Tragics. It’s an Australian term for a fan who is so overzealous, so one-eyed, that hero worship drives many of their priorities. These are the fans who paint their houses in team colours, and who stake out their heroes for the chance to get a glimpse of them. These are the fans that take note of all of the sponsors and use their products, just because they sponsor a person or team they love. It’s part of their fan experience. The kicker is, there aren’t all that many of them.
Everyone’s got a brother-in-law who will only use Castrol because that’s the oil used by their favourite race car driver, or golf with particular clubs because Vijay Singh uses them, or whatever. But make no mistake about it, that’s the exception. And yet, both sponsors and sponsorship seekers continue with the rhetoric about how if you sponsor something people love, they’ll transfer that love onto the brand.
Think about it. We’re all fans of something. I really love the Sydney Swans. (And they’re in the finals! Cheer, cheer the red and the white…) And yet, I haven’t made note of every single sponsor and transferred my love to those brands, just because they’ve invested in my team. And I bet you’re the same. I have, however, taken particular note of the sponsors who have made the fan experience better for my daughter and me – who have shown me that they understand me and value me – and my preference has definitely shifted in their direction. Next time I buy a car, I’ll be test driving one that I had never previously considered, and I’ll be doing it because they have made every single game even more special for us.
For every tragic, I guarantee, there are thousands of me – thousands of you. People who want to see brands add to the experience, and who will reward brands who do with increased consideration, loyalty, and advocacy. Actively nurture those relationships, and make real progress against your objectives. Don’t assume that people are transferring their love to your brand, because the vast majority are not going to love you just because you’re there.
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.
You may be interested in my latest white paper, “Disruptive Sponsorship: Like Disruptive Marketing, Only Better“.
If you need additional assistance with your sponsorship portfolio, I offer sponsorship consulting and strategy sessions, sponsorship training, and sponsorship coaching. I also offer a comprehensive sponsorship capacity-building service for large and/or diverse organisations.
Please feel free to drop me a line to discuss.