“To be, or not to be: that is the question” – Hamlet
Whether you follow his work closely or briefly skimmed the Coles Notes on his plays to pass English class, you probably know who William Shakespeare is. His work is featured every summer in Vancouver at Bard on the Beach, an event located in gorgeous Vanier Park, that has grown in popularity from 6,000 attendees in 1990 to 90,000 in 2015.
The event’s main sponsors are Bank of Montreal (Mainstage Naming Sponsor) and Goldcorp (Season Sponsor ). The BMO deal made sense to me; the Goldcorp one made me stop and think. The question is not “To be or not to be,” it’s why would a B2B company like Goldcorp sponsor a Shakespeare festival? Let’s dive a little deeper.
According to IEG, “Banks are 11.4 times more likely to sponsor the performing arts than the average of all sponsors” (http://goo.gl/vqgjHq). One fear, if not their biggest one, is customers switching banks. By sponsoring unique events, it gives them the opportunity to reward their loyal customers with exclusive experiences. Furthermore, events allow them to build visibility and attempt to recruit new members to their bank.
Why in the world is Goldcorp, a B2B company, sponsoring a Shakespeare festival? It makes money from investors and other businesses, not individual consumers. Therefore, it will unlikely see a direct increase in revenue by being a partner of the festival. However, sponsoring the festival actually provides Goldcorp more benefits than you may think.
The following are three reasons why non-consumer-facing, B2B brands should consider sponsoring an event.
1. Follow through on your value statements
If you were an investor, would a company known for backing up their words with actions make you more or less likely to part with your hard earned cash? Any company can write well-worded value statements; few make an effort to follow through on them. Goldcorp is “committed to making a positive difference in the communities…[they] are located in” and they “provide benefits to a broad range of stakeholders; investors, employees and neighbours.” Sponsoring Bard on the Beach is a perfect way for Goldcorp to show that they act on their value statements and that they are more than just words on their website.
2. Retain top talent
Companies want to be known as employee-friendly to recruit and retain top talent. According to a survey done by Deloitte on 7,700 millennials, 66% expect to leave their current job within the next six months. In light of this, keeping employees happy and motivated is more important than ever. By sponsoring an event, your business can treat loyal employees to unique and memorable experiences, increasing the chance of retaining them for future years.
3. Engage stakeholders and the public
While Goldcorp and other B2B companies may not see a direct increase in revenue by sponsoring an event, it still provides them an opportunity to engage key stakeholders and the public to boost their PR. People interact with consumer brands all the time but are much less likely to know who Goldcorp is and what they do.