AlphaGraphics®, a leading print, graphics and marketing communications franchisor, recently signed a multi-year partnership agreement with US SAILING to be the first-ever title sponsor of the US Sailing Team, which is now known as US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics™. While the Salt Lake City-based company isn’t the first to try a sports sponsorship, an inevitable question arises: Who really benefits from such a partnership? In AlphaGraphics’ case, everyone does.
According to AlphaGraphics’ CEO Kevin K. Cushing, the company carefully selected US SAILING because they wanted to be sure that the organization they chose shared AlphaGraphics’ goals and values. Andrew Pindar, chairman of AlphaGraphics’ parent company Pindar Group and an avid sailor himself, was already heavily involved in sports sponsorships through sailing and felt the sport’s values mirrored AlphaGraphics’ corporate values of high achievement, teamwork, environmental sustainability and excellence.
“When entering into a partnership like this, a business needs to consider the goals and ideals of the candidate organization and make sure that those goals and ideals align with those of the business,” said Cushing. “An organization should also consider whether the sponsorship will touch people they would like to do business with. US SAILING was a great fit for AlphaGraphics because it gave us a new way to boost brand awareness among target audiences and help our owners leverage the sponsorship in their local markets through networking and events.”
As US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics’ title sponsor, AlphaGraphics has been able to set itself apart from other companies like Rolex Watch Inc., Nautica and Nikon, which also sponsor the team, while still enjoying the association with these well-known companies. Although a significant financial investment was required to secure this opportunity, AlphaGraphics is confident that the company as a whole will see results in both the long and short run.
“Many companies have entered into sponsorship agreements and partnerships with the unrealistic expectation that because their name is prominently displayed, their business will double overnight. This is very seldom the case,” said Cushing. “The benefits of sponsorship come to those sponsors who are in it for the long haul. The first association of the two concepts plants the initial seed and brings a new customer or two into our business centers, but it may take months or even years before we can assess the real value of the sponsorship for AlphaGraphics. As we watch some of the members of US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics leave for China this month, we’re excited about the new relationship and look forward to continuing it for years to come.”