sponsorship sales 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

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 The infographic is over 18 months old and may be a little out of date, but would […] Read More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

Why I’m Retiring the Sponsorship Guidelines Database

In 2013, we compiled a comprehensive listing of links to the sponsorship guidelines for many hundreds of corporate sponsors around the world. This took a lot of time and effort, but we did it because I believed it would be an invaluable resource for sponsorship seekers. Fast forward 18 months… Every week, I get an email from my website, telling me about all of the new broken links. Invariably, these are links from my database of sponsorship guidelines. Upon investigation, these links are going dead because – despite the very clear warning that spamming hundreds of these companies with generic proposals will not net you any sponsorship – that’s exactly what’s been happening. This is why we […] 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

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

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

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