Of all of the categories of tangible benefits (both measured and non-measured) that I come across, valuing “can’t buy” hospitality, unique access opportunities or interactive/highly integrated benefits are some of the hardest tangible benefits to value. Of course, these also happen to be some of the most valuable pieces of a sponsorship package.
Initially, I wanted to address all of these types of benefits in one blog but I quickly realized that there is too much information to cover, so I am going to do a three-part series and the first part will concentrate on VIP or “can’t buy” hospitality. Even for my blogs, this one is a little long, but I think that if you can stick with it, there is some really valuable information here (maybe too much).
A reporter contacted us last week for comments on the California State Parks' decision to work with corporate sponsors to keep open as many as 100 parks threatened with closing due to budget cuts. For more information on the program, click here.
It can be tricky to attract and recognize sponsors appropriately in any venue, and green spaces like parks are especially tough to do well. Tough, but by no means impossible. The CA State Parks are not selling naming rights to their green spaces, but will recognize sponsors with “tasteful” signage crediting them with helping to keep the park open. (Source: The Los Angeles Times.) Provided that signage doesn't block any vistas, it should be seen as appropriate acknowledgment of the sponsor's contribution, much like a philanthropic gift would be recognized. That sort of strategic philanthropy may be just the thing for sponsors seeking a low-profile community connection in these sensitive times. more
While the auto category has taken a major hit this year, recent activity seems to indicate the industry may be coming back to life.
One early indicator: The return of ride-and-drive programs.
For example, Lexus last weekend hosted test drive events at Old Fisherman’s Wharf and other locations in Monterey, Calif.
“We’re seeing a resurgence in the auto category after pretty much nothing in the first two quarters,” said Beth Schnitzer, executive vice president for the California Partnership Marketing Group, which executed the program.
Other recent initiatives include:
The Wise Marketer published an article yesterday summarizing findings of a study, conducted by customer loyalty agency Direct Antidote, on how well loyalty programs (e.g., frequent flier miles, points cards, and frequent shopper clubs) are resonating with U.S. consumers. We have come a heck of a long way since the sandwich shop punch card, yet the data shows companies are still not doing enough, as “only 32% of US consumers rated reward programme communications at 8 or higher (on a scale of 1 to 10) in terms of relevance to their personal needs.”
The article and study suggest three solutions: more
Although IEG’s responsibility to identify categories primed to increase sponsorship budgets has been a challenging one this past year, we have scoped out new activity and are heartened by reports of new deals that support our conclusions.
For example, we reported in the spring that prepaid wireless services were good candidates for a wider variety of properties than they previously had been involved with. Now we hear from Peter Hansen of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center that he has concluded a deal for Boost Mobile to sponsor the Newark venue’s Sounds of the City summer series of free Thursday evening outdoor performances. Boost Mobile was attracted to the series’ demographics—core age group of 25-to-32-year-olds, 75 percent African-American, 15 percent Latino—and the opportunity for face-to-face interaction with nearly 3,000 attendees at each performance. The provider plans to activate through geo-texting and social media applications; NJPAC also could provide artist content for Boost Mobile to offer through its phones and Web site.
Dear theme parks and sponsors who want to reach families with children:
Moms (and Dads) have a message for you. Whether it’s a season pass to a nearby Six Flags or a pilgrimage to a Disney land or world, parents are online talking about how to take the family to an amusement park without asking for a loan from the kids’ piggy banks. And while they chat, they are laying out a wealth of information about the types of promotions and amenities that would succeed for sponsors and parks alike.
A few examples, of many:
Earlier this month, Property Consulting Group (PCG) gained “the sponsorship and experiential marketing rights” to Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway Airports. Brad Jersey, President of Airport Marketing Income (PCG is working through AMI), said in the press announcement that they plan to “bring additional revenue to the airports and enhance the passenger experience.”
As I write this post I am on a plane from Washington National to O’Hare, thinking of what might enhance my fellow travelers’ experiences at O’Hare and Midway (or any other airport), and how we travelers might reward successful sponsors with our business.
Many of us are grateful for the Samsung charging stations in a half-dozen US airports (relationship is with JCDecaux), and we notice the Rolex-branded clocks at the Las Vegas (a clock in Vegas!) airport and others around the globe. While appreciated, these are becoming ordinary and expected marketing activities. What will the next generation of sponsor-provided amenities be, and how will they speak to that stressed-out traveler who looks an awful lot like their customer? more
Despite the fact—or perhaps because—it’s one of the chickier chick flicks out there, Love Story is among my movie favorites. So it did not surprise me when the most famous line (“love means never having to say you’re sorry”) in its Oscar-nominated script flashed across my mind’s ear the other day. It did surprise me when it came to me in a sponsorship context.
I was in Kansas City, where I had the pleasure of participating in the Missouri Assn. of Convention & Visitor Bureaus (MACVB) Annual Meeting. One of my fellow presenters was Doug Price from DMAI (Destination Marketing Assn. Int’l), who spoke about trends and the future of destination marketing. Toward the end of his talk, Doug mentioned the advocacy efforts undertaken by the Seattle CVB and other cities (Indianapolis, etc.) to make the case for tourism—not just to prospective tourists, but specifically to local residents. I checked it out, and I found Seattle’s “Why Tourism Matters” campaign (www.whytourismmatters.org) to be an aspirational model for the case organizations need to make in support of—rather than in defense of—their marketing efforts. more