Case Study: Zipsprout Fosters Awareness of Local Brands via Non-Profit Sponsorships

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For enterprise companies looking to expand into new markets, Zipsprout’s micro-sponsoring of local non-profits offers an innovative way to go about supplementing traditional media spend. The marketing agency can arrange for an enterprise company to provide funds to a local non-profit or for a local event in return for advertising opportunities like on-site engagement with a target audience, said Claudia Cruz, chief operating officer of Zipsprout.

“Over the past few years, we have been able to place over one million dollars in these (non-profit) organizations … in exchange for an array of branding benefits” for enterprise clients, Cruz said. Those benefits often include digital and printed ads and space in press releases—“anything that would ultimately help our clients fortify their marketing strategy that they hire us to do.”

The not-for-profit organizations that receive these micro-sponsorships range from home-owners associations and PTAs to local chapters of the Susan G. Komen breast cancer research nonprofit, Cruz said. Zipsprout’s reach extends across the United States and some cities in Canada, and the company works not only with large enterprises but also small- to medium-sized companies. “We do local to local, too,” Cruz said.

In a recent campaign for online home sales website Opendoor, Zipsprout arranged a series of eight events over a period of one month in June and July this year. Opendoor offers a product that can be complicated to simplify, and these events provided an opportunity for the company to educate its target audience and create some leads, Cruz said.

In this campaign, Zipsprout arranged for Opendoor to help sponsor events like the Raleigh International Food Festival, the Pig City Pig Fest, and a food truck rodeo, Cruz said. In return for its sponsorship, Opendoor hosted pop-ups onsite at the events in order to engage one-on-one with the local target audience. Zipsprout arranged the partnership and then organized and set up the on-site event spaces for Opendoor, Cruz said.

At the Raleigh International Food Festival, which is a family-friendly event, Opendoor aimed to target and educate families who were considering buying or selling homes in the near future, Cruz said, adding that events like these strengthen brand awareness and deliver on-site engagement.

“Claudia and team enabled us to build local awareness with thousands of potential customers at events, leading to several directly attributable contracts. We were pleased with the results and hope to work with Zipsprout to meet and serve more customers in the future,” wrote Owen Boochever, a representative for OpenDoor, in an email to Street Fight.

“Not only do you get the brand visibility, the brand relevance, and the brand permanence—there is an opportunity to create impressions onsite,” Cruz said about Zipsprout’s corporate sponsorship advertising model.