The Strategic Sponsorship Process in a Non-Profit Sport Organization, pp. 49-59

Alison Doherty
Martha Murray

Synchro Canada is the non-profit national governing body for synchronized swimming in Canada. It is one of 54 national sport organizations (NSO) supported by Sport Canada, the federal government agency responsible for amateur sport in Canada, and one of 39 NSOs that compete at the Olympic level. At the time of the study, Synchro Canada was run by a professional staff of nine individuals located in the national office in Gloucester, Ontario, and the National Coach and Team Manager located at the National High Performance Training Centre in Etobicoke, Ontario. The organization was guided by an eight-member national volunteer Board of Directors (see Appendix A). Synchro Canada offered programs and services in sport development, coaching, marketing, national team, and officials (see Appendix B). There were over 10,000 registered members with Synchro Canada, and it was estimated that there were an additional 10,000 participants in local programs. Synchronized swimmers were 99% females, although it was believed that interest by male participants was growing (see Appendix B). Synchro Canada performed its sponsorship activities in-house, rather than contracting out to an external agency. The sport’s product had qualities that enhanced the likelihood of sponsorship success: Synchronized swimming is an Olympic sport, and Canadian swimmers have had a very successful international medal record (see Appendix C). According to Sport Canada, Synchro Canada’s sponsorship activities were relatively successful in comparison to other national sport organizations, based on percentage of sponsorship budget actually attained in a given year.