According to DM Sandler, David Shani and Dr DK Stotlar, the insertion of advertisements in the 1896 Olympics Games Official Programme and the products sampling rights bought by Coca-Cola in the 1928 Olympics were the first instances of sponsorshipï¿½s use as a promotional tool in the modern context.
D Jobber cites these chief contributory factors to the increasing popularity of sports sponsorship:
1. Restrictive government policies on tobacco and alcohol advertising.
2. Escalating costs of media advertising.
3. Rise in leisure pursuits and sporting events.
4. The proven record of sponsorship.
5. Greater media (especially electronic and digital) coverage of sponsored events.
6. The loss of efficiency of traditional media advertising owing to (a) clutter and (b) zapping between channels when ads come on.
Sponsorship of RWITC racing events offers excellent opportunities for marketers to catch the eye and the imagination of target users. Racing is a lifestyle sport. It has always been associated with the rich and the famous. Once upon a time, the owners of the performers on the race track, i.e., the horses, were the titled British aristocracy. They were succeeded by the Maharajas and the tycoons and the film stars. The socialites and the celebrities continue in this role even today. Marketers of all sizes can promote lifestyle brands effectively via sponsorship.
One classic example of a long and mutually beneficial sponsor-event association is the UB Group sponsorship of the McDowell Indian Derby over the last two decades. Today, the sponsorship of the Derby has taken the event to a different level with stake money of Rs 2 crore on offer. The impact of brand power propelled by sponsorship cannot be quantified, however.
The Royal Western India Turf Club has created a record in terms of the number of races that are sponsored which in itself is indicative of the mutual benefit that accrues because of a race being associated with a brand.