Yesterday’s earnings call with analysts to discuss The Coca-Cola Co.’s fourth-quarter 2009 results demonstrates the importance of the company’s global sponsorship platforms. (A transcript of the call can be found here.)
Within the first few minutes of the call, Coke chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent discussed the most important initiatives underway for 2010, with the Vancouver Games and FIFA World Cup claiming center stage: more
Cancer.net Skate America begins today in Lake Placid, N.Y., marking a significant development in sponsorship. The title sponsor is the consumer Web site of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, a physician’s membership association.
The professional organization is paying a cash fee to U.S. Figure Skating, and told IEG Sponsorship Report last month that this will not be its last sponsorship. “Doing this once is not going to be sufficient. We’re in the process of talking to other organizations,” said Allen Lichter, MD, the association’s CEO. more
Received a press release yesterday from Pheasants Forever, a nonprofit conservation and hunting-oriented organization, announcing that Miller High Life will again be the official beer of the group, extending a longtime relationship.
MillerCoors will overlay the sponsorship with an on- and off-premise promotion that raises funds for PF. The Miller High Life Rooster Promotion allows adult consumers to purchase paper roosters for either $1 or $5, with “net funds raised” going to local PF chapters to fund wildlife habitat projects.
Of course we will never truly be able to identify the first corporate sponsorship—it was likely hundreds, if not thousands, of years ago and while IEG’s deal database is good, it ain’t that good.
However, my good friend Michael Aisner—whose own role in sponsorship history goes back decades—sent the following in an email from his visit to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum last week: more
Often when you look at an event or other sponsored property, sponsor presence is akin to a bunch of strangers attending a party—all lined up against the wall, well-dressed and smiling, waiting for someone to notice and engage them.
Someone—it really should be the party host, or sponsored property—should nudge them and say, “Hey guys, why don’t you start by mixing with each other? That will probably help attract others to you.”
IEG has long been a proponent of cross-promotions among cosponsors as a way to access new channels, share costs and in general, join the party. I consider hosting sponsor summits and facilitating conversations among sponsors as one of the most fun parts of the job.
The Australian federal government’s Preventative Health Strategy task force has recommended banning alcohol sponsorship as one method to deter people from drinking and perhaps becoming a burden on the public health system.
Whenever the subject of curbing the marketing of “sin products”—or raising their prices through taxes—comes up, I must admit that my libertarian side—as well as my drinking side—wants to shout, “If it’s a legal product, then why make the marketing of it illegal?” However, I understand the need for regulation of products that carry potential dangers.
The issue is where do we draw the line? No marketing of alcohol to kids? Of course. But prohibiting sponsorship of sports and other properties while allowing other adult-oriented advertising and marketing? Why? The argument that sports sponsorship implies an endorsement of alcohol as healthy is nonsense. Let’s give all but the weakest-minded consumers some credit, shall we?
This post won’t be tagged under “deep insights,” but just an observation about a noteworthy sponsorship that could be replicated by other properties.
This coming weekend’s Ford Ironman Louisville event features sponsorship from the city-run Louisville Water Co. Given its role as the local water utility, LWC has come up with a unique way to supply the hundreds of gallons of water needed by the triathletes that eliminates the need for thousands of eco-unfriendly plastic bottles. The company will tap into its existing water lines and one mobile water trunk and provide 100-plus volunteers at nine stations with hoses to fill 125,000 cups of water.
LWC plans to use this model for other local events to which it currently supplies bottled tap water.
For properties that have not had success securing an official water sponsor, or for those seeking a sustainable alternative to bottled water, tapping into your local water utility may be a good way to go.
As I noted in my last post, because sponsorship is so much more visible than all other media, it is highly vulnerable to attack. Scottish politicians are having a field day tying the tragic closing of the Johnnie Walker bottling plant in Kilmarnock with the brand’s sponsorship of Formula One’s McLaren Mercedes team. The logic: F1 has fueled Johnnie Walker’s growth globally, rendering its home market insignificant and enabling Diageo to close the plant—along with a Glasgow distillery.
On the one hand U.S. officials say sponsorship is a waste of money and should be off-limits to recipients of TARP funds, while across the pond officials are asserting that sponsorship is so successful brands can ignore current customers in local markets and instead focus entirely on new markets abroad.
"£15 million of sponsorship sees the Johnnie Walker brand go from its origins in Kilmarnock to be drunk around the world," said Kilmarnock MSP Willie Coffey. On the eve of the German Grand Prix, he urged motorsports fans to sign an online petition to save the Johnnie Walker plant. “This weekend as Johnnie Walker is advertised to the world, it's the turn of Formula One fans to show their support." more