non-profits Archives - Power Sponsorship

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

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

Bad Idea #148: Outsourcing Sponsorship Sales to an Online Stranger

In amongst the pile of emails in my inbox the other morning was one of the stranger requests for advice I’ve ever received. The sender was looking for sponsorship sales work, but wasn’t sure how to pitch for a job listed on Elance, or whether it was even worth it. Now, for anyone not familiar with Elance or ODesk or other outsourcing websites, these are platforms that allow you to list a job – generally with very specific parameters and outcomes – and then freelancers from around the world bid for the job. Bids can be incredibly low, but so can expertise levels. You get to decide who to hire, and most hires have a […] Read More

How Do You Sell Sponsorship to an Old-School Sponsor?

There is no question in my mind that the Global Financial Crisis was great for our industry. Note, I said “great”, not “easy”. It was great because it dramatically increased the sophistication level of sponsors, as they had to deal with a new level of accountability. What we are seeing now is that, generally, sponsors are ahead of sponsorship seekers in sophistication. As a result, much of this blog and The Sponsorship Seeker’s Toolkit have been focused on helping those sponsorship seekers to effectively sell and service this new era of sponsors. There are also a lot of sponsorship seekers who “get it” – more every day – and when they come across a potential […] Read More

How Do You Get a Fire-Sale Sponsor to Renew at a Realistic Level?

You shouldn’t have. You know you shouldn’t have. But you did. You sold a sponsorship at way below market value because time was getting short and so was your budget. Most sponsors won’t take up a fire-sale sponsorship. They know that their results come not from the sponsorship itself, but from the leverage they do around it. That takes time, so they don’t invest when they don’t have enough time – no matter how cheap. The sponsors who do take up fire-sale sponsors tend not to be very sophisticated and they expect the property to deliver their results, and can be some of the worst sponzillas around. That’s not the worst outcome of a fire-sale […] Read More

Should You Accept Sponsorship from a Controversial Brand?

Australia has a refugee problem. More to the point, we have a problem with refugees packed onto overcrowded, unseaworthy boats, leaving Indonesia and making for our northernmost island outposts. While nearly all of those people are eventually found to be genuine refugees with a right to settle in Australia, what happens between their dangerous sea journey and that decision is fraught with controversy. And in the past couple of months, it’s become a sponsorship controversy, as well. Our Federal Government has decided that the best course of action is “offshore processing”, so these asylum-seekers are transported to detention centres on the Pacific Island nation of Nauru and Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. Whether this […] Read More

What Should You Do When Your Board Sets Unrealistic Sponsorship Targets?

If you’re a sponsorship seeker, at least one of these will sound familiar: Your organisation is planning an expansion or other costly activity, so your board increases your sponsorship target, or Your government funding is cut, so your board increases your sponsorship target, or Your donations have dropped, so your board increases your sponsorship target, or Your attendance has dropped, so your board increases your sponsorship target, or One of your competitors scores a big sponsorship, so your board increases your sponsorship target We have all been in this position at one time or another, but the current economic situation has everyone under pressure, and when many boards don’t understand how sponsorship works, and that sponsors […] Read More

Six Signs a Sponsor is Just Not That into You

Okay, so I’m sitting on the couch watching the fun chick-flick, “He’s Just Not That Into You”. I’m loving it. Too rare. As usual, I can’t stop thinking about sponsorship. So, I think to myself, there are a few signs that sponsorship seekers consistently miss that could tell them that a sponsor just isn’t that into them. So, brace yourself for the cold, hard truth about how to read the signs so you can let it go, and move on to something more fruitful. They tell you to “just send in a proposal” This is a sponsor saying “leave me alone”, without being rude. In actual fact, it’s unintentionally cruel, because it gets the sponsorship […] Read More

Action Plan: What to Do when a Big Sponsor Exits

This is the nightmare for much of our industry. I’m guessing some of you may develop a facial tic just thinking about it! And yet, it happens. Sponsorships end, and if it’s unexpected or done without a lot of lead-time, you need an action plan and you need one fast. So, it’s time to stop with the misery and crying in your beer. It’s time to stop with the wishful thinking and desultory casting about for ideas. It’s time for action, and I’ve got few steps to get you going. Get feedback If you didn’t see this coming, you’ve got to do an exit interview right now. Find out: What led to the decision? Whether […] Read More

Can We Target Multiple Sponsors at the Same Time?

This is a question I get at least a couple of times a week. Generally, it refers to approaching multiple sponsors in the same category – ice cream, insurance, sporting goods, etc – at the same time. Sometimes, the question is about a naming rights sponsorship, and whether they can approach multiple sponsors in any category for naming rights at the same time. My answer to all of those is “yes”. It is totally reasonable to approach multiple sponsors at the same time. In fact, it’s usually the most realistic approach. Your sponsorship sales window is only so long, and it can take sponsors weeks or months to make a decision. Waiting for one bank […] Read More