TV Advertising Agency

TV Sponsorship

TV Sponsorship is a great vehicle for connecting your brand to great TV shows and strands. It is one of the most cost-effective ways to get your brand seen on TV time and again, elevating your brand’s top of mind awareness with prospective buyers.

TV Sponsorship in the UK in 2024

Top of mind awareness for your brand drives buying decisions, helping consumers choose your brand over competitors. TV Sponsorship is a great way to build this awareness. TV Sponsorship gives brands the opportunity to get closer to great TV content by allowing direct association with programmes, strands or entire channels.

At a glance

  • Understand the benefits of TV sponsorship and how it differs from TV advertising
  • Learn about the types of TV sponsorship that are available, such as programme, channel, genre and daypart sponsorships
  • Watch examples of TV sponsorship creative and understand how creative can work for your brand
  • Steps you can take to be ready for TV sponsorship
  • Understand current TV sponsorship opportunities and how we can help you get the best deal in buying TV sponsorship

What is a TV sponsorship?

A TV sponsorship makes a clear association between a brand (‘the sponsor’) and television content (such as a show, channel or genre of shows). It is made up of sponsorship ‘credits’ before, during and after the show. The names of the sponsorship credits are:

  • Openers – can be up to 20 seconds in length to cement the brand and association
  • Break Bumpers generally 5 seconds long played in the centre breaks of the show
  • Closers – normally around 10 seconds in length

What are the benefits of TV Sponsorship?

There are a number of benefits to television sponsorship:

  • The emotional response and attachment of the audience to TV shows/channels is a powerful brand driver.
  • Being seen to have a direct association with a TV show/channel can transfer these emotions to your brand.
  • The cost of TV sponsorship is generally less than reaching the same size of audience buying a traditional TV airtime campaign.
  • The wide array of TV options means there will be a solution available to elevate most brand attributes hitting a brands target market.
  • TV Audiences for programmes and shows are loyal so your message will be seen multiple times by the audience delivered. This frequency of views builds more brand awareness in a way that traditional TV does not
  • Get the latest research on TV sponsorship from industry research body Thinkbox.

What is the difference between a TV sponsorship and a TV advert?

A TV advert can contain product benefits and sales messages and a sponsorship credit is using an association with a show to promote a brand. As such, no product messages or promotions can be included. The sponsor can just make reference to the association.

What types of TV sponsorship are available?

There are a wide variety of options that TV stations make available for TV sponsorship and channels can be open to creating themed strands that currently do not exist! The most common sponsorship types are channel sponsorship, genre sponsorship, daypart sponsorship and programme sponsorship:

Channel sponsorship

Whole channels can be sponsored for set periods of time. This does not happen very often but when Sky Atlantic launched Volvo wanted to be part of it. Volvo sponsored all the station content for two years. They wanted to be associated with the new and exciting channel with top quality production values to align with their brand values.

Genre Sponsorship

Whole channels can be sponsored for set periods of time. This does not happen very often but when Sky Atlantic launched Volvo wanted to be part of it. Volvo sponsored all the station content for two years. They wanted to be associated with the new and exciting channel with top quality production values to align with their brand values.

Here are some examples we have worked on:

  • ITV weather and Totally Money – the weather, like the financial markets and peoples own circumstances, is always changing. The audience is mass and so a great partnership
  • Sky One created a strand called Quality Entertainment which Universal Parks sponsored. Aligning quality entertainment themes for both parties. Sky One is a family focussed channel with programming watched as a family so putting a family holiday brand in there can spark a positive response to.

Daypart Sponsorship

A daypart is a set time period that channels sell for sponsorship to brands that have a particular affinity with a time of the day. Casinos can only advertise post 2100 so you see many casinos using sponsorship daypart 2100-2600 to dominate a share of voice at this time of the day. Every show within the daypart is sponsored. Some major direct response advertisers use daytime only 0930-1700 know that daytime is a good time to communicate with their brand.

Programme Sponsorship

A programme sponsorship is focused just around a single show. The profile, content and size of the show needs to suit your brand ambitions. You need to have a size of show that can support the budget for the creative investment. 

  • Scholl took the opportunity to sponsor Take Me Out on ITV. A mass fun loving audience and the subject of going out was perfect for Scholl Gel Activ inner soles. There was a great creative to go along with it which elevated the whole association. Have a look below:

What types of creative work for TV sponsorship ?

Strongly associating with the sponsorship properties is key. You need to be as creative as you can with the credit you make so they compliment it. Be bold and be fun, capture the essence of the sponsored show. You need to make the right amount of sponsorship credits so the audience does not get bored seeing the same creative. The amount of credits required varies with the size of the broadcast sponsorship and we can advise you on this so they do not wear out and annoy the viewer.

Here some examples of our work:

  • Silver Spoon Sugar and there Half Spoon brand sponsored daytime on Challenge TV and so made the bumpers into a quiz style to compliment and enrich the viewing experience:
  • Nice and Easy Sponsored Loose Women a created the brand territory of Natural Character and created bumpers in the same style as the show

Tv Sponsorship rules

There is a full list of rules about TV sponsorship on the Ofcom website. Here are some of the rules that covers off the main points:

  • If your brand cannot buy TV advertising space it’s not going to be able to buy TV sponsorship
  • Not surprisingly brands cannot sponsor News or Current affairs shows
  • A sponsor must not influence the content of and/or the scheduling of a channel or programming as the broadcaster must retain editorial independence 
  • Sponsorship credit must be clearly differentiated from the actual show and distinctive from other standard TV adverts
  • TV sponsorship messages broadcast around the sponsored shows must not contain calls to action or advertising messaging, only the association with the programming  

How much does TV sponsorship cost?

TV sponsorship costs generally cost less per viewer than buying a traditional TV campaign. This is due to the fact that you cannot have advertising messages or calls to action in them. The costs are built from the size and profile of the audience delivered along with the demand from the market. The capital cost for sponsorship can range from £30k to £10 million + for some of the largest properties.

There is always a late market for sponsorships as broadcasters are open to deals when shows are very close to air and are without a sponsor. We have lots of expertise in working with all broadcasters knowing what’s coming in the future, working with them to create genre sponsorships for creative opportunities and keeping an eye on what is available late in the market to grab a great deal.

How can I buy TV sponsorship in the UK?

Firstly it’s good to speak to an expert like ourselves to make sure you understand the benefits of sponsorship and if it is right for you. We work with all the broadcasters and have  good sense of all the latest TV sponsorship opportunities. To find the broadcast sponsorship that is right for you will need to have an idea define:

  • Who is your target market
  • What style of programming do you want to sponsor
  • Do you have a preference as to when you want to start the sponsorship
  • How long would you like the sponsorship to run for
  • What budget do you have in mind
  • What go you want to achieve with the sponsorship

We then talk to all the broadcast sponsorship teams and work with them to find the right opportunity to suit our brief. We are a full service agency so not only do we find the right sponsorship opportunity we deliver on making the best sponsorship creative to really make it come to life and create the impact and brand attributes required.

Want To Buy TV Sponsorship?

We can help with TV sponsorship. We work directly with all the major TV sales houses: ITV, Sky and Channel4 and have early access to all the latest TV sponsorship opportunities.

We understand the value of TV sponsorship and can therefore assess the true value of the proposition and get the best value for money.

Or call us on 0800 133 7104

TV Sponsorship |