Our thanks to IEG and Lesa Ukman for their contribution to our industry through definitions and terminology.

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The marketing activities a company conducts to leverage its sponsorship. The money spent on activation is over and above the rights fee paid to the sponsored property.

Ambush marketing

A promotional strategy that takes place around a sponsorship property by a non-sponsor (often a competitor to the official sponsor) but does not involve payment of a sponsorship fee to the event. The ambush marketer attempts to capitalize on the popularity/prestige of a property by giving the false impression that it is a sponsor without paying any right’s fees.

Arts Marketing

A promotional strategy linking a company to the visual or performing arts (e.g., sponsorship of a symphony concert series, museum exhibit, etc.).


An acronym meaning “best alternative to a negotiated agreement” and was coined by Roger Gisher and William Ury in their 1981 bestseller, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Without Giving In.


Elements that are owned by a property and are of worth to a sponsor that the property can sell to them to achieve their goals and objectives.


Blog is a word that was created from two words: “web log.” Blogs are usually maintained by an individual or a business with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. “Blog” can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.

Brand Experience

A 3D advertising program developed in a way that includes the consumer.


Combining several assets or benefits from the inventory to make a package or proposal for a sponsor. This is the most effective way to generate maximum dollars for a property and deliver best return on investment (ROI) for a sponsor as opposed to selling a la carte or individual benefits in a “one off” fashion.

Business-to-Business Sponsorship

A program intended to influence corporate purchase/awareness, as opposed to individual consumers.

Buzz Marketing

A low or no cost method of viral marketing using word-of-mouth that has people telling others about a company’s products or services.

Category Exclusivity

The right of a sponsor to be the only company within its product or service category associated with the sponsored property.

Cause Marketing or Cause-Related Marketing

A type of marketing involving the cooperative efforts of a “for profit” business and a non-profit organization for mutual benefit. The term is sometimes used more broadly and generally to refer to any type of marketing effort for social and other charitable causes, including in-house marketing efforts by non-profit organizations. Generally includes an offer by the sponsor to make a donation to the cause with purchase of its product or service. Cause marketing differs from corporate giving (philanthropy) as the latter generally involves a specific donation that is tax deductible, while cause marketing is a business expense and is expected to show a return on investment.


Sponsors of the same property.

Cost/Benefit Ratio

A ratio that attempts to summarize the overall value for money of a project or proposal a sponsor expects for each dollar invested in rights fees.


Joint marketing efforts conducted by two or more co-sponsors leveraging the sponsored property.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

A concept where companies manage the business processes to produce an overall positive impact on society, by taking responsibility for the impact of their activities on customers, employees, shareholders, communities, and the environment in all aspects of their operations.

Discovery or Exploratory Session

Initial meeting(s) with a prospect to determine their needs, goals, and objectives so the property can build a customized proposal to deliver on these needs, and ultimately, show a positive return on investment for the sponsor. This is the initial stage in the sponsorship development process once a prospect has been determined.

Event Marketing

A promotional strategy linking a company to a special event (sponsorship of a sports competition, festival, etc.) to support corporate objectives. Often used as a synonym for “sponsorship.” The latter term is preferable, however, because not all sponsorships involve an event.

Experiential Marketing

Connecting face-to-face with your target, offering an engaging, entertaining, and interactive brand experience that is unmatched by traditional advertising.


Facebook is a social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study, and live around them. Facebook is the largest social network in the world with more than 800 million users.


Delivery of benefits promised to the sponsor in the contract.


Gowalla is a social network in which friends share their locations and connect with others in close psychical proximity to each other.

Guerilla Marketing

A promotional strategy that uses unconventional marketing intended to get maximum results from minimal resources. Guerilla marketing can be as different from traditional marketing as guerilla warfare is from traditional warfare. Rather than marching their marketing dollars forth like infantry divisions, guerilla marketers snipe away with their marketing resources for maximum impact.


A hashtag is a tag used on the social network Twitter as a way to annotate a message. A hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by a “#.” Example: #yourhashtag. Hashtags are commonly used to show that a tweet, a Twitter message, is related to an event or conference, online or offline.


HootSuite is a social media management system that helps brands streamline campaigns across social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ Pages. Teams can collaboratively monitor, engage, and measure the results of social campaigns from one secure, web-based dashboard.


The hosting of key customers, clients, government officials, employees, and other VIPs at an event. This can involve tickets, parking, dining, and other amenities often in a specially designated area.

In-Kind Sponsorship

Payment (full or partial) of the sponsorship fee in goods or services rather than cash.


Instagram is a photo sharing application that lets users take photos, apply filters to their images, and share the photos instantly on the Instagram network and other social networks like Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, and Foursquare. The app is targeted toward mobile social sharing, and in just over one year, it has gained almost 15 million users. Currently, it is only available for iPhone devices.

Intangible Benefits

Soft benefits that are hard to measure, but important to capture.

Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC)

Suggests that the effects of one marketing method cannot be considered in isolation from other marketing methods and that synergy is a critical strategic component.


The complete catalogue of all physical and non-physical assets or benefits that may be made available to sponsorship buyers. The inventory (if fully delivered) should indicate all benefits and assets, their real market value, their fulfillment cost to deliver, and the overall value of the inventory.


Klout is a measure of social influence. The service allows users to connect various social accounts such as Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, etc., and then provides every user with his or her Klout score. The score is out of 100–the higher the score, the more influence you have on the social world.

Licensed Merchandise

Goods produced by a manufacturer (the licensee) who has obtained a license to produce and distribute the official marks on products such as clothing and souvenirs.


A “Like” is an action that can be made by a Facebook user. Instead of writing a comment for a message or a status update, a Facebook user can click the “Like” button as a quick way to show approval and share the message.

Marcom (sometimes spelled 'marcomm')

An abbreviation for “marketing communications.” Marcom is targeted interaction with customers and prospects using one or more media, such as direct mail, newspapers and magazines, television, radio, billboards, telemarketing, and the Internet.


Any official visual representation of a property, including emblems and mascots.

Media Sponsor

The media partner that provides cash or advertising time/space to a property in exchange for official designation.


An audio memory aid often used in advertising (e.g., Intel’s four notes).

Option to Renew

The contractual right to renew a sponsorship on specified terms.

Pass-Through Rights

Benefits that the property allows a sponsor to transfer to another company, provided that company is not a competitor to another property sponsor. For example, Molson may wish to pass-through some rink board signage at a Leafs game to a local bar that it does business with and, in return, gain more pouring taps at the establishment.


An idea, event, or action that is done to better humanity and usually involves some sacrifice as opposed to being done for a profit motive. Acts of philanthropy include donating money to a charity, volunteering at a local shelter, or raising money to donate to a cause.

Philanthropic Gift

A cash and/or in-kind contribution given to a registered charity or non-profit by an individual, company, foundation, or organization without any expectation of anything in return (as defined by Revenue Canada) or any recognition in return or without receipt of any benefits that have a market value greater than 10% of the gift to a maximum of $75.

Presenting Sponsor

The sponsor that has its name presented just above or below that of the sponsored property. A presenting sponsor differs from a title sponsor as the event name and the sponsor name are not fully integrated (e.g., The Skins Game Presented by TELUS versus TELUS Skins Game).

Primary Sponsor

The sponsor that pays the largest fee and, in return, receives the most property benefits if the property has no title or presenting sponsor.


An entity, event, or vehicle that a brand can utilize to help achieve its equity and business objectives, by providing an opportunity for the brand to deepen its relationship with its target consumers. This opportunity exists due to the range of perceptions, experiences, benefits, behaviors, and aspirations that the consumer associates with the property. From the brand’s perspective, this “associative equity” represents potential that can be converted into value for the brand if effectively utilized.


The presentation that outlines the property, the objectives of the sponsor, and the list of benefits the sponsor will receive to achieve these goals in exchange for a specified investment in cash or in-kind.


A company or organization who you have qualified to be a sponsor based on research and if the relationship will work.

Return on Investment (ROI)

How the sponsor or buyer determines if their investment was good or not in a specific property. It traditionally measures against such metrics as brand loyalty, brand awareness, traffic, sales leads, actual sales, employee morale, community awareness, or other elements. It is based against the original objectives of the sponsor’s reason for investing.


A retweet is when someone on Twitter sees your message and decides to re-share it with his/her followers. A retweet button allows them to quickly resend the message with attribution to the original sharer’s name.

Right of First Refusal

The contractual right granting a sponsor the right to match any offer the property receives during a specific period of time in the sponsor’s defined product category.

Sales Rights

When a sponsor is granted preferred supplier right to sell its product or service to the property or its attendees or members.


Refers to banners, billboards, electronic messages, etc., displayed on-site and containing sponsor identification.


A property available for sponsorship.

Sponsor (Sponsorship Buyer)

The payer of a fee to the owner of a property for the purpose of gaining commercial rights related to the property. To sponsor something is to support an event, activity, person, or organization by providing money or other resources in exchange for something, usually advertising or publicity, and always access to an audience.


A cash and/or in-kind fee paid to a property (typically in sports, arts, education, health, entertainment, or causes) in return for the exploitable commercial potential associated with that property.

Sponsorship Fee

the payment (cash or in-kind) made by a sponsor to a property.

Sponsorship Marketing

The activation or leveraging of this sponsorship, beyond the usual advertising, publicity, and audience access.

Stealth Marketing

Any practice designed to deceive people about the involvement of marketers in a communication.

Strategic Philanthropy

The practice of using philanthropic funds to create social AND brand value.

Street (level) Marketing

The marketing activities undertaken by a member of a psychographic niche to further the adoption of an idea, good, or service by that niche.


The official provider of goods or services in exchange for designated recognition. This level is below official sponsor, and the benefits provided are limited accordingly.

Tangible Benefits

Concrete benefits that are easier to measure than intangible benefits.

Title Sponsor

The sponsor that has its name incorporated into the name of the sponsored property (e.g., TELUS Skins Game).


The real market worth of a sponsorship property, asset, or package. These values are calculated by industry-accepted standards and represent the individual value of each benefit or the bundled value of the proposal. It is not the same thing as price. The price or investment is usually 10-15% lower than the actual value of the proposal.

Venue Marketing

A promotional strategy linking a sponsor to a physical site (e.g., sponsorship of stadiums, arenas, auditoriums, amphitheaters, racetracks, fairgrounds, etc.).

Virtual Signage

The insertion of signage electronically during a TV broadcast that is not actually present at the event (e.g., NFL’s third down line).

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