Kim Skildum-Reid's Sponsorship Blog

I'm Kim Skildum-Reid. I've been doing sponsorship for a long time, and I really love it. I'm also never short of an opinion, idea, story, or rant, so the fact that I have a blog is a good thing. Otherwise, my friends and family would bear the brunt of it, and most of them really couldn't give a rat's bum.

Most of this blog is about sponsorship, or occasionally some other aspect of marketing. In addition to current blogs posted in date order, you can also search using the topic list to the right. If you need a big running start, check out Best of Kim's Blogs for curated lists of blogs on hot topics.

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How a Great Sponsorship Proposal Follows a Hollywood Story Arc

Most sponsorship proposals are awful. They’re uncustomised and often arranged in levels; They’re self-centred, having absolutely nothing to do with the sponsor, their brand, target markets, or objectives; They don’t make a complete business case; And they’re structured so poorly that it’s actually difficult to make sense of them. If you’re guilty of even one of these things, selling sponsorship is going to be monumentally more difficult for you. I’ve got lots of resources for addressing these issues listed at the bottom of this article, but I wanted to let you in on a trick I’ve been teaching in my sponsorship workshops for the past few years that I really haven’t covered here before: A great sponsorship proposal […] Read More

8 Ways to Ensure Your Sponsorship Portfolio Underperforms

I’ve blogged on and on about the big issues that affect our industry; about the critical factors that drive sponsorship results. But sometimes, it’s not the big mistakes that trip sponsors up. Sometimes it’s just getting one or two things wrong that undoes every other great thing you try to do. It’s the weak link that will cause the whole system to fail. Below, I’ve outlined eight mistakes. Do any one of these, and your sponsorship results will suffer. Do a few, and you’ll be lucky to get any results against your objectives at all. Put decision-making into one person’s hands I don’t care how much of a genius brand or sponsorship manager you may […] Read More

Sponsorship Beginners Can’t Get a Break (nor Should They)

I get emails all the time from people who read my blogs or watch my tutorials. Most have specific questions or just want to thank me for the information. But all too often, I get emails from someone who has read a couple of blogs – with all of the details and angles and advice – and their heads have exploded. They say, “I’m a beginner. Surely, I won’t be expected to do all of this?!” And I’m thinking, “All of this?? What you’re referring to is about 1% of what is expected of a sponsorship seeker!” I get one-line emails saying, “How do I get sponsorship?” When I refer them to The Sponsorship Seeker’s Toolkit […] Read More

Anatomy of a Corporate Sponsorship Manager (Infographic)

Great corporate sponsorship managers (and brand managers with substantial sponsorship portfolios) need a specific set of traits to be effective. If a manager has all of these traits, the sponsorship portfolio will be integrated across multiple channels, cost far less to leverage, and perform far better against objectives. Without these traits, the portfolio is destined to cost more and deliver less. For a quick rundown of those key traits, check out the infographic below. For a more in-depth analysis of what goes into a great corporate sponsorship manager, and how to fix or balance any deficiencies, see 8 Traits of a Great Corporate Sponsorship Manager.     Need more assistance? For all you need to know […] Read More

Favourite Sponsorship Leverage Hack: Don’t Sponsor the Property, Sponsor the Fans

I’ve published a few sponsorship hacks over the years. Most of them have to do with a process shortcut – something to streamline or speed up a time-intensive part of your job. But this one is different. This is about a mindset shortcut – a way of thinking about sponsorship so you take the most direct route to getting great sponsorship returns. In the early days of sponsorship, the thinking went something like this… “If we connect our brand strongly enough with this property we sponsor, all the people who love that museum/event/team/whatever will transfer some of that love to us.” Yeah, that doesn’t happen. There’s no research that supports it, but we don’t even […] Read More

The First Sponsor Meeting (and How Not to Make an Idiot of Yourself)

You’ve done the homework and you’re on the cusp of actually talking to the sponsor. What to do… what to do… Well, what most sponsorship seekers do is totally lose their mind. They get so excited about actually getting an audience with a sponsor that the first thing they do is launch into an extended, hyperactive tirade about how great their property is. They totally miss that the sponsor’s eyes glazed over after about thirty seconds. You should never go into an initial sponsor meeting or phone call thinking you’re there to pitch. You’re not. Your first interaction with a potential sponsor is primarily about three things: That process is not difficult, but it does […] Read More

Don’t Send a Sponsorship Proposal Until You Read This

Most sponsorship proposals are total crap. They are all about the sponsorship seeker, not taking the sponsor’s needs or markets into consideration at all. They are totally uncustomised – making full use of the search-and-replace function (hated by sponsors everywhere) – which is inexcusable, given the technology at hand to give you the insight you need. If you want to create a customised offer for a sponsor – one that will grab their imagination and showcase how they can use this investment to get closer to their customers and achieve their specific objectives – you need information, and plenty of it. This is the type of information you must know about a brand before you’re […] Read More

How Much Should You Pay a Sponsorship Broker?

I was recently involved as an expert witness in a case involving broker remuneration. As I reeled through all of the ways a broker can be compensated, and the various factors that go into determining the remuneration level, I realised that I hadn’t addressed this subject in my blog for a long time. Never fear, here is the fully revised and updated guide to hiring and paying a sponsorship broker. Types of broker remuneration There are three types of broker remuneration, and most brokers are paid on some combination of these: When sponsorship brokering was first around, it was fully commission-based. There was then a trend toward an up-front fee plus commission. Now, the norm has […] Read More

How to Structure a Sponsorship Portfolio

Most of my blogs address issues and opportunities presented by individual sponsorships or overall approaches. It isn’t often that I address sponsorship at the portfolio level in this blog, and it’s probably about time to address portfolio structures that work, and a few that don’t. Fewer, bigger sponsorships As the importance of leveraging your sponsorships in a creative, meaningful way has gone mainstream, so has the realisation of how much time and effort goes into doing it well. Many a sponsor has looked at their vast, fragmented portfolio and thrown up their hands in exasperation, realising that they will never be able to do them all justice with the resources they have. Enter the “fewer, bigger” […] Read More

Top 11 Sponsorship Proposal Killers

I see a lot of sponsorship proposals, and most of them are terrible. Your property may be amazing, but if your proposal is awful, you’re not going to get a “yes”. The thing is that there are a number of red flags – proposal killers – that sponsors can spot a mile off. They say to a sponsor that you don’t understand them and what they need, you’re unsophisticated, and you’ll be hard to work with. If you can swap those proposal killers for a best-practice business case, you’ll allow what you’re selling to shine. So, here they are… the proposal killers. Sponsor logo I’m going to hazard a guess that 90% of the proposals […] Read More