Hallelujah and thank you, Bill Taylor. I read his great Harvard Business Review blog post yesterday on idea-swapping outside the immediate field (or sector or industry) we work in. If there’s any Kool-Aid you are open to drinking today, let this be it.
While I suggest you read the full post—he has good anecdotes about companies employing the strategy—his last paragraph sums up his point. more
If you have checked out Sponsorship.com’s News section you may have read the February 17 release from the Quick Chek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning announcing a renewal of the title sponsorship that began in 1993. more
I received a press release the other day from the Caged Heat Racing Series, a new motorsports property with plans to launch a 20-city series of arena racing events next April. If you’re interested in details about the circuit, you can find them at www.highoctanethrills.com.
The release touted an opportunity for small businesses to become involved as sponsors of the series. Specifically, it offered the opportunity to pay $2,010 to be one of 2,010 associate sponsors. Benefits at that level include a Web site link, four T-shirts, four credentials to the race of your choice and a Caged Heat “certificate wall plaque for your office.”
The release also says these sponsors will receive national media coverage, offering no details, but does it really matter in the face of such mind-boggling clutter?
ia coverage, offering no details, but does it really matter in the face of such mind-boggling clutter? more
Through my conversations with sponsors, properties and reporters, I frequently come across new spending and activation programs that don’t make it into IEG Sponsorship Report. Below are three recent examples.
Aaron’s, Inc. boosts sponsorship budget 10 percent. The limping economy has prompted renewed interest in rent-to-own, dollar stores and other types of retailers that cater to low and middle-income consumers, and that has led to new sponsorship spending by players in those categories.
For its part, Aaron’s largely focuses on motorsports properties, and to a lesser extent properties located near its Atlanta headquarters. The company earlier this year renewed its title of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series races at Alabama’s Talladega Superspeedway, a property it has sponsored since ’02. more
Conventional sponsorship wisdom says that one of the best things a property can do to sell/renew deals in a disastrous economic climate is to show the prospect/sponsor that the relationship can result directly in product sales. There is no better ROI measurement or justification for a sponsorship expenditure than proving the connection between the partnership and revenue for the sponsor that goes to its bottom line, so the thinking goes. Seems to makes perfect sense.
There may be a flaw in this logic, however. This thought was spurred by this summer’s news DeWalt tools would not renew its 10-year-old sponsorship of Roush Fenway Racing’s No. 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entry driven by Matt Kenseth. This news called to mind an IEG Sponsorship Report story of a few years ago, in which DeWalt’s then event marketing manager told us the company generated enough profit (not just revenue) from the sponsorship—through securing new trade partners and generating incremental sales at existing accounts—to recoup its annual rights fee, which we estimated then to be about $14 million. more
While many properties have written off the consumer electronics category due to the economy and subsequent pullback in discretionary consumer spending, JVC, LG and other companies may soon start seeking new deals to promote their latest-and-greatest products: 3-D TVs.
At least one company has signed its first deal. Panasonic Consumer Electronics recently announced a tie-in with James Cameron’s new 3-D science fiction film Avatar on behalf of its 3-D-ready plasma screen TV and 3-D-enabled Blu-ray Disc player, both of which it plans to release next year.
Panasonic will activate the tie by hosting Avatar viewing demonstrations in specially-designed trailers in the U.S. and Europe. Sources say the company plans to leverage Panasonic System Solutions Co.’s multi-million dollar partnership with AEG to host screenings at Southern California’s LA Live entertainment complex. more
Heard at this past weekend’s NASCAR race that Aflac paid $27 million last year for its primary sponsorship of Carl Edwards’ Roush Fenway Sprint Cup Series team.
Talk about buying at the top of the market.
To be sure, Aflac does a good job activating the sponsorship, at least through TV ads. There’s no escaping that pesky duck.
But really, one has to consider what else that kind of money could buy. Speaking in ballpark terms, $27 million would easily cover the cost of other national marketing platforms—ranging from nonprofits to stick-and-ball pro sports teams—with millions to spare.
There’s no getting around it. Without an explanation for a sponsorship, fans will make up their own and often they are negative. Fittingly, Allianz—official risk manager of Formula 1—runs little risk of its sponsorship being misinterpreted. While directly tied to its core lines of business—road safety and risk management—Allianz uses the F1 platform to educate and entertain fans and media so that its sponsorship comes off as a benefit rather than an intrusion. And by having its story live across multiple platforms, Allianz tells the story with various degrees of intimacy, depending on the audience.
For example, F1 fans may read about it in print ads or hear an interview with the driver of the company-sponsored Formula 1 Safety Car. Customers and prospects may hear the story directly from one of the firm’s safety ambassadors or AT&T Williams driver Nico Rosberg, also sponsored by Allianz. Journalists may encounter the story via free race clips and graphics. Even now, when F1 is in the news almost as often for scandals, rules changes and a possible breakaway circuit as it is for racing, Allianz connects the news to its story line. For example, a recent Allianz ad was titled “Prepared for the Unexpected.”
Allianz, which recently renewed its F1 partnerships, is among the many insurance companies adding deals despite the economic downturn. more
IEG’s Lesa Ukman and Millward Brown’s Ann Green gave a great presentation today on measuring sponsorship’s return on investment. more