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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Tour Announcement: In-House Sponsorship Training and Strategy Sessions, Jan/Feb 2020

I get a lot of enquiries about doing in-house training and strategy sessions, and many of them are a long way from my base in Sydney. Sometimes I can’t do it, as I can only do so much long-haul work. Other times, I’m available, but the cost of travel makes the overall cost prohibitive for the client. To mitigate both of those factors, and make working with me more achievable for some organisations, I’m going to string several in-house sponsorship training and sponsorship strategy sessions together on one big tour, and split the travel costs between the clients. I’ve done this before, and it works really well. I’m offering the services outlined below. In-house sponsorship […] 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

Does Sponsorship Affect Share Price?

A few years back, I read an article entitled, “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. While that was the first time I’d seen anyone make that contention in any serious way, I continue to hear it from conference speakers, and in articles and blogs, to this day. 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 […] Read More

Sponsorship Measurement: How to Measure What’s Important

A while back, I read a blog by Seth Godin. In it, he asked a question that has stuck in my head ever since: Do you measure it because it’s important, or is it important because it’s measured? Our industry is guiltier than most of the latter, and that is one of the biggest factors that keep sponsors from performing at their peak. The fact is that once we have worked out what constitutes a “success” – what we are measuring that “success” against – we work to that measure. The result is that how we measure sponsorship is critical to the true results we accomplish. A frighteningly large proportion of sponsors still measure mechanisms, […] Read More

The First Sponsor Meeting (and How Not to Make an Idiot of Yourself)

The first meeting with a sponsor is both the most important, and the easiest to screw up. Sponsors know what they want to hear, they know the red flags, and if you get it wrong, you could foul a potential deal, and not even know why. This is a complete rewrite of a very popular blog I first wrote years ago, updating it to reflect the most modern take on sponsorship. It outlines the requirements and pitfalls that every rightsholder needs to know, , in order to make it through this very tricky phase of a sponsorship sale. Know the real goal You’re selling sponsorship, so you’d think the goal of your first meeting with […] Read More