Cause marketing is a small but growing slice of the sponsorship pie, which is largely dominated by sports-related sponsorship. IEG, a Chicago firm that helps brands and organizations find the right sponsorship partners, projects sponsorship spending will slow its growth, but still rise a healthy 4.9% in 2012 to $51 billion worldwide.
In this month's installment of the American Consumer Project, we looked at cause marketing and charitable giving trends in our different county segments.
In addition to some great data from Experian Simmons, we were struck by some stats from the Cone Cause-Evolution Study that we wanted to highlight. We cited a figure that 83% of Americans say they wish brands would support causes, and 41% have bought a product because it was associated with a cause. That figure has doubled since 1993, according to the study. Further, more than 90% think companies should consider giving in the communities in which they do business. They further want the causes to be consistent with the brand messaging and support causes that the consumers themselves find important.
The American Consumer Project focuses on geographic differences in consumer trends. The Cone study looks at other demographics as well. Millennials and moms both over-index on their support for cause-related marketing and their likelihood of trying brands that support causes they believe in.
Sports sponsorships are clearly a good fit for many brands, but with a growing number of consumers looking to brands to become involved in their communities, perhaps we'll see a shift in the balance of that pie.