Latest Thinking from IEG
IEG’s sponsorship experts provide unique perspective on the latest industry developments, news and trends. These posts will make you think, challenge conventional wisdom, give you new ideas, and spark discussion.
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Power to the People: Democratic Sponsorship
If you read my posts often enough, you know I’m constantly waxing poetic about how important integrating the consumer into the sponsorship experience is. So it should be no surprise that upon hearing about Stephen Colbert’s, “Colbert Nation” top sponsorship of the U.S. Speed Skating team (if you haven’t already, check out my colleague Rob Campbell’s blog post here) and FanCar’s unique sponsorship opportunities around Sprint NASCAR cars; that I am ready to hand out two big, fat gold stars for fan integration.
Filed under: digital media, entertainment, new media, selling, sports, activation
Stephen Colbert Sponsors for America
Stephen Colbert, anchor of Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report, is sponsoring the U.S. Speedskating team.
Colbert stepped in to sponsor the U.S. team after current sponsor Dutch bank DSB declared bankruptcy. The sponsorship is in the name of the show’s fans, dubbed the “Colbert Nation.”
Colbert signed a sponsorship deal with Bob Crowley, Executive Director of U.S. Speedskating on camera during an interview with Olympic speedskating great Dan Jansen on November 2.
Filed under: media sponsorship, non-traditional categories, olympics, selling, entertainment
Hertz Preps New Brand Campaign, Inks Deal with PGA of America
Sponsorship may play a role in The Hertz Corp.’s ’10 brand revitalization campaign that will include a new corporate logo, remodeled rental car facilities and new employee uniforms.
As part of the makeover, the company next year will roll out a marketing campaign themed ‘Journey On.’ The goal of the campaign: to connect with consumers on an emotional level.
Filed under: entertainment, how to get sponsorship, in-kind, sports, branded entertainment
Microsoft to Family Guy Fans: I’m a P.C. PC
Anyone who’s seen the animated FOX hit Family Guy can attest that the comedy is not for the faint-of-heart. So plenty of eyebrows were raised earlier this month when Microsoft signed on to sponsor a commercial-free TV special from the series’ creator, Seth MacFarlane. The deal was part of a larger initiative to promote the rollout of the Windows 7 operating system across News Corp’s portfolio.
Now, just a couple weeks later, Microsoft has pulled out from the special, citing concerns over the content. The typical response so far has been, “What did they expect? Haven’t they seen his show before?”
We often hear concerns that partners might exert undue influence on a property’s content—with busybody donors acting like artistic directors and aggressive marketers trying to force their brands into the spotlight.
Filed under: branded entertainment, entertainment, arts
Ford S-MAX Teams With Spandau Ballet
Ford S-MAX has been named transport of choice for Spandau Ballet’s Reformation tour. The October tour in Ireland and the U.K. is the band’s first outing in more than 20 years.
Maybe this partnership with spark corporate interest in Blancmange, Classix Nouveaux and other “new romantic” acts from the ’80s.
Filed under: entertainment, in-kind, music, automotive
Spreading Some Sponsorship Love – Monster and the NFL Score a Touchdown
Something was recently brought to my attention by one of my loyal blog readers (who has no problem shooting me straight): I am a perpetual Negative Nelly in my posts. Yep, just one cynical, critical consultant throwing stones at just about everyone and everything. Thing is, when you make your living spotting potential sponsorship red flags and helping people improve their sponsorship program, you become trained to look for problems and admittedly, can overlook the good stuff.
Being a big-time believer in karma, I’d like to put something good out there too. So, this post is a step in the direction of setting my sponsorship karma right, I am actually going to talk about someone doing something well.
Filed under: entertainment, pro sports, selling, sports, activation
Reporter’s Notebook: New Spending; Successful Activation Program
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.
Filed under: entertainment, how to get sponsorship, motorsports, music, NASCAR, activation
Go For Sponsorship Gold: One Simple Rule
Remember the Golden Rule (for those academics reading, you may be more familiar with it as the “Ethic of Reciprocity”)? Something to the effect of “do unto others as you’d have done unto you” (not sure if I got that exactly right, I’d be overstretching it to say I’m the most virtuous person), but I’ve always loved the zen utility of being able to answer every question or solve every problem with one simple tenet.
So what’s the Golden Rule of sponsorship? If, as people, we’re supposed to treat others how we want to be treated, what as sponsorship pros is the golden statute to employ? Now, I’m no Buddha and I don’t claim to have the mystical, sage wisdom of the ages, however, I have seen a lot of sponsorship – good and bad – and while it may not be sexy, I think it comes down to this: enhance the consumer experience.
Filed under: branded entertainment, digital media, entertainment, fashion, activation
ACL Sponsors Didn’t Come Ready To Rock
Well hello friends, September had me traveling and out of the office quite a bit so I apologize for my absence from the blogosphere. That said, I’m back in the swing of things and had a big weekend checking out all the musical goodness of one of the best festivals in the US (if I do say so myself) Austin City Limits.
Being a music junkie, an event like ACL (3 days, 8 stages, and 130 bands) is my substance of choice. Being a music junkie who also happens to be a sponsorship professional pretty much guarantees that an event like ACL will leave me stimulated to the point of overdose. Between taking in the music, checking out the on-site activation, tweeting and posting pics I’ve got to say I am spent. If you want reviews of the music, believe me, I’d gladly indulge you for hours, but I’ll leave the music out of it for the moment and share my takeaways from the sponsorship perspective. It boils down to this: ACL 2009 couldn’t hold its Zippo to the sponsorship activity and creativity of ACL 2008.
Filed under: branded entertainment, digital media, entertainment, activation
Setting Entertainment Marketing Back 30 Years
The changes in the music and recording business in recent years have generally not been kind to musicians. However, they have created some compelling opportunities for musical artists to partner with corporations to help market singles, albums, tours, etc.
Now, however, along comes R&B artist Riz, who is about to go out on tour in support of his second album, iRIZistible. Riz and his team have come up with their idea of a unique marketing opportunity for corporate America—selling ad space by the square foot on Riz’s 45-foot-long tour bus.
Filed under: entertainment, music, packaging, selling, assets