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Using sponsorship to attract and retain talent

In this article, we examine the role of sponsorship in employer branding and how you can leverage partnerships to attract and retain talent.



How is your employer brand? The light at the end of the coronavirus tunnel has sparked what HR professionals refer to as The Great Resignation. Fundamental changes to our personal and working lives since 2020 have made millions of people reassess their careers and how they work. With so many talented individuals resigning or thinking about leaving, one of the biggest challenges facing organisations today is retaining and attracting top talent in a competitive environment. In this article, we examine the role of sponsorship in employer branding.


Enhanced brand perception

One of the single most significant benefits of sponsorship is the ability to enhance and alter customer perception of our brand. The same is true for employee brand perception. The law firm Hogan Lovells claims to “actively create an inclusive workplace where each of our people can thrive as their authentic self”. By partnering with the British Paralympic Association, the firm has demonstrated this commitment to current employees and a wider pool of potential talent.


"If you are hoping to use sponsorships to foster greater inclusion amongst your employees, then a sure-fire way to shoot yourself in the foot is only to sponsor the men’s team."

Rewards and Incentives

Marketers are skilled at leveraging sponsorship assets to create unique competitions, prizes and rewards for customers. These same assets can and should be regularly used to reward and incentivise employees for good performance and hard work.

Prizes such as meet and greets with performers or exclusive experiences to play a tennis match on Centre Court, for example, provide many HR benefits to an organisation. They motivate staff, improve morale and create great content shared by the organisation and organically across social media by the employees. The key here is how to include as many employees as possible.


Motivate and Inspire

Hard work, high performance, determination and passion are often shown in their purest sense in the teams and individuals we sponsor. The highs and lows of any individual or team’s journey as they strive to achieve challenging goals should be shared with employees and used as inspirational and motivational content in internal communications.

If activated correctly, sponsorship can foster a greater sense of togetherness and camaraderie. To do so effectively, the partnership needs to include all employees within the organisation, not just those from the marketing department.


Raise Employer Profile

We talked earlier about the impact sponsorship can have on brand perception. It is essential to note the role sponsorship can play in raising the overall profile of the organisation and giving employees a sense of pride.

Pride in the organisation is one of the key drivers of job performance. With all things considered equal between two similar employers in a difficult jobs market, sponsorship of a prominent team or event can be the difference between hiring the talent or losing them to your competitor.


A word of caution: employees have different likes and interests. While we cannot accommodate every individual’s passion, we must exercise caution not to exclude large portions of the workforce. If you are hoping to use sponsorships to foster greater inclusion amongst your employees, then a sure-fire way to shoot yourself in the foot is only to sponsor the men’s team.

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