cmo must reads Archives - Power Sponsorship

8 Ways to Ensure Your Sponsorship Portfolio Underperforms

I’ve blogged on and on about the big issues that affect our industry; about the critical factors that drive sponsorship results. But sometimes, it’s not the big mistakes that trip sponsors up. Sometimes it’s just getting one or two things wrong that undoes every other great thing you try to do. It’s the weak link that will cause the whole system to fail. Below, I’ve outlined eight mistakes. Do any one of these, and your sponsorship results will suffer. Do a few, and you’ll be lucky to get any results against your objectives at all. Put decision-making into one person’s hands I don’t care how much of a genius brand or sponsorship manager you may […] Read More

Anatomy of a Corporate Sponsorship Manager (Infographic)

Great corporate sponsorship managers (and brand managers with substantial sponsorship portfolios) need a specific set of traits to be effective. If a manager has all of these traits, the sponsorship portfolio will be integrated across multiple channels, cost far less to leverage, and perform far better against objectives. Without these traits, the portfolio is destined to cost more and deliver less. For a quick rundown of those key traits, check out the infographic below. For a more in-depth analysis of what goes into a great corporate sponsorship manager, and how to fix or balance any deficiencies, see 8 Traits of a Great Corporate Sponsorship Manager.     Need more assistance? For all you need to know […] Read More

Favourite Sponsorship Leverage Hack: Don’t Sponsor the Property, Sponsor the Fans

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

How to Structure a Sponsorship Portfolio

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

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

For Outstanding Sponsorship, Minimise Analysis and Focus on Process

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

8 Traits of a Great Corporate Sponsorship Manager

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

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