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
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.
Love the blog? You can also subscribe via RSS or email!
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
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
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
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 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
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. Objectivity Companies can often be insular places, and sometimes, you just need an outside viewpoint. A good example of this is when doing a sponsorship audit. Without objectivity, your portfolio audit may concentrate […] Read More
I can admit it: I’m a nerd. I love science fiction, hate JarJar Binks, and have stood in my back garden with my daughter, waving at the International Space Station as it’s flown overhead on dozens of occasions. So, when I thought of writing a blog about breaking sponsorship’s rules, for me, there could be no better parallel than Captain Kirk and the Kobayashi Maru. For the uninitiated, this is a test given to prospective Starfleet captains. It involves rescuing the neutronic fuel carrier, Kobayashi Maru, from the Klingon neutral zone. It’s made to be unwinnable, and yet Kirk beat the test. How? He broke the rules and changed the game. Winning in sponsorship isn’t […] Read More
I’ve lost count of the number of sponsors I’ve worked with who managed their community sponsorship portfolio separately from their other sponsorships. In most cases, their “commercial” sponsorships were managed by the sponsorship or brand team, while their community sponsorships were managed by corporate relations (or similar). Different teams, different agendas, different KPIs. This is so common, it could almost be called the norm, but that doesn’t make it a good idea. In fact, by approaching sponsorship this way, you’re doing a disservice to your brand, the power of sponsorship, and your communities. Sponsorship is sponsorship This approach usually stems from the misguided idea that some sponsorships are for achieving “real” objectives – objectives that […] Read More
Nothing. Measuring sponsorship is not your job. You’re probably thinking to yourself, “If I can’t prove what the sponsorship delivered, then they won’t renew”. And to an extent, you’re right. If the sponsor doesn’t know what they accomplished, they’re not going to renew. But it’s not your responsibility to measure returns, and more to the point, it’s impossible. In this rewrite of a vintage blog, I’m going to show you why, and what you should do instead. Rightsholders can’t measure results The only organisation that can measure the returns against a sponsor’s objectives is the sponsor. When a sponsor invests in sponsorship, they are investing in opportunity, not results. It’s the sponsor’s leverage program that […] Read More