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
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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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
This is another of my vintage blogs, reworked and updated to reflect changes in best practice, and new angles. How to value contra, otherwise known as in-kind, sponsorship is a question I get almost every day. What is most interesting is how differently sponsors and sponsorship seekers view contra, and they both overcomplicate what is really quite a simple equation. Sponsorship seekers take contra for granted. Well, okay… most sponsorship seekers take contra for granted. The attitude is, “those airline seats would be empty anyway, so why do we have to put a value on them?” Newsflash: If you didn’t get those seats through contra, you would have to pay someone for them, so they […] Read More
This is a total rewrite of one of my most popular blogs. For years, this blog has sat squarely in the top five, and according to analytics, virtually everyone gets here because they’ve done a search on something like, “How to create sponsorship levels”. The problem is, sponsors hate levels. Gold-silver-bronze, or whatever cutesy, “creative” names you’ve put on them, sponsors see a proposal full of set packages, arranged by size, and they know you don’t get it. They think you’re unsophisticated. They think you’re inflexible. They may even think you’re lazy. And they know for sure that you either don’t know or don’t care what they are trying to accomplish, because if you did, you’d […] Read More
I’ve got a brand new white paper! It’s all about how sponsorship broke the ground that Disruptive Marketing is now claiming, and how we’re going to stay at the forefront by bringing more meaning to the equation than any other marketing media possibly can. It’s full of big trends, bigger ideas, and keys to finding your own inspiration. As a bonus, you’ll have plenty of comeback, next time some wannabe marketer snarks on at you about how sponsorship is just about exposure or “the halo effect”. This white paper attacks the subject from primarily the sponsor’s point of view, but rightsholders will find a lot of benefit in being able to identify and talk about Disruptive Sponsorship, and the enormous […] Read More
With the huge, new focus on developing giant data sets – for analytics, for micro-targeting – some sponsors have lost their way on sponsorship, shifting the focus from people and passion to data acquisition. Here’s my take on how the two focal points for sponsorship use data, the pros, cons, and how they impact on brand results. Need more assistance? For all you need to know about best practice sponsorship selection, leverage, measurement, management, and more, you may want to get a copy of The Corporate Sponsorship Toolkit. If you need additional assistance with your sponsorship portfolio, I offer sponsorship consulting, sponsorship training, and strategy sessions. Please drop me a line to discuss. Kim Skildum-Reid email@example.com […] Read More
This is a question I’ve had with increasing frequency the past few years from (usually) larger sponsorship seeking organisations. And the answer is… sort of. Selling sponsorship is different than most sales The thinking behind breaking up these roles is often rooted in the belief that sponsorship sales requires a specific set of skills. They want someone out there selling who can pitch the assets – a negotiator, a closer, someone who can sell ice to Eskimos… a shark. They want that person selling all the time, not doing the day-to-day sponsorship servicing work. On the surface, this would seem like a perfectly legitimate breakdown of responsibilities, but the reality is that sponsorship sales bears […] Read More
It’s been a long time since I first addressed this subject. Back then, I would have thought that the increasing sophistication across the industry would have made this advice obsolete by now. But with the ubiquity and ease of so many messaging platforms, sponsorship consultants are being casually bombarded for free advice more than ever. Don’t get me wrong, I love it when people call or message me for a bit of ad hoc advice. I really enjoy it. I know a lot of other sponsorship consultants do, as well. It makes me think on my feet, even on days when I’m not in “strategy mode”. Plus, I just like being helpful. But, if you’re going to contact […] Read More