best practice sponsorship Archives - Power Sponsorship

The Most and Least Powerful Sponsorship Benefits

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

Which Generation Corporate Sponsor Are You?

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

Announcing My 2016 Power Sponsorship Workshops in Sydney and Auckland

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

Fighting the Wrong Fight: Corporate Ego vs Sponsorship Strategy

I’m on a plane, flying into a speaking gig in Minnesota. Just before getting on the plane, someone sent me a tweet referencing a stoush between the Minnesota Vikings and Wells Fargo, principal tenant of two nearby office towers. US Bank is naming rights sponsor of the new stadium and there is an agreement in place limiting the types of signage that Wells Fargo can put on the buildings. This hasn’t stopped them wanting to have offices in the building, so that would appear to be the end of that. Except that it isn’t. In addition to several 18m long, illuminated logos at the top of the 17-storey buildings, which are already allowed as part […] Read More

How to Get Internal Buy-In for a Diamond-in-the-Rough Sponsorship

We’ve all been there. You’ve got a proposal for a sponsorship with “potential”, but you know getting it over the line will be next to impossible. Maybe there’s a ton of relevance for your target market, but the property is new and untried. Maybe you can think of a million great angles for leverage, but the property isn’t super-sexy. Or maybe your company just has a fixed idea of what a “major sponsorship” looks like. Some sponsorship opportunities are amazing, with the value absolutely apparent to anyone who sees the proposal. But there are also many diamonds-in-the-rough that could do amazing things for your brand, if you can get the buy in. What you don’t […] Read More

The Minefield of Selling Major Sponsorship to a CEO

I was recently forwarded a link to a video showcasing how Chelsea Football Club went about replacing their principal partner. The link was accompanied by the message, “I bet this will make you sick.” He wasn’t wrong. I will say that Chelsea FC was successful in gaining a new principal sponsor in Yokohama, and well done to them. I don’t know if this approach was used on Yokohama or not, but either way, I wish them both a long and fruitful relationship. That said, there are still some serious issues raised around this approach, and those issues are exacerbated by the decision to publicise it. Before I make my case, you should probably have a look: […] Read More

Can’t Keep Up? 5 Ways to Simplify Sponsorship Servicing

Back when I started in this business, sponsor servicing was almost non-existent. Properties (usually) delivered the benefits, then the next time a sponsor would hear from them was when the renewal request came through. Then, there was a long period when sponsor servicing was primarily about kissing the arse of your key contact. All it required was some VIP invites, a meet-and-greet with someone famous, and a few long lunches and everyone was happy. Until you tried to renew and there was someone new in the role. Thankfully, a lot has changed, and sponsees have realised that after-sale servicing is a critical factor for… Ensuring the sponsor gets a great result from the sponsorship Ensuring the […] Read More

The Captain Kirk Guide to Breaking Sponsorship Rules

I can admit it: I’m a nerd. I love science fiction, hate JarJar Binks, and have stood in my back garden with my daughter, waving at the International Space Station as it’s flown overhead on dozens of occasions. So, when I thought of writing a blog about breaking sponsorship’s rules, for me, there could be no better parallel than Captain Kirk and the Kobayashi Maru. For the uninitiated, this is a test given to prospective Starfleet captains. It involves rescuing the neutronic fuel carrier, Kobayashi Maru, from the Klingon neutral zone. It’s made to be unwinnable, and yet Kirk beat the test. How? He broke the rules and changed the game. Winning in sponsorship isn’t […] Read More

Why Using Sponsorship for Data Acquisition is a Bad Idea

Sponsors around the world are becoming preoccupied with data acquisition – to the point where it is a primary goal of many sponsorship strategies.  This is a big mistake. I’m not saying data acquisition is a bad thing – far from it. Adding to and rounding out your databases is clearly raising the usefulness and value of a major marketing tool. But making it a focal point of a sponsorship program has some major flaws that could damage, not enhance, your results. It pushes the “cynic” button Best practice sponsorship is all about providing small, meaningful wins to lots of people – lots of “fans” of whatever you’re sponsoring. (For more on best practice, read […] Read More

The One Critical Skill Most Sponsorship Professionals Lack

Sponsorship isn’t easy. It’s complex and sophisticated and it requires many very specific skills to do it well. But there is one skill that I have found to be the most consistently lacking across sponsorship professionals on both sides of the equation: They have forgotten what it’s like to be a fan. They haven’t forgotten about the fans. Not at all. Sponsors want to connect with them and influence them. Sponsorship seekers know their fanbase is their most valuable asset. But valuing the fans as customers or commodities is not the same as understanding and valuing the fan experience. Forgetting what it’s like to be a fan is epidemic in our industry. We can’t go to […] Read More