sponsorship strategy Archives - Power Sponsorship

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

Why “Proud Sponsor Of” is the Most Worthless Phrase in Sponsorship

Oh, how I hate those words. In fact, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that those three words can be among the most telling in sponsorship. You don’t see the great sponsors saying “Proud sponsors of”. Ever. If you see that line used in conjunction with a sponsorship, you can be almost assured that the leverage plan is weak to non-existent, along with their results. It may as well read: “Understaffed sponsor of…” “Boring sponsor of…” “Unsophisticated sponsor of…” “Lazy sponsor of…” I understand that sometimes it’s all you can do. Maybe a sponsorship has been thrust upon you at the last minute. Maybe your CEO’s pet project is so off-strategy […] Read More

Dear Fans, Companies Think You’re Stupid

There is a “Coke ad” doing the rounds on Facebook and Twitter. It’s a collaboration between a few people, including mystery artist, Banksy, and it is a must read for every sponsor. Note: The language is rude, but if you can handle the f-word, you should stop and take a look at that “ad” now. If this sentiment is true of advertising – and I think if we allow ourselves some objectivity, we know it isn’t far off the mark – it’s 100 times truer for sponsorship. What sponsors are buying when they invest in a sponsorship is the privilege to connect with people through something they have already decided they care about. Those fans […] Read More

How to Right-Size Your Sponsorship Leverage Activities

Any regular reader of this blog knows that I talk a lot about sponsorship being win-win-win. That third win is for the target markets, with the goal being small, meaningful benefits for all or most of the market, not a chance to go into a draw for one person to win one big prize. The question is, then, what do you do with benefits or leverage activities that are, by their very nature, limited in size? How do you make that a win for everyone… and should you even try? As usual, I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve! Know how the third win works Providing that third win is about adding real value to a […] Read More

11 Sponsorship Mantras to Keep Your Team on Track

Doing sponsorship training is one of my favourite parts of this job. And even though my training is meant to change the way people do sponsorship, it still stuns me when – years after just a day or two of training – people tell me that what they learned “changed everything”. They often go on to recite some specific mantra they and their team have adopted that has guided their sponsorships ever since. This has happened three times in the past eight days and would happen several times a month, at least. I thought it might be useful compiling some of those mantras that people quote back to me over and over; the ones that […] Read More