Every business needs exposure. Even with the best product/ service at the most competitive price a company cannot be successful unless its target market know about them. Sales don’t come out of thin air and the importance of a successful marketing campaign is paramount. There are various marketing strategies, however, I shall focus here on just two; namely and sponsorship. are personalised gifts given away to raise awareness of a company. On the other hand, sponsorship links a company with a specific team or organisation to make the company’s name associated with the organisation or team, again to raise awareness of the company in question. I have chosen these two marketing methods as the subject of this article because they have many similarities but have important differences. First I shall explain what features they have in common.Take Virgin’s recent sponsorship deal with the new Formula 1 racing team Brawn GP. Richard Branson has taken a liking to Formula 1 and Virgin are now associated with Brawn GP. The Virgin brand will be seen written on Brawn GP cars, merchandise and clothing, with the result of raising awareness of the Virgin brand, as if it doesn’t need raising any more! But when considering what TV package to upgrade to from freeview, fans of Formula 1 may just choose Virgin over Sky because of this sponsorship deal. The Virgin name on replica caps, on mugs, on pens, on racing jackets, and on other merchandise has exactly the same result that gifts of have. They all aim to raise brand awareness. However, this is where the differences stop.The ease of distributing comes with the very fact that they are gifts- they are free! Take pens, for example. I can’t remember the last time I bought a pen but there are a fair few personalised pens lying around my house. No doubt I acquired these for free. (I am not a serial pen stealer I promise.) If I had to pay for a pen then I’m would have no branded pens at all. They are more expensive than a pack of 10 biros from the local stationary shop and during an economic recession I’m not going to be splashing out on expensive pens I can tell you. Sponsorship deals raise brand awareness by putting a company name where you already look i.e. in association with a sporting team you follow whereas are put in front of you because they offer you some value, or are of use to you, for free. They both do a similar marketing job. However, there is one important difference. Cost.Sponsoring a sporting team of a reasonable size, for example, can cost thousands whilst sponsoring a small organisation although may be cheaper, may not yield worthwhile results. Also, there is a risk associating your business name with that of another organisation. The reputation of those you sponsor could affect the reputation of your business. Using avoids this risk, and arguably more importantly, a successful marketing campaign with can be achieved at a fraction of the cost of a sponsorship deal. Your business name will be out there, there will be no risk to the reputation of your business and in two years when sponsorship deals expire your will still be dispersed far and wide because they will still offer free value. Ex-sponsors, however, will have their name removed from every place their name is advertised and will have to pursue alternative means of advertising.