Sponsorship does not begin and end with procurement. An often bypassed, but extremely important part of securing a sponsorship is the legal construction of same. Sometimes these deals, big and small, are wrapped up with a handshake. Other times, with a thorough, long-form contract.
At Heitner Legal, we always encourage memorializing a deal in writing and with as much specificity as possible. Spending a little bit up money up-front can save you a lot of money on the back-end. Additionally, should something unforeseen arise, then you should have the luxury of relying on the terms of an agreement that you have reduced to writing.
As a lawyer frequently drafting and negotiating sponsorship contracts, I have seen many shifts over the past few years. The most glaring change has been at first the inclusion of social media obligations, which changed to social media being a material clause. Today, there are some contracts that are solely dedicated to social media deliverables. It is hard to find any documents in the sponsorship space that do not at least devote a few lines to social media.
Look for brands in 2017 to focus more on figuring out a formula to better determine return on investments in this Internet and mobile dominated world. Additionally, expect activation to become a larger component of the overall sponsorship equation.