sponsorship issues Archives - Power Sponsorship

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

6 Ways Sponsors Can Be Jerks, Without Even Knowing

This blog is for all the sponsors out there. And no, I don’t think you’re a bunch of jerks. Not at all. But there are some things that a lot sponsors do that unintentionally cause more strife for sponsorship seekers than is really necessary. Below is a list, as well as some suggestions for how you can achieve your own goals efficiently while keeping your sponsorship karma intact. Beating around the bush I know you don’t want to disappoint people, but it really isn’t helping a sponsee if you’re indirect. Don’t imply there’s a glimmer of hope, if there’s not. If the answer is “no”, just say “No”. Don’t tell a prospective sponsee that all of […] Read More

FIFA, the NFL, and the Strategic Benefit of Sponsor Activism

FIFA corruption allegations have been around for literally decades, and with good reason. At this point, I’m not even sure I need to call them “allegations” anymore, as anyone, anywhere, with a modicum of sense would concur that FIFA is full of self-involved, greedy, scumbags, and Sepp Blatter is the worst of the lot. But this blog isn’t about whether FIFA is corrupt, or even what needs to happen now to fix it. This is a blog about the sponsors’ role in affecting change in an ethical crisis, and how the way sponsors decide to handle that role will either benefit or harm their brand. Note, I said “benefit or harm”. When it comes to […] Read More

What is the Real Job of a Professional Sportsperson?

I’ve spent a lot of the past couple of years yelling at ESPN… and Fox Sports… and Deadspin. As a sponsorship consultant, I try to stay across at least the bigger stories in global sports, but the continuous flow of player scandals has made that the bloody most depressing part of my job. Across sports and around the world, the arrests and drugs and cheating and domestic violence seems to be reaching ridiculous proportions. The National Rugby League, here in Australia, seems to reel from one instance of player bad behaviour to another. And don’t get me started on the NFL, which seems to have absolutely no interest in doing anything meaningful to rub out […] Read More

Why Using Sponsorship for Data Acquisition is a Bad Idea

Sponsors around the world are becoming preoccupied with data acquisition – to the point where it is a primary goal of many sponsorship strategies.  This is a big mistake. I’m not saying data acquisition is a bad thing – far from it. Adding to and rounding out your databases is clearly raising the usefulness and value of a major marketing tool. But making it a focal point of a sponsorship program has some major flaws that could damage, not enhance, your results. It pushes the “cynic” button Best practice sponsorship is all about providing small, meaningful wins to lots of people – lots of “fans” of whatever you’re sponsoring. (For more on best practice, read […] Read More

The One Critical Skill Most Sponsorship Professionals Lack

Sponsorship isn’t easy. It’s complex and sophisticated and it requires many very specific skills to do it well. But there is one skill that I have found to be the most consistently lacking across sponsorship professionals on both sides of the equation: They have forgotten what it’s like to be a fan. They haven’t forgotten about the fans. Not at all. Sponsors want to connect with them and influence them. Sponsorship seekers know their fanbase is their most valuable asset. But valuing the fans as customers or commodities is not the same as understanding and valuing the fan experience. Forgetting what it’s like to be a fan is epidemic in our industry. We can’t go to […] Read More

7 Lies Media Tell about Sponsorship

Media is a tough business, and it’s getting tougher every day. With declining revenues and, in so many cases, staff reductions, fewer people are expected to do a good job covering more subjects and more stories. Books and blogs about getting media coverage are always telling marketers to take advantage of their overwork and provide stories that journalists can simply cut-and-paste, making their job easy and making it more likely that the angle you want covered will, in fact, be the angle taken. The problem with all of that is that sponsorship is a sophisticated, nuanced media, and has advanced well beyond being able to encapsulate its impact in some neat, headline-friendly number. It’s about passions, […] Read More

How to Respond to Sponsorship Spam

OMG, I get a lot of sponsorship spam. I bet I average a dozen or more spamsorship emails a day, and they all say virtually the same thing: Greetings! (No name, because that would mean they’d have to do some actual work.) We need money for blah-di-blah (usually with a side order of either sizzle or neediness) Date by which we need the money (which is invariably within a month or two) We can put your brand here and here and here (never actually naming your brand) Please give us the money Gmail address (because having a domain – and the associated professionalism – would take $7 and five minutes) And if they’re getting really fancy, they […] Read More

Sponsorship Sales Enemy #1: Succeeding in Spite of Yourself

I recently spoke with a sponsorship seeker who was looking for some “fine tuning” of their already very successful sponsorship program. They were brimming with confidence, and based on the amount of sponsorship raised for their previous event, it’s easy to see why. But when I had a look at what they were offering, two things became abundantly clear: Here’s the thing… it is possible to be successful at selling sponsorship, even if you are really crap at it, but only if you “own” the category or niche. Whether that’s sustainable for any length of time depends on which of two categories you fit in… First mover You have a fantastic idea for a truly innovative […] 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