cmo must reads Archives - Power Sponsorship

Sponsors: What If You Could Start Over?

It’s still early in the year – the time when people wipe the slate, make resolutions, and dedicate themselves to doing better. It’s when people give themselves permission to start over. What if we applied that thinking to corporate sponsorship? What if sponsors took some time out from dealing with the administration of sponsorship and the improvement of sponsorship, and instead, dedicated themselves to the potential of sponsorship. What if they asked themselves this one question: If you had the same sponsorship budget, but no commitments, what would the perfect sponsorship portfolio for your brand(s) and target markets look like? I do this for my corporate clients all the time. In its formal iteration, it […] Read More

How Much Should You Budget for Sponsorship Leverage?

There has been a fair bit of chatter online about what the standard sponsorship leverage ratio should be. That is, how much incremental money should you budget for your leverage program, as a ratio to the sponsorship fee paid. People have offered up 1:1 (spend one dollar leveraging for every dollar spent on a sponsorship fee), 2:1, and 3:1 in the discussions. If you pay attention to IEG, you’ll know they recently reported an average leverage spend of 1.4:1 in 2009. And there are plenty of that media hail big leverage spenders as being at the vanguard of sponsorship. I disagree with all of that. Vehemently. Spending that much, incrementally, flies in the face of […] Read More

The Other Ambush: Standing Up for What’s Right when Sponsors Don’t

Normally, when the Olympics roll around, I’m having a field day picking apart sponsorship strategies and, in particular, analysing the ambush marketing activities. Truth be told, ambush marketing gets me a bit giddy, lying as it does at the intersection of strategy and troublemaking. But this time around, the ambushers haven’t come to the party like they have in the past. Hell, the sponsors haven’t even come to the party. I can just see all the usual ambush marketing suspects gloating – not because they’ve done something so clever to gain marketing benefit for their brands, but because they’re the lucky ones with no IOC contracts, so they can stay well away from this debacle. […] Read More

Olympic Sponsor Cowardice is Bad for Business

Sochi 2014 is a debacle. The past week or so has been all about the coverage of unfinished hotels, major infrastructure issues, the killing of Sochi’s stray dogs, and ridiculous inadequacies of some of the Olympic venues. But this was a debacle way before all of the “Where the hell did the $51 billion go?” questions were asked. It’s about human rights and Russia’s apocalyptic decision that only heterosexual people have them. This isn’t the forum to debate whether Russia’s LGBT laws constitute a human rights violation – and I honestly can’t see where there’s anything to debate – but there are sponsors involved, and that I’m happy to address. Sponsors didn’t ask for this […] Read More

The Enemy of Effective Sponsorship Measurement

I’ve written at length about sponsorship measurement. I’ve written books, blogs, and even did a video tutorial. But I’ve never really addressed why sponsorship measurement so often and persistently goes awry. It’s a little concept called “confirmation bias”. “Confirmation bias” is the tendency for people to seek out and interpret research in a way that confirms that either what they already believe is true, or what they hope is true. For more, check out “confirmation bias” on Wikipedia. There are a number of reasons why someone who knows better would rather have ineffective measures that show success, than effective measures that might not: “Measurement” of an investment that had no set objectives or benchmarks (because you […] Read More

Why Be a Sponsor?

That’s a good question, and one I get more than you would think. Over the past few years, sponsors all over the world have looked at the limited returns they were getting from old-school sponsorship and realising that things had to change. Many saw the light and have made big changes to best practice sponsorship, and are now reaping the benefits. Some have realised that change is inevitable, but have put it in the too-hard basket, relegating their results to ho-hum (at best) until they pull their fingers out and do something about it. And some don’t see the benefits of best practice at all. Instead, they have consigned all sponsorship to the category of […] Read More

Does Sponsorship Affect Share Price?

It was with some amusement that I read the following article, “The Impact of Sponsorship on Share Price Brand Value”. The main assertion is that companies that sponsor have better performing share prices than companies that don’t. On one hand, I can believe that there is a correlation. On the other, I think implying causation could be a long bow to draw. Sponsorship, and in particular modern, strategic sponsorship, is a powerful marketing tool. Is the correlation in share price performance simply because better, more aggressive, creative, strategic marketers choose sponsorship? In other words, do companies who are better, more strategic marketers have better-performing share prices, and investing in sponsorship is just another symptom of […] Read More

How to Hire a Corporate Sponsorship Consultant

Sponsorship consultants are a dime a dozen – I’m one – but we are far from a homogenous group. When it comes to hiring one to assist with your sponsorship program, do you know how to get what you’re looking for? I’ve written this blog to assist both sponsors and sponsorship seekers to find the right person or agency for their needs. If you get what you’re looking for, you’ll fit together like peas in a pod. If not, it will be more like peas in a blender, and no one wants that. I’m not including sponsorship brokers in this blog, as that’s really a different type of consulting altogether – selling, largely on commission. […] Read More

Negotiating and Managing Multi-Brand Sponsorship

I tell sponsorship seekers all the time, “Don’t approach the company, approach the brand”. The underlying principle is that companies will generally have one brand that is clearly the best fit for a sponsorship opportunity. This is true for sponsors, as well, and most sponsors have embraced brand sponsorship as the default position for investment. There are, of course, a couple of exceptions. The first is when a sponsorship creates a platform that is large, relevant, and flexible enough that it can be leveraged across an entire portfolio of brands. An example would be if Kellogg’s sponsored the World Cup. They could make that work across their brand portfolio and most, if not all, regions. […] Read More

How to Create Sponsorship Vision When Your Company has a Pole Up Its Bum

Best practice sponsorship is strategic. It’s creative. It’s amazingly multifaceted, measurable, and just bloody amazing. But it’s also different, and a lot of companies just aren’t good at change. Change requires vision, so if that’s what’s needed, establishing that becomes your job. Before we get into how to fix it, let’s talk about a few of the major categories of vision-challenged sponsors. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it This is a big one for market leaders. So many market leaders are terrible sponsors. They haven’t changed the way sponsorship has been done for at least ten years – aside from some uninspired social media activity – and seem to lack any sort of vision […] Read More