sponsorship strategy Archives - Power Sponsorship

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

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

Four Other Reasons You Might Need a Sponsorship Consultant

The normal role of a sponsorship consultant is to offer expert strategic advice, generally based on a reasonably long history of doing good work for good clients. That’s certainly what I do most of the time. There are, however, other reasons you may want a sponsorship consultant – reasons that are a bit outside the norm, but every bit as strategic. I thought I might run through a few very useful – but somewhat different - ways to use a sponsorship consultant. Delivering bad news Come on, do you really want to be the one to tell the CEO that sponsorship of her pet project is a narcissistic crap-heap? I didn’t think so. Sometimes, everyone but […] Read More

Sponsorship Benefits Every Sponsor Should Want

Sponsorship is an amazingly creative medium. Unfortunately, most sponsors still lack the imagination to really harness it. Either that or they are so deep in a rut that they can’t even see they’re going in the wrong direction. They negotiate the same types of sponsorship, and for the same boring benefits, over and over again. They buy logos and tickets and stock-standard hospitality, with the overriding assumption – and point of comparison – that it’s largely a commodity business and more is better. WRONG! Go ahead and negotiate some of those commodity benefits, but understand that’s not where your real marketing opportunity lays. Instead, concentrate your efforts on getting the type of benefit that can […] Read More

Sponsors: What If You Could Start Over?

It’s still early in the year – the time when people wipe the slate, make resolutions, and dedicate themselves to doing better. It’s when people give themselves permission to start over. What if we applied that thinking to corporate sponsorship? What if sponsors took some time out from dealing with the administration of sponsorship and the improvement of sponsorship, and instead, dedicated themselves to the potential of sponsorship. What if they asked themselves this one question: If you had the same sponsorship budget, but no commitments, what would the perfect sponsorship portfolio for your brand(s) and target markets look like? I do this for my corporate clients all the time. In its formal iteration, it […] 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

How to Hire a Corporate Sponsorship Consultant

Sponsorship consultants are a dime a dozen – I’m one – but we are far from a homogenous group. When it comes to hiring one to assist with your sponsorship program, do you know how to get what you’re looking for? I’ve written this blog to assist both sponsors and sponsorship seekers to find the right person or agency for their needs. If you get what you’re looking for, you’ll fit together like peas in a pod. If not, it will be more like peas in a blender, and no one wants that. I’m not including sponsorship brokers in this blog, as that’s really a different type of consulting altogether – selling, largely on commission. […] Read More

Please, Academics… Give Us Some Sponsorship Research that’s Actually Useful!

I was doing some research today and stumbled across an academic paper published just two months ago in Europe entitled, “Turning Good Ideas into Bad News: The Effect of Negative and Positive Sponsorship Information on Sponsors’ Brand Image”. I saw the title and had to look, much as it’s hard not to look at a car crash. The “rub-off” or “halo” effect of sponsorship has been roundly debunked. A property certainly can be a platform to amplify lesser-known attributes, but can’t provide a brand with an attribute it doesn’t already have – in much the same way that “greenwashing” doesn’t change consumer perceptions, if there’s no evidence of genuine environmental credentials. When I read the […] Read More

Negotiating and Managing Multi-Brand Sponsorship

I tell sponsorship seekers all the time, “Don’t approach the company, approach the brand”. The underlying principle is that companies will generally have one brand that is clearly the best fit for a sponsorship opportunity. This is true for sponsors, as well, and most sponsors have embraced brand sponsorship as the default position for investment. There are, of course, a couple of exceptions. The first is when a sponsorship creates a platform that is large, relevant, and flexible enough that it can be leveraged across an entire portfolio of brands. An example would be if Kellogg’s sponsored the World Cup. They could make that work across their brand portfolio and most, if not all, regions. […] Read More

How to Create Sponsorship Vision When Your Company has a Pole Up Its Bum

Best practice sponsorship is strategic. It’s creative. It’s amazingly multifaceted, measurable, and just bloody amazing. But it’s also different, and a lot of companies just aren’t good at change. Change requires vision, so if that’s what’s needed, establishing that becomes your job. Before we get into how to fix it, let’s talk about a few of the major categories of vision-challenged sponsors. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it This is a big one for market leaders. So many market leaders are terrible sponsors. They haven’t changed the way sponsorship has been done for at least ten years – aside from some uninspired social media activity – and seem to lack any sort of vision […] Read More