember, this is the decade of the official sponsorship. And we would know, because Koch Creative Group is the Official Sponsor of Awesome, Smart, Creative Stuff.





Ryan Schafer, copywriter at KCG, is responsible for the words you see, hear and feel in advertisements and marketing efforts. Along with being a language liaison, Ryan collaborates with other KCGers to generate creative concepts. While he’s been a professional copywriter since 2010, Ryan has actually been writing since he was 3 years old! When he’s not attending a wedding almost every weekend, Ryan can be found asleep, cheering on his beloved sports teams or belting out show tunes in his car.