Building a new brand image thanks to sponsorship : IBM example

Increasing the visibility or the brand awareness, building strong business relationships, finding new partners or customers are some examples of goals to reach when a brand decided to sponsor an event or a project. However, other objectives can be possible.

An article in Forbes written by Darren Heitner presents IBM’s sponsorship deal with The Masters Tournament 2014 at the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia. IBM has given a considerable amount of money to participate in the organization of the event. However, IBM is much more than a simple financial partner.
Indeed, IBM developed a website and applications on Android, iPhone and iPad dedicated to the event, so the fans who could not come to The Masters could follow the show. IBM identification was possible with a small logo in the right corner of all of those supports. IBM could also manage digital media by spreading several spots showing short stories and could reach through social media a new and large audience.
Those digital displays are a creative and efficient way to demonstrate the new capacities and possibilities offered by IBM nowadays. Indeed, until now IBM was still seen as a hardware seller, but the company evolved. IBM needed to make its brand image evolve as well. By providing real-time data or statistics through social media or its applications, IBM demonstrates its quality and its ability to enhance consumers’ experience.
Thanks to this event, IBM was able to transmit a new message to business owners and potential customers.
This example is not unique. For instance, Lenovo sponsored the 2008 Beijing Olympics. At that time, Lenovo was seen as a Chinese company which sold cheap computers. Olympics was a perfect opportunity to demonstrate the quality and the capacity of its products and helped the company to build a global image brand.
These two strategies show that sponsorships are not only about showing that you exist, but also about showing who you are and what you can do.
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