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
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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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
Sponsorship proposal evaluation comes down to two major factors: What you offer; and who you submit it to. These are the factors that will tell a sponsor whether what you’re offering is right for them, whether you’ll be easy to work with, and whether you have the skills and approach that will allow today’s modern sponsors to make the most of what you’re offering. In this blog – a total rework of a blog from a a few years ago – I’m going to address both of these critical factors. Your proposal Both the structure and content of your proposal will tell a sponsor a lot about whether, and to what degree, your offer is […] Read More
It used to be that 99% of sponsorship proposals were made up of the following four or five benefits: Logos on things Tickets to things Some kind of hospitality An official designation Some kind of exhibition space or speaking slot (if applicable) The result was that hundreds of thousands of amazing properties were commoditising themselves; selling themselves as a numbers game, and ignoring their real value to sponsors. (For more on how modern sponsorship really works, read my white paper, “Disruptive Sponsorship”.) In recent years, another benefit has joined that list of low-value, hygiene benefits: Social media mentions I’ve worked with a lot of rightsholders that have told me how this has given them “more […] Read More
You’re the Chief Marketing Officer of a large multinational, or a Group Marketing Manager. Whatever your title, you’re a senior executive looking at millions of dollars being invested in corporate sponsorship across your company, and you know there are problems. Some of the decisions appear to lack rigour. Some brands sponsor strategically, while others appear to be picking partners out of a hat. Some investments are barely leveraged, while others aren’t leveraged at all. You may have noticed that the degree of sophistication applied to sponsorship is dependent on the individual managing the brand, and can change dramatically when that person moves on. You may even be seeing some bright spots, and wondering how you […] Read More
How many times will you miss your sponsorship target? How many times will you scramble for rats and mice sponsorship to make up a shortfall? How many times will you ask your board to hit up their well-connected friends, because your business case isn’t getting money in the door? How many times will you point to workload, economic conditions, unreasonable sponsors who “just don’t get it”, or sheer bad luck, when you fail to balance the bottom line? How many excuses will you make? At some point, your excuses and workarounds just aren’t going to cut it anymore, and your organisation will need to accept that it’s nobody’s fault but yours. Yeah, I know… sounds […] Read More
I was recently discussing sponsorship with a brand manager, when she said that she didn’t understand why brands would bother with sponsorship anymore, when they can use microtargeting to get their messages to the same people without sponsorship. She contended that unless a brand was using the sponsorship to secure vending rights, or some other direct sales benefit, that they should just use social media to ambush. At that point, I was wondering if marketing was really her calling, as she was demonstrating an alarming lack of understanding of how marketing, sponsorship, or you know… people actually work. New tech, old thinking Twenty-odd years ago, the internet was exploding, and brands were shouting from the […] Read More