Kim Skildum-Reid's Sponsorship Blog

I'm Kim Skildum-Reid. I've been doing sponsorship for a long time, and I really love it. I'm also never short of an opinion, idea, story, or rant, so the fact that I have a blog is a good thing. Otherwise, my friends and family would bear the brunt of it, and most of them really couldn't give a rat's bum.

Most of this blog is about sponsorship, or occasionally some other aspect of marketing. In addition to current blogs posted in date order, you can also search using the topic list to the right. If you need a big running start, check out Best of Kim's Blogs for curated lists of blogs on hot topics.

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Sponsorship Webinars with Kim Skildum-Reid

We’re sheltering at home and trying to be productive, while a pandemic wreaks havoc around the world. And while we’re practising all of this social distancing, the sponsorship world is changing. To keep your skills sharp, and help you manage this change and prepare for the big tasks ahead, I’m going to be delivering a series of sponsorship webinars. The first four are listed below. Please click the event for all of the details and inclusions. I’ve also included some of the basics here. All webinars are presented twice I’ll present each of these webinars twice live – once at 9:00 AM and again at 11:00 PM. This will cater for most time zones, and […] Read More

The Rightsholders’ Guide to Sponsorship in a Pandemic

Back in January 2020 – three months ago, but feels like a year – I wrote “Recession-Proofing Your Sponsorship Program: A Rightsholder’s Guide“. I wrote it because we were overdue for a recession, some indicators were starting to look shaky, and predictions were that we could be in recession by the end of 2020. But holy crap, people… this virus is something else entirely. We are surely going to suffer a serious economic downturn, and my recession advice still holds. But right now, rightsholders need to get through a pandemic that has seen most events and seasons cancelled – or at least postponed indefinitely. And that last word is the kicker: “Indefinitely”. While we’re doing […] Read More

Should a Sponsor Exit if an Event is Cancelled?

“Social distance.” As COVID-19 takes hold around the world, this is our lives now. To mitigate the virus’ spread, we’re being instructed to stay home, to stop mingling, and if we need to go out for something essential, to stay two metres away from each other. People are telecommuting, trains are empty, and aside from people fighting over toilet paper, a lot of stores are, too. Schools and churches have gone virtual. And in much of the world, we couldn’t travel if we wanted to. Australians, like me, are prohibited from leaving the country, our borders are closed to international visitors, and Aussies coming home face a mandatory, 14-day self-isolation. But some of the most […] Read More

Recession-Proofing Your Sponsorship Program: A Rightsholder’s Guide

We’ve all seen the news reports about the increase in recession warning signs. Economies are slowing down. Some countries and business sectors are already in, or on the brink of, recession. At best, global economic indicators are mixed. It’s also been ten years since the end of the Global Financial Crisis (AKA, the Great Recession). This, in and of itself, concerns some economists, as historically, this makes us “due” for a recession. And with ample coverage in both financial and main media about the potential for a recession in the near term, it’s clear that experts are on alert. Maybe all of this is wrong, and we’ll sail through another few years with a reasonably […] Read More

Sponsorship Leverage vs Activation: The Difference and Why It Matters

I recently wrote a blog about the longstanding issue around whether to call what we do “sponsorship” or “partnership”. So you know, the correct answer is “sponsorship”. This issue got me onto thinking more broadly about terminology in our business, and how some of it isn’t doing us any favours. Springing immediately to mind was leverage vs activation. Ten years ago, the terms were basically interchangeable, referring to the activities a sponsor undertakes around a sponsorship, to turn that opportunity into the results they need against objectives. Fast forward, and the meaning of “activation” has, for many organisations, morphed into something completely different. This isn’t the case with all organisations, but I’ve had one after […] Read More

Sponsorship vs Partnership: Will This Argument Ever End?

Air New Zealand recently posted an amazing video, featuring their staff welcoming the All Blacks home from the Rugby World Cup with a haka. It was spine-tingling, and I shared it on LinkedIn myself, as an example of the passion and authenticity that Air NZ brings to all of their sponsorships. One of the commenters on the post chastised me, because they said that Air New Zealand would surely look at this as a partnership, not a sponsorship. I could only think one thing: Here we go again. So with that, here’s the case for “sponsorship”, why I’m not shifting on that term, and why I don’t think you or our industry should, either. Evolution […] Read More

5 Ways Rightsholders Need to Get Over Themselves

You’re great. No, really… you, your organisation, your properties, are all wonderful. I wish I could meet you all, and I could happily go to events and sports and museums every day of my life. But, here’s the thing… When it comes to sponsorship, you really need to get over yourselves. I’m sorry to have to burst your bubble, but sponsorship isn’t about you, and sponsors aren’t sponsoring you because they care. Sure, you can have a great relationship with them, and your contacts can be fans, but that’s not why they’re sponsoring you, and if you think it is, it’s hurting your bottom line. So I’m going to make it crystal clear how you […] Read More

What Esports Fans Can Teach Brands about Sponsorship

Esports are exploding. That’s not news. Unsurprisingly, esports sponsorship is also exploding, and there is some great sponsorship happening in the sector. On the flip side, there’s also a lot of money flowing into the sport that’s a combination of trying to “reach a coveted demographic” and me-tooism. And those sponsors? They’re failing, and they’re failing because esports fans know crap, inauthentic sponsorship when they see it. Fan backlash has been vicious, dispatching them from the arena as fast as they flooded in. I love it. I seriously love it. I wish fans of all properties would hold sponsors accountable like that. Why? Because those esports fans are right. A sponsor’s starting point with any fanbase […] Read More

How to Spot a Sponsorship Broker Scam (and One Broker You Should Avoid)

Really good sponsorship brokers are rare. They have extensive connections, strong skills, and a good work ethic. They’ll represent your property well, deal with you professionally, and will be worth every penny they cost. Unfortunately, unscrupulous broker scams appear to be on the rise, and it’s causing immense damage to the organisations that fall for their wiles. You think the broker has contacted you because they believe you could raise more sponsorship than you currently have, and they can use their connections, skills, and reputation to secure it and take a cut. But that’s not the business model most scammers actually have. No, scam brokers make big promises, but they don’t secure any sponsorship. They […] Read More

You’ve Got the Big Sponsor, Here’s How Not to Screw It Up

The sponsorship industry is rife with advice on how to sell sponsorship. A quick search of the web will net you literally thousands of articles telling you which sponsors to target, how to contact the right people, how to develop offers, how to write proposals, on and on and on. Hell, my own blog is full of that kind of advice. Some of the sponsorship sales advice you’ll find on the web is fantastic, while some is… uhh… let’s just say the opposite of fantastic. But whatever the quality, there’s absolutely no question that there’s a lot of it. All this, while an equally important component of successful sponsorship is largely overlooked: How not to […] Read More