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A Career in Corporate Brand Sponsorship Management.

Andy Robertson

Corporate sponsors are the lifeblood of many festivals and although the majority are alcohol based companies' other popular sectors that sponsor festivals include telecoms and financial services. With large budgets and huge responsibilities, a career as a brand or sponsorship manager is attractive, what does it take to carve out a career with a corporate sponsor. 

Being immersed in a world of music festivals, performance artists and big budgets sounds like a dream job, however, remove the rose-tinted glasses to fully understand what's really involved in working for a commercial sponsor organisation.

Most companies that sponsor festivals will have dedicated sponsorship management team which will sit in their marketing function usually in a brand manager role. Any sponsorship budgets will come from the allocated marketing budget and with that comes the complex process of analysis and evidence to demonstrate a return on that investment.

Anyone interested in a career within an organisation that sponsors festivals and events is probably best to start with the various ‘drinks’ companies who often run intern programmes in their marketing teams which can lead to a role like brand manager. The brand manager will often have responsibility for every aspect of a drink’s brand including research, product positioning and placement and of course promotional activity. The allocation of an event or festival sponsorship budget will likely fall under this role and the job description can vary form company to company.

Responsibilities of a Brand/Sponsorship Manager. 

  • Market analysis, opportunity identification and brand strategy to identify market trends and support new product development.
  • Identify and analyse segments to and develop marketing strategies to increase sales in those segments.
  • Analyse market conditions and prepare reports for stakeholders including customers, consumers, pricing, volumes and the competitive landscape.
  • Monitor promotional strategies with audits and analysis of market information to determine how well marketing strategies are performing.
  • Prepare an annual promotional calendar. 
  • Develop plans to improve customer engagement using knowledge of the customers, competitors and market conditions to improve customer engagement.
  • Work with the sales and marketing teams to deliver promotional events and sponsorship opportunities and oversee their delivery. 
  • Design and create marketing materials to ensure that the brand is always correctly represented. Represent the company at events.
  • Manage product specific budgets including all events and sponsorship deals  

Person Specification.

  • A marketing background is really going to help anyone interested in these roles unless it's for an intern role.
  • For experienced individuals a good background and understanding of data analysis and budgetary control is required.
  • Good communication skills with the ability to negotiate sponsorship deals to achieve value for money and the ability to influence internal stakeholders. 

This is just an example of the typical responsibilities a brand and sponsorship manager may have and it is common for the events and sponsorship functions to form only part of that role. A large amount of time will be spent on data analysis which includes analysing the typical festival-visitor profiles to ensure it matches their target audience. The analysis will also roll over to post event activities to ensure positive results. For anyone keen on a career as a brand or sponsorship manager in a corporate environment there are a healthy number of vacancies always available. 

For organisers planning their festivals using a software management platform like
Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event logistics including sponsorship. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, guestlists, ticketing, cashless payments and contactless ordering.

Photo by Chris F from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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