ASIA'S advertising industry has been urged to work together with sponsored events organisers to develop the potential of this promotional medium in the region. But the advertising industry should not view sponsored events as a direct threat to the advertising dollar, the head of a sponsored events promoting company said recently. Corporate Sponsorship Services International (CSSI) chairman Barrie Gill said event sponsorship - the new 'fourth promotional medium' alongside advertising, public relations and sales promotions - attracted US$10.8 billion in investment around the world last year. But Asia still had a long way to go if the region was to realise its full potential for sponsored events, he said. Mr Gill, whose British-based company has worked with more than 200 international clients in excess of 30 different sports and other event categories, established CSS Promotions Hong Kong and China last year. CSS had been active in Hong Kong, promoting the first three Hong Kong-to-Beijing motor rallies and finding the sponsor for the first Reebok Hong Kong-China Marathon. Mr Gill felt the benefits of event sponsorship had been underestimated. Mr Gill outlined four reasons in favour of sponsoring events. First, events were ideal for impressing key decision-makers by providing quality hospitality. Second, events helped to create an appropriate and lasting image for a product. Third, events entertained and excited the population, creating a powerful goodwill effect towards the company or product. Fourth, sponsors had an opportunity to enhance their corporate image by donating event proceeds to a charity. Mr Gill said event sponsorship - which could cross all borders - was the perfect antidote to the fragmentation of media channels. 'The right events can achieve TV and media exposure in the majority of key markets,' he said. 'There is an enormous appetite for new events, an appetite sharpened by the screen wars being waged by STAR TV, ESPN, Sky, Eurosport and the terrestrials.' But Mr Gill said events had to be appropriate and professional if they were to succeed.