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What is TV Sponsorship?

Laura M. Sands
Updated May 16, 2024
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TV sponsorship is funding provided to a television program or network to help pay for airtime. Usually such sponsorship is offered in return for commercial advertisement. In some cases, however, TV sponsorship funding is given to support the public broadcasting of programs portraying the arts or educational programs without necessarily airing an actual television commercial.

Sponsorship funding can come from a variety of sources, including corporate sponsorships and charitable organizations. A sponsor is usually paired with a television show based on the demographic of viewers tuning into a program. For example, the TV sponsorship of select toy manufacturers is paired with programming that appeals to children of a certain age. In this same manner, TV sponsorship from athletic apparel companies is paired with televised sporting events viewed by people most likely to buy this type of clothing.

In order to become a sponsor, a company typically contracts with an advertising agency. That agency then creates an advertising campaign that appeals to a target demographic. Such campaigns include television commercials and Internet advertising, as well as print and radio advertising. Once a television commercial is filmed, the agency then works with television stations and may even work with individual program producers to secure airtime during a television show’s commercial breaks.

It is also not uncommon for the creators of certain television programs to get a sponsor to help produce a show before its airing. A documentary producer, for example, may design a sponsorship program and directly solicit businesses to provide funding for a film’s creation. This type of relationship is also common in order to raise the public’s awareness of certain issues and events taking place in a community. For instance, in exchange for the support of a particular fundraising event, coordinators may agree to mention a sponsor’s name in television advertising for that event.

TV sponsorship may feature local business advertisements or may represent sponsorship funding from a nationally known brand. In return for giving financial support to a specific television network or program, advertisers expect to attract a certain amount of sponsorship sales. For particular public broadcasts, especially those geared toward educational programming, the arts or education, some sponsors may not directly advertise through a television commercial. Instead, sponsorship advertising may be the simple mention of an advertiser’s support in association with a program. This type of TV sponsorship is largely intended to demonstrate to the public a company’s commitment to certain community, social and public interests.

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Laura M. Sands
By Laura M. Sands
Laura Sands, the founder of a publishing company, brings her passion for writing and her expertise in digital publishing to her work. With a background in social sciences and extensive online work experience, she crafts compelling copy and content across various platforms. Her ability to understand and connect with target audiences makes her a skilled contributor to any content creation team.
Discussion Comments
By summing — On Mar 30, 2012

I have heard people suggest that television sponsorship is less effective than people think. Sure you can get results if you are able to advertise at the Superbowl, but if you are running local ads or ads during non peak television hours you may be better off spending your ad money on radio, print or online.

I think online will be the ad market of the future. There are so many ways you can target customers and tailor ads to their needs that it will revolutionize the way we think about promoting things.

By ZsaZsa56 — On Mar 29, 2012

I own a small business and I would love to get some spots on television but the cost for even a local spot is huge. It is way more than radio and way way more than advertising online or through other unconventional means. But the simple truth is that TV ads work and I know my business would see a boost if I could get my spots on TVs across the city.

Does anyone have any tips? Is there a way to negotiate a lower price or to enter into some kind of agreement with the affiliate station? There has to be a way. I have seen too many commercials for used mattress emporiums to not think that there is a way to one up the system.

By jonrss — On Mar 28, 2012

I heard about a few interesting instances of television sponsorship when I was listening to the radio today. Apparently the NBA is considering allowing companies to place advertisements of the jerseys of all the players. Right now they are prohibited but I guess the league is hard up for money and looking for any way to bring in revenue. So next year's NBA teams might look like NASCAR cars.

I also heard that a few years back Visa offered the NFL an amazing amount of money to place their name on the yellow first down strip that appears on the television broadcast. For reasons I can't figure out the league declined. I mean, it's not like the don't have ads everywhere already, what is one more?

Laura M. Sands
Laura M. Sands
Laura Sands, the founder of a publishing company, brings her passion for writing and her expertise in digital publishing...
Learn more
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