USING SPORTS SPONSORSHIP FOR CORPORATE IMAGE MAKING: A STUDY OF NIGERIAN BOTTLING COMPANY PLC SPONSORSHIP OF NIGERIAN PREMIER LEAGUE
1.1 Background of the Study
It is obvious that sports sponsorship undertaken by organizations/institutions is the reflection of corporate sponsorship, which similar principles and tenets employed perpetually for their purpose of company’s identification and image making. So therefore, the idea of any company projecting its corporate image cannot bear without employing the concept of public relations and advertising.
Suffice to say that the topic “Using Sport Sponsorship for Corporate Image Making: A case study of Nigerian Bottling Company Plc Sponsorship of Nigerian Premier League competition” was seen from two different basic ways, from public relation point of view and that of advertising, vis-à-vis their contributions to corporate sponsorship of sport programmes.
Several concepts of public relations have been put forward. All the definitions and concepts do emphasize that the basic philosophy underlying public relation practice is that people matter; and that the support of public opinion is of prime importance in all spheres of human activities thus, the British Institute of public relation sees public relation as quoted by Jefkin (1992:7) as: A deliberate, planned and sustained effort to establish mutual understanding between on organization and its public.
The definition points out the basic things to be considered in public relation; being the establishment and maintenance of mutual understanding that brings benefits and profits to the organization. These advantages could be seen in the words of H. Ilovd (1980:9).
The skills of using man’s ability to create form or shape attitudes in others on matters about an organization will lead to available image and understanding.
Obviously, an effect organization pays careful attention to goodwill. The affect can have considerable value, as well known brand means can be sold for millions. The goodwill related to brand names as a result of investment, promotion and fir trading methods has a measurable value. Good will applies, of course, not just to brand names but to any organized enterprise. Thus, goodwill can only follow from support for the aim of the organization, follows understanding which follows knowledge. And as
Organization to provide proper information at the proper time is not just unfortunate but cause the collapse of such organization.
Public relation as a marketing support technique is well understood as part of the management process responsible for identifying, antipatting and satisfying customer requirements profitably. And it has been argued that, advertising is part of public relations. Both should be working together for a consistent method of influencing that attitudes of audience members. Therefore the success of any organization depends on the understanding and support it was been able to create with its public.
In the light of the above, Roger Haywood, in his book “All About Public Relation” (1984:8) defines public relation as; the organized two way communication between the organization and the audience critically to its success.
But in essence, “Coca-cola” sponsorship of “Nigerian Premier League”, a popular sports even used both the promotional tool of advertising and the skills of public relation to achieves its aims and objective. Advertising is employed to promote the sales of the cola-cola products: Coke, fanta and sprite. While public relation is used to create awareness for goods and services, and also to create good corporate image.
However, an organizations corporate image is one of its most valuable assets. A good public image enable a company, for example to expand its motivate employees, and indeed survive harrowing of items of economic downturn. This view was furthers posited Castett (1988) as quoted by Salu (1994:215). Two factors are most important to establish a first class corporate image, the company must be well managed and after high quality product or services.
Certainly for identify to have any have, communication must be internal as well as external public. And again, so long as a corporation exists, it will have an image. Whether it manages, organizations are appreciating the need for them to manage their image, because many of them want to be seen as successful organizations which are well managed.
Therefore, public relations practitioners are agreed that every organization has identify and projects an image of some sort-good, bad or just so. It is always there, whether or not the organization is aware.
But these are not days when an organization can go to sleep and do nothing, or say nothing about its identity. So long as it has to deal with any group of people, so long as its own activities are influenced by some specific publics like the government, competitors, employees, etc. it must address the issue of itself, in terms of size, structure, and nature of business. You can think of coke, the official soft drink in any competition, recalling the reality of Nigerian Bottling Company Plc., NBC.
Also news worthiness will interest among publics. An in the context of economy and corporate survival, NBC is newsworthy any day. And hour, in terms of organization diversity, NBC is more consistent in image making through the concentration of it messages on products. The company spends money to reflect and reinforce its image, the result is more positive identify.
Moreso, the company operate on the basis of a long term investment in image making. Good reputation, backed with good product and services will stand up in the esteem of its publics for a long time. Because the company will review its reputation, backed with good product services will stand up in the esteem of its publics for a long time. Because the company will review its reputation periodically and communication will improve with time. Therefore, to stay afloat in people’s memories there must be no let-off on communication work. Thus Garbett puts it as quoted by Salu (1994:265). sports sponsorship
The people in the various public will gradually change. People die, retire, change jobs and needs people enter the audience in a constant flow that makes up the true nature of the company’s important target the impressions made on them, if left in reinforced, will gradually fade.
This definition reflects on the importance of corporate sponsorship of various programmes to reinforce its image before its various public. And on of such programme is sport sponsorship programme. sports sponsorship
Besides tobacco firms, corporate institution and beverage their corporate image and create avenues for product growth. The known ones are: Mobile tracks and field championship by Mobil Producing Nigeria, Squash by West African Portland Cement Company Plc, Cheses by N. E. P. A., lifting by N. N. P. C. Lawn Tennis by Nigerian Breweries Plc, Table Tennis by Cadbury Nigeria, Basketball League and Professional Football League 7 up Bottling Company Plc and of course the Nigerian Premier League Competition by Nigerian Bottling Company Plc. sports sponsorship
Meanwhile, it should be noted that most of the large sponsorship of sport are undertaking because these sport programme receive extensive television coverage resulting to either repeated naming of the sponsors by all the media. Example of such cases are the three under 17 and 20, Coca-Cola Football World Cup Tournaments. NFA Coca-Cola Premier League, Pesi-professinal, League and various others. The mane of event include the name of sponsored and so a vast volume of publicity results. sports sponsorship
Even the companies that sponsors sports programmes and the sponsored subject are not the only beneficiaries of such sponsorships. However, these fact is cemented by Jefkin (1984:61). It is enjoyed by thousands of people who attend, watch, view or read it. And so, peace and gratitude can goodwill towards the sponsors. And goodwill can be created when a company provide a deli for its customers by sponsoring events that are of interest to the public. sports sponsorship