Tough economic times have threatened to make the workplace holiday party a thing of the past at some businesses. As this article from TheStreet.com points out, some companies are replacing this annual tradition with a donation or a call for community service.
While charitable giving and community service are to be commended, I can’t help but think of Seinfeld’s George Costanza’s take on donations in lieu of traditional gifts. Efforts to inspire or motivate employees should be more than an effort to whitewash cost-cutting. If the economy were to regain its strength tomorrow, would the holiday party be back on the schedule? more
In step with IEG’s projection that North American companies will increase their spending on marathons and running events by 2.5 percent in 2009 (to an estimated $86.1 million), I had the pleasure of participating in an inaugural half marathon event on November 22nd.
The first-time event—the Women’s Running magazine Women’s Half Marathon to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society—was held in St. Petersburg, Florida. While I was first and foremost there as a charity runner, I had plenty of time on and off the course to check out the sponsorship activity. While my running resume is by no means prolific (especially compared to IEG’s resident ultramarathoner Shan Riggs), I have participated in enough races of varying distances, sizes and sponsor profiles to know the drill. more
Festivals, Hispanic events and other types of local properties may want to put T-Mobile on their prospect list for ’10.
T-Mobile this year saw success from a five-month guerilla marketing campaign in which the company sponsored more than 25 events ranging from local festivals to state and county fairs.
Case in point: T-Mobile conducted more than 26,000 “Mobile Makeovers” and activated more than 5,000 new accounts at the events.
Last week I had a conversation with a colleague, Daren Watkins. I wanted to share some of our conversation because I think some of his challenges and hopefully his successes may be relevant to a lot of properties.
Watkins is the special events coordinator for the Real. Texas. Festival. in Mesquite, TX. His sponsorship career started four years ago with the first Real. Texas. Festival. Watkins has been with the Festival from the beginning and is responsible for the establishment and success of the Festival. Watkins secured 17 sponsors the first year of the Festival, including a presenting sponsor. His sponsorship program has since grown to more than 20 sponsors.
The Festival is a two-day event in April that features live entertainment, a car show and a rodeo. The Festival now attracts close to 25,000 attendees. more
I was telling the story this week about one of my first jobs, which was in the telecommunications industry. Before starting my career in sponsorship, I was in the public and government relations department. My first task of the day was to arrive at about 6:30 a.m. and read eight newspapers, cut out any article that mentioned our company from every section of the paper, tape each clipping to 8.5’ x 11’ paper, make 30 sets of copies and hand deliver them to the desks of the senior execs by 8:30 a.m. (The execs did not want to wait for the press clipping company, which would not usually deliver till afternoon.)
As you can see, there was nothing electronic or instant about this process. This story also dates me and clearly illustrates a time in business when electronic communication was nothing like today. more
If you’ve heard an IEGer on the speaking circuit in the last couple of years, you may have listened to one of us talk about how sponsors need to move from the idea of “sponsored by” (translation: we wrote a check) to instead communicate a “provided by” message and feeling (translation: we get you and want to improve your experience).
Harris Bank has taken this idea and woven it seamlessly into its overall positioning in ads, and other marketing messages, for its sponsorship of The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival® presented by Harris (the popular holiday event took place November 21-22 here in Chicago). Harris’ tagline—“We’re Here to Help”—has been the centerpiece of a fantasy ad campaign that has featured Harris Bank signage helping people avoid awkward situations, take advantage of split-second opportunities, and avoid bodily harm. more
Marketing gimmicks are alive and well and appear to be working for some brands. In Lesa’s recent blog covering the ANA Annual Conference, Eric Schmidt, chairman and CEO of Google, spoke about Evian’s commercial/video featuring babies on roller skates.
He stated that on YouTube.com, the videos had received 30 million views. The campaign does make great use of the web and online content includes interviews with the babies, clips from casting for the video and Facebook pages for the babies. The campaign has certainly caught on and reportedly has delivered business results for Evian. The video is insanely cute and very viral, but at its core, it is a gimmick. more
There’s an aisle in just about every Walgreen’s and CVS in the US that my friends and I like to call the “Cheesy TV Aisle.” It’s that awesome aisle where you can learn everything from how to “set and forget” your way to a perfect roast, “bump it” to give your hair that sexy volume and “sham-wow” yourself out of a mess. To date, I’ve used this aisle primarily for two reasons: to kill time while my prescriptions are being filled and/or as a great place to pick up gag gifts for care packages for friends. Here’s the really funny part about all of this: three of these said, “Cheesy TV Aisle” products either have posted or are on target to rake in sales of $300 million or more. (And that is the sound of my jaw hitting the floor followed by the sound of me slopping down a serving of humble pie). more
I attended the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Midwest Conference on Philanthropy yesterday and although the content of the conference was not sponsorship focused, there were some insights that were very relevant to sponsorship.
The opening session was led by Adrian Sargeant, the Robert F. Hartsook Professor of Fundraising at Indiana University. Even though the content of the session was focused on driving donor loyalty, there were several topics covered that are pertinent, and three that I would like to highlight. The concepts of retention and defection, lifetime value, and value segments all have a place in sponsorship. Because of the limited information available on some of these topics within fundraising, during his research Sargeant turned to insights developed on the consumer side.
This weekend’s rivalry matchup between my alma mater, Northwestern University, and their in-state rivals, the University of Illinois, reminded my sponsorship-geared brain of an interesting deal signed by another Illinois institution, State Farm Insurance.
Last month, State Farm signed a multi-year deal to present a rivalry series between Arizona State University and the University of Arizona.
Although seemingly unremarkable (sponsors already present football and basketball rivalry games and weeks on television networks), this relationship is deceptive in its breadth and depth. more