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
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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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
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
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
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
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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