cmo must reads Archives - Power Sponsorship

Is It Ever Okay to Invest in Sponsorship for Defensive Reasons?

When it comes to sponsorship selection, there are a few good reasons to do it, as well as a few bad reasons that are sometimes unavoidable, but often manageable. Good To change your target markets’ perceptions and behaviours around your brand To align with your customers and/or staff through their passions To reward your customers and/or staff To secure sales rights (provided the profit on projected sales is more than the sponsorship costs) Some combination of the above Bad, but generally manageable Senior executive choice  – for how to manage, see “How to Manage (or Get Rid of) a Senior Executive’s Pet Sponsorship“ Regional manager choice (for how to manage, see “Sponsorship Politics: How to […] Read More

Death to Beige Sponsorship!

Sponsors all over the world are embracing best practice sponsorship – adding value to the fan experience and favouring meaning and creativity over volume or visibility. This is fantastic, and as the gulf between great sponsors and old-school sponsors widens, more see the light and jump the chasm. Except the sponsors that don’t. They decide that their best approach is incremental improvement, and they count it as a “win” if their sponsorship isn’t as crap this year as it was last year. They’re no longer textbook terrible, but they are utterly lacking in distinction. All the sponsorships in the portfolio look virtually the same. They’re beige. As British politician Benjamin Disraeli once said, “The most dangerous strategy as […] Read More

How to Create a “Balanced” Sponsorship Portfolio

The other day, I had someone ask me how to ensure a sponsor’s sponsorship portfolio was “balanced” across sponsorship categories. Her concern was how to ensure that there was an even spread of sponsorship across sports vs charities vs community, etc, particularly given that sports sponsorship tends to be more costly. Oh, the alarm bells all of that set off! Now, there are a lot of ways to balance a sponsorship portfolio, but balancing categories isn’t one of them. When building (or auditing) a sponsorship portfolio, it’s all about what sponsorships are most relevant to your target markets, and will be leverageable for the greatest benefit to the brand. Those can fall into any category, […] Read More

Should Sponsorship Be an Extension of a Sponsor’s Marketing Plan?

A couple of years ago, it would have never occurred to me to write this blog. Things change, however, and I’ve now been involved in two situations just in the past few months that have caused a lot of strife, and heard about many more. The scenario… A large brand takes up naming rights sponsorship of a major event. Seemingly clueless to the basics of best practice sponsorship, they are under the impression that the sponsorship itself is going to deliver their results. (Even modestly-skilled sponsors know that it’s leverage – what a sponsor does with a sponsorship – that provides the results!) So, with nothing but the most cursory, old-school leverage planned – let’s […] Read More

Sponsorship Benefits Every Sponsor Should Want

Sponsorship is an amazingly creative medium. Unfortunately, most sponsors still lack the imagination to really harness it. Either that or they are so deep in a rut that they can’t even see they’re going in the wrong direction. They negotiate the same types of sponsorship, and for the same boring benefits, over and over again. They buy logos and tickets and stock-standard hospitality, with the overriding assumption – and point of comparison – that it’s largely a commodity business and more is better. WRONG! Go ahead and negotiate some of those commodity benefits, but understand that’s not where your real marketing opportunity lays. Instead, concentrate your efforts on getting the type of benefit that can […] Read More

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