We are sport crazy....YES!
Australian brands have sponsored anything that moves....YES!
But most companies just aren't leveraging their sponsorships properly to achieve the best outcome for their brand. Traditional sponsorship, based on media logo 'exposure' and hospitality, doesn't have the same impact as they once did, with marketers now looking for new ways to leverage their sponsorship expenditure. Clutter in the sponsorship space and consumer disinterest has lessened the impact of sponsorships done purely as a branding exercise.
Branding alone is not enough: people aren't noticing signage anymore it's like wallpaper and we don't transfer attributes from an event to a brand. The wisest of sponsors understand that signage and other branding is not the cake it's not the frosting, it is merely the cherry on the top.
The ultimate goal of any successful sponsorship must be to captivate an audience through a branded experience. That experience must be proprietary and absolutely attributable to the sponsoring brand. Sponsorship is about nurturing a brand's connection with a target market by putting their needs first and about how you can use the most emotional and personally relevant of all marketing media to improve your brand's relationship with a target market and, more importantly, their relationship to your brand.