how-to Archives - Power Sponsorship

The Breaking Bad Guide to Sponsorship Sales

I’ve spent the past few months watching Breaking Bad as I fly around the world. And as I’ve beavered my way through the episodes – currently mid-season four, so no spoilers! – I realised that there are a number of valuable lessons that sponsorship seekers can learn from Walter White. If you’re not a Breaking Bad fan, some of these references may seem a bit obtuse, but the advice stands, so please read on. Be sure your offer is in a league of its own Walter’s meth is the best. Nothing else can touch it for quality, and that’s what you should be aspiring to. Sponsors receive hundreds, sometimes thousands, of proposals every single month. […] Read More

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

Selling Multi-Brand Sponsorship: The Cheat Sheet

I wrote a post a few months ago about negotiating and managing multi-brand sponsorship. Then, just this past week, I stumbled across a 2013 post by Oxfam, showcasing the best performers in their Behind the Brands Scorecard. That is, in and of itself, really interesting and should be read, but they also created an immensely useful infographic for understanding what companies own what brands in the consumer foods space. You’ll see that ten giant companies – which Oxfam estimates cumulatively sell US $1.1 billion a day – own almost every major food brand we see in our grocery stores. The infographic is over 18 months old and may be a little out of date, but would […] Read More

How Long Should You Follow Up on a Sponsorship Proposal?

This is a pretty common question in my inbox, with many sponsorship seekers telling me that they’ve left “literally dozens” of voicemails or had been following up on a proposal for months. Clearly, it’s time to address this subject, as so many people appear to be getting it wrong. First off, I am all for following up. Sponsors are busy and get lots of approaches, and it is both the prudent and professional thing to do. What I’m not in favour of is overdoing it. Following up too much, or for too long, doesn’t make you look committed and pro-active. It makes you look unprofessional and desperate, and neither is how you want a sponsor […] 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

The New Swear Words of Sponsorship

Years ago – like, seriously, twenty years ago – I did a presentation at a major conference where I called “exposure” and “awareness” the two swear words of sponsorship. After that, I used it in a few workshops and some writing, but somehow the concept stuck. Even now, I still have people quoting it back to me as a concept that changed their approach way back when. I’m very happy that, aside from some idiot logo-counting “measurement” agencies, our industry appears to have moved a long, long way past considering exposure and awareness as an important factor in sponsorship results. Yay! The downside? We now have a few new swear words of sponsorship. This particular raft […] 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

How NOT to Sell a Major Sports Sponsorship

“Lower Back Jersey Partner” Those were the only four words on an ad featured in an industry newsletter. This is where we’re going to put your logo, with the added benefit of time travel back to 1996. Ugh. We’re talking about a professional sports team that people LOVE 365 days a year. We’re talking about a team that elicits joy and tears and PASSION from their fans; a team full of heroes and larrikins and huge personalities. This is a team with a TRIBE of true blue fans, and respect from all sports fans. All of that – some of the most powerful factors that can be put to work to get a brand closer […] Read More

Is First Right of Refusal the Sponsorship Equivalent of a Ball and Chain?

First right of refusal is a valuable defensive benefit for a sponsor, guaranteeing them the opportunity to review and take up a new sponsorship at the end of the contract, before it’s offered to a competitor. The parties involved often assume that means it needs to be a similar offer to the one currently contracted – no matter how under-priced or badly structured it may be, or inappropriate it has become – making first right of refusal the sponsorship equivalent of a ball and chain. Thankfully, that’s not actually true, and you don’t have to live forever with a portfolio full of sponsorship mistakes. There are instances where you do have to offer a continuation […] Read More

Sponsorship Leverage Trick: The Aerosmith Technique

The year was 1986, and Aerosmith were over – has-beens, ten years past their prime. That was, until old-school (old-skool??) hip-hop group, Run-DMC sampled one of their hits and they teamed up to make one of the best videos of a generation. That crazy combination reinvented and rejuvenated Aerosmith back into the stratosphere – literally, in the case of “Armageddon”. It also catapulted hip-hop into the mainstream, where it’s been ever since. What does this have to do with sponsorship? Well, nothing… if all of your investments are working. On the other hand, if you’ve got some old, tired, ill-fitting sponsorships – sponsorships that have run their course, sponsorships you never should have had – […] Read More