sponsorship issues Archives - Power Sponsorship

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

Sochi Ambush Marketing, Courtesy of the Wrong Olympics and a Brilliant Audi Fan

This has been a very strange Olympics, and in so many ways. The human rights abuses and Olympic hypocrisy around them; the weather; the infrastructure issues; the undrinkable water going viral. I love the Winter Olympics, but this is the most inglorious Winter Games I can remember. That’s before we get to the sponsors, who have varied between getting it wrong and not doing much at all, leaving the door open for any ambush marketers who care to get involved. I’ve already covered the “other ambushers”; those non-sponsors who have done a better job at reflecting world outrage than the sponsors have dared to do (and good on them!). Aside from that, there hasn’t been […] Read More

Olympic Ambush Marketing “Enforcement” Gets Ridiculous Once Again

Down here in Oz, we do pretty well in the Winter Olympics, considering we have comparatively little winter. It’s pretty exciting for us to do well. But, when young alpine skier, Greta Small, did better than expected and her home resort of Mount Hotham did the unthinkable… they congratulated her on Twitter… the Australian Olympic Committee got their undies in a bundle and sent a stern letter to Hotham, demanding they remove that and any other social media mentioning any Olympic athletes. The actual tweet, now removed, can be found below. The AOC is invoking Rule 40 of the Olympic Charter, stating that, “Except as permitted by the IOC Executive Board, no competitor, coach, trainer […] 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

IOC Gets a Gold Medal for Hypocrisy

“The Olympic Movement gives the world an ideal which reckons with the reality of life, and includes a possibility to guide this reality toward the great Olympic Idea.” - Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the International Olympic Committee In my 28 years in the sponsorship business, I have never seen an organisation as two-faced as the IOC. They’re happy to promote the Olympics as not only a sporting event, but as an idealistic social force in the cultivation of the world and host nations. They position themselves as the bloody UN of sports and proudly blather on about how important and influential the Olympics are in promoting “social responsibility and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles”. […] Read More

Does Sponsorship Affect Share Price?

It was with some amusement that I read the following article, “The Impact of Sponsorship on Share Price Brand Value”. The main assertion is that companies that sponsor have better performing share prices than companies that don’t. On one hand, I can believe that there is a correlation. On the other, I think implying causation could be a long bow to draw. Sponsorship, and in particular modern, strategic sponsorship, is a powerful marketing tool. Is the correlation in share price performance simply because better, more aggressive, creative, strategic marketers choose sponsorship? In other words, do companies who are better, more strategic marketers have better-performing share prices, and investing in sponsorship is just another symptom of […] Read More

Why You Should Never Put a Sponsorship Out to Tender

In recent weeks, I’ve had a slew of questions about putting sponsorship out to tender. The questions invariably come from government, and often from a dismayed member of the marketing department who is having this process thrust upon them by bean-counters. My advice to all of them is the same: Don’t do it. Don’t get me wrong, I can totally understand the appeal of tenders to government – the transparency, the level playing field, yada yada yada. But the reality of sponsorship tenders is that they are counterproductive on many, many levels. Sponsorship has nothing to do with procurement Procurement is about crunching numbers: Does the product or service meet our minimum requirements and how […] Read More

Does the Sponsorship Industry Need an Association?

My frustration with Sponsorship Australasia is no secret. Unlike many of the other industry organisations I’ve worked with around the world, they have not held the mantle of a strong, credible industry resource for many years, and I have had no issue calling them to account*. As one of the founders, over twenty years ago, this past year or so has been particularly painful. The website sat for months with no useful content. It was then wholly forwarded to the organiser’s registration page for their October 2012 conference, where it remained until June this year, at which point the domain was allowed to lapse. SponsorshipAustralasia.com.au is now home to a site hawking home remedies for […] Read More