How can companies use sponsorship to boost employees' motivation and loyalty?

We often read a lot of articles that explain how companies can increase employees’ motivation and loyalty, but not a lot of them explain that sponsorship projects can be both an interesting and successful strategy.

The first example that I would like to introduce is how Goodyear, who manufacture tires for automobiles, trucks, SUVs, race cars, airplanes and are one of the most famous tire suppliers in Formula One, transformed the sponsorship of the Akron Marathon Rubber City Race Series Half Marathon & 10K into an employee engagement strategy. The footrace sponsorship wasn’t only an opportunity to engage and support the community in which company global headquarters are located, but it also offered an opportunity to boost engagement with the brand’s employees. This was possible thanks to five different activities: first of all, Goodyear organised training programs for the employees who wanted to run. As a second step, it enlisted employees to man water tables on the day of the race but also involving them in a friendly competition. You couldn’t miss the volunteer spirit. Indeed, Goodyear committed to filling all of the volunteer spots with its associates and their families. In the end, two big pushes were done by the pep rally, organised before the race, and social media use.
The second instance is different since the company didn’t involve its employees in the sponsored event but, on the contrary, employees suggested to their company to support that particular event. We are talking about Sainsbury’s Paralympics Games sponsorship.
Sainsbury’s, decided to sponsor the London 2012 Paralympic Games two years before the event began and it organised a conference call to announce the sponsorship deal to its staff and to get colleagues engaged with the plan. The feedback they received revealed that the campaign and the decision to sponsor the Paralympic Games was a great success, providing a real boost to the engagement levels of Sainsbury’s employees.
Certainly sponsorship deals, as we have already said, are not the only way to boost employees’ motivation and loyalty. For example, Zappos, an online shoe and clothing shop, focus its attention in its culture, which is the key of employees’ engagement. The candidates who pass the interview process are asked to attend lunch and happy hour events to see if they have a good fit with the Zappos family and culture.
As for Reebok, having the goal to align their people with its vision, the company converted one of their warehouses into a CrossFit workout center, exclusively for Reebok employees. This initiative helped build engagement on many levels. Reebok promoted a culture of health and wellness within their organisation, turning employees into stakeholders for the company’s vision and mission.
There are a lot of different ways to increase employees’ motivation and loyalty, maybe some of them have more success or some catch more attention, but the main aim is always to build a strong relationship between the company and its workers. If the employees are involved in their projects and they can feel part of it, they will work better, they will care more about the future of their company and they can also propose original solutions and ideas for their company’s strategies.
To learn more:
How Goodyear boosted employee engagement
Feature: how Sainsbury’s Paralympic Games sponsorship boosted employee engagement
4 Innovative and Meaningful Employee Engagement Activities That Work! (and why)