Back when I started in this industry, visibility ruled, and the most powerful thing any sponsor could get was lots of logo exposure, and the bigger the logo, the better. Add a bit of hospitality, an athlete meet-and-greet, and if you were really forward-thinking, maybe a sales promotion, and that was really about as good as it got. I remember it vividly… and cringe. Thankfully, our industry has come a long way from there. Our understanding of how sponsorship works has been revolutionised. The sophistication of sponsors has grown exponentially, particularly since the Global Financial Crisis raised accountability to new heights. And technology and media fragmentation has meant that it is both easier and more […] Read More
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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I’ve been doing sponsorship a very long time, and I’ve seen the growth of best practice through four very distinct generations. When we finally got to this generation, Last Generation Sponsorship, it was like a thousand gigawatt light bulb went off over the head of our industry. It was a collective, “Of COURSE that’s what it’s about! What HAVE we been doing before this?!” It’s exciting. It’s amazing. It’s massively creative and fun. But not everyone saw that light. Every day, I meet sponsors who are stuck in one of the previous generations. Sometimes, it’s a lack of skill in frontline sponsorship staff. Other times, the sponsorship or brand manager gets it, but the organisational […] Read More
This blog is full of how-to about selling sponsorship. I thought I would do a quick round up of some of the very common ways sponsorship seekers undermine their own efforts. Need more assistance? For all you need to know about sponsorship sales and servicing, you may want to get a copy of The Sponsorship Seeker’s Toolkit 4th Edition. If you could use some additional support, I provide sponsorship coaching, sponsorship consulting, sponsorship training, and if you need a fast, cost-effective start, the Jump Start program. If you’re interested in any of these services, please review the materials and drop me a line to discuss: Kim Skildum-Reid email@example.com AU: +61 2 9559 6444 US: +1 612 326 5265 […] Read More
For most sponsors, decisions to invest in or renew a sponsorship are based primarily on analysis against a set of criteria. This may seem sensible, and bean counters love this approach, but it doesn’t actually work very well with sponsorship. I’ll go so far as to say that using analysis to drive your decisions is consigning your results to mediocrity, and the only way to achieve truly outstanding sponsorship is if the decisions around it are primarily process-driven. Below, I’ve outlined the typical, analysis-driven approach to sponsorship decisions, the far more effective and powerful process-driven approach, and some steps so that you can apply it within your own organisation. Analysis-driven sponsorship For new sponsorship investments, […] Read More
I’m often asked by clients to assist in writing the job description for hiring and managing sponsorship staff. What I come up with is invariably different than they thought it would be, with less emphasis on experience and more on their intrinsic traits. Let’s face it, corporate sponsorship is an unusual job, and if you’re thinking of hiring or promoting someone into a sponsorship role, you’re going to want someone with a somewhat unusual set of traits. Creating some kind of checklist that requires a certain level or type of university degree, X years of “relevant experience”, and so forth doesn’t actually tell you anything about their ability to do a good job at sponsorship […] Read More
I hear a lot of stories from sponsorship seekers. Stories filled with frustration, anguish, and sheer desperation. Most of the time, all of that could have been avoided, if they made some different choices along the way. This is a story – and some related advice – inspired by the emails I’ve received from the industry. Day 1 Woo-hoo, got the permit and the new festival is on! I know seven months isn’t a lot of time to plan and run a community festival, especially with only one paid employee (me) for now. The board says if I raise enough sponsorship, I can get some help. This is a GREAT event, so that shouldn’t be […] Read More
Seeking sponsorship is hard. Even if you do it perfectly, you’ll still hear “no” more than “yes”, and if your skills are less than best practice, you’re probably not hearing “yes” very often. If you’re struggling, you probably want some way to demonstrate what great value for money you’re going to provide. That’s when some of you consider hiring a valuation service. These are consultants that use some methodology or another to put a price tag on what you offer, and at first glance, this can seem like a great idea. You can point to the valuation and tell sponsors, “We’re offering $120,000 in benefits for only $80,000!” If only it worked that way. Seriously, I […] Read More
Organisations with charitable status often have enormous commercial potential, but more often than not, that potential goes unrealised. Instead, most charitable organisations make one big mistake after another, with the result being sponsorship income that is a fraction of what it could be. So, I’m going to go through some of the biggest mistakes made by organisations with charitable status. If you see your approach in any of this, please consider this a wake-up call, because sponsorship for you will get nothing but tougher and less fruitful for as long as you do any of these things. Appealing to their compassion Sponsors know that there are hundreds of thousands of charitable organisations that would welcome […] Read More
After selling out the past two years, and a huge schedule of workshops around the world in recent months, I’m bringing my sponsorship workshops back to Australia and New Zealand in July 2016. These workshops are the culmination of my 30 years in the industry, working with sponsorship professionals around the world, and they get amazing reviews. Seriously, check out these reviews!! Sydney Sponsorship seekers – 20-21 July Sponsors – 22 July Auckland Sponsorship seekers – 25-26 July Sponsors – 27 July I apply the same practical, in-depth, no-bull style to these workshops that I do to this blog. So, come along for a crash course in sponsorship that you’ll be able to apply immediately […] Read More
In an era of massive sponsorship clutter, many sponsors believe that if their investments are going to have a real impact – to “break through the clutter” – they need to sponsor at a high level. I’ve heard the phrase, “Go big or go home”, espoused at more sponsorship conferences than I can count. And while I understand the fired-up, chest-beating appeal of the phrase, the implication that only high-level sponsorships will deliver big returns is flatly wrong. Before I go on, let me say that I’ve got absolutely no issue with big, high-level sponsorships, if they’ll be leveraged in a manner that will make the most of that enormous platform. But you really don’t […] Read More