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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Should Your Community Sponsorships Be Managed Separately from Other Sponsorships?

I’ve lost count of the number of sponsors I’ve worked with who managed their community sponsorship portfolio separately from their other sponsorships. In most cases, their “commercial” sponsorships were managed by the sponsorship or brand team, while their community sponsorships were managed by corporate relations (or similar). Different teams, different agendas, different KPIs. This is so common, it could almost be called the norm, but that doesn’t make it a good idea. In fact, by approaching sponsorship this way, you’re doing a disservice to your brand, the power of sponsorship, and your communities. Sponsorship is sponsorship This approach usually stems from the misguided idea that some sponsorships are for achieving “real” objectives – objectives that […] Read More

What Should a Rightsholder Include in a Year-End Sponsorship ROI Report?

Nothing. Measuring sponsorship is not your job. You’re probably thinking to yourself, “If I can’t prove what the sponsorship delivered, then they won’t renew”. And to an extent, you’re right. If the sponsor doesn’t know what they accomplished, they’re not going to renew. But it’s not your responsibility to measure returns, and more to the point, it’s impossible. In this rewrite of a vintage blog, I’m going to show you why, and what you should do instead. Rightsholders can’t measure results The only organisation that can measure the returns against a sponsor’s objectives is the sponsor. When a sponsor invests in sponsorship, they are investing in opportunity, not results. It’s the sponsor’s leverage program that […] Read More

How Do Sponsors Evaluate Sponsorship Proposals?

Sponsorship proposal evaluation comes down to two major factors: What you offer; and who you submit it to. These are the factors that will tell a sponsor whether what you’re offering is right for them, whether you’ll be easy to work with, and whether you have the skills and approach that will allow today’s modern sponsors to make the most of what you’re offering. In this blog, I’m going to address both of these critical factors. Your proposal Both the structure and content of your proposal will tell a sponsor a lot about whether, and to what degree, your offer is worth consideration. Most sponsors will evaluate a sponsorship proposals on these factors, in roughly […] Read More

Why You Shouldn’t Sell Sponsor Mentions as a Sponsorship Benefit

It used to be that 99% of sponsorship proposals were made up of the following four or five benefits: Logos on things Tickets to things Some kind of hospitality An official designation Some kind of exhibition space or speaking slot (if applicable) The result was that hundreds of thousands of amazing properties were commoditising themselves; selling themselves as a numbers game, and ignoring their real value to sponsors. (For more on how modern sponsorship really works, read my white paper, “Disruptive Sponsorship”.) In recent years, another benefit has joined that list of low-value, hygiene benefits: Social media mentions I’ve worked with a lot of rightsholders that have told me how this has given them “more […] Read More

Sponsors: How to Increase Sponsorship Sophistication and Results Across a Large Organisation

You’re the Chief Marketing Officer of a large multinational, or a Group Marketing Manager. Whatever your title, you’re a senior executive looking at millions of dollars being invested in corporate sponsorship across your company, and you know there are problems. Some of the decisions appear to lack rigour. Some brands sponsor strategically, while others appear to be picking partners out of a hat. Some investments are barely leveraged, while others aren’t leveraged at all. You may have noticed that the degree of sophistication applied to sponsorship is dependent on the individual managing the brand, and can change dramatically when that person moves on. You may even be seeing some bright spots, and wondering how you […] Read More

How Many Times Do You Have to Miss Your Sponsorship Target before You Change Your Approach?

How many times will you miss your sponsorship target? How many times will you scramble for rats and mice sponsorship to make up a shortfall? How many times will you ask your board to hit up their well-connected friends, because your business case isn’t getting money in the door? How many times will you point to workload, economic conditions, unreasonable sponsors who “just don’t get it”, or sheer bad luck, when you fail to balance the bottom line? How many excuses will you make? At some point, your excuses and workarounds just aren’t going to cut it anymore, and your organisation will need to accept that it’s nobody’s fault but yours. Yeah, I know… sounds […] Read More

Ambush Marketing has Never Been Easier… or More Pointless

I was recently discussing sponsorship with a brand manager, when she said that she didn’t understand why brands would bother with sponsorship anymore, when they can use microtargeting to get their messages to the same people without sponsorship. She contended that unless a brand was using the sponsorship to secure vending rights, or some other direct sales benefit, that they should just use social media to ambush. At that point, I was wondering if marketing was really her calling, as she was demonstrating an alarming lack of understanding of how marketing, sponsorship, or you know… people actually work. New tech, old thinking Twenty-odd years ago, the internet was exploding, and brands were shouting from the […] Read More

Valuing Contra vs Cash Sponsorship

This is another of my vintage blogs, reworked and updated to reflect changes in best practice, and new angles. How to value contra, otherwise known as in-kind, sponsorship is a question I get almost every day. What is most interesting is how differently sponsors and sponsorship seekers view contra, and they both overcomplicate what is really quite a simple equation. Sponsorship seekers take contra for granted. Well, okay… most sponsorship seekers take contra for granted. The attitude is, “those airline seats would be empty anyway, so why do we have to put a value on them?” Newsflash: If you didn’t get those seats through contra, you would have to pay someone for them, so they […] Read More

The Problem with Sponsorship Levels

This is a total rewrite of one of my most popular blogs. For years, this blog has sat squarely in the top five, and according to analytics, virtually everyone gets here because they’ve done a search on something like, “How to create sponsorship levels”. The problem is, sponsors hate levels. Gold-silver-bronze, or whatever cutesy, “creative” names you’ve put on them, sponsors see a proposal full of set packages, arranged by size, and they know you don’t get it. They think you’re unsophisticated. They think you’re inflexible. They may even think you’re lazy. And they know for sure that you either don’t know or don’t care what they are trying to accomplish, because if you did, you’d […] Read More

Disruptive Sponsorship: Like Disruptive Marketing, Only Better (white paper)

I’ve got a brand new white paper! It’s all about how sponsorship broke the ground that Disruptive Marketing is now claiming, and how we’re going to stay at the forefront by bringing more meaning to the equation than any other marketing media possibly can. It’s full of big trends, bigger ideas, and keys to finding your own inspiration. As a bonus, you’ll have plenty of comeback, next time some wannabe marketer snarks on at you about how sponsorship is just about exposure or “the halo effect”. This white paper attacks the subject from primarily the sponsor’s point of view, but rightsholders will find a lot of benefit in being able to identify and talk about Disruptive Sponsorship, and the enormous […] Read More