I read things every day that I wish I’d written. Usually I keep that information to myself, but today I feel compelled to share such an article with you.
We know that one of the keys to success in any organization’s sponsorship program—whether selling or buying—is to get all parties aligned and working toward the same goals. Lead by gaining commitment, not by command or consensus. Making these ideas tangible is not an easy thing, and this article does a better job than others I’ve seen. While it’s not overtly about sponsorship, it doesn’t matter—the ideas and tools ring very true. Instead of “supply chain,” think of “sales pipeline” or “evaluation process” and so on.
Is Your Team Aligned?
By Gaurav Gupta, Lead Consultant, Stroud Consulting
From IndustryWeek, Oct. 23, 2009 more
I recently read an article on Fortune.com about the success of Google. The article focuses on 10 key areas that have made Google wildly successful. As I was reading the article, it became clear to me that if every sponsorship seller followed the same 10 lessons, they too would become wildly successful.
So, I have taken the liberty of listing out the 10 key areas, but with an idea of how they apply to the business of selling sponsorship. Here are the 10 lessons that may help you:
Sometimes the identification of emerging sponsorship categories comes straight out of the headlines. For example, we are seeing more activity from the makers of hand sanitizers in the wake of growing concerns over the spread of the H1N1 virus.
Last month’s Tour of Missouri bike race was sponsored by Germ-X, which also has been the official hand sanitizer of the MLB St. Louis Cardinals, the Cincinnati-area’s Newport Aquarium and Branson, Mo.’s Silver Dollar City.
Vancouver-based ALDA Pharmaceuticals Corp. is the official antiseptic hand sanitizer, disinfectant and disinfectant cleaning products supplier to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, the Canadian Olympic Committee and the Games’ speed skating venue—the Richmond Olympic Oval.
Properties that draw Indo-Americans, Hispanics and other multicultural and general market audiences that make frequent international phone calls should put Vonage Holdings Corp. on their prospect list.
The Internet phone service provider last year hired former Cingular Wireless CMO Marc Lefar as its new CEO. At Cingular, Lefar oversaw the telco’s massive sponsorship portfolio that included everything from pro sports teams to festivals, fairs and performing arts organizations. more
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.
In today’s “flat is the new up” sponsorship marketplace, properties that have maintained or increased sponsorship revenue deserve credit.
Such is the case with last month’s Toronto International Film Festival, which managed to offset losses in the financial services and other categories to post a 1 percent increase in sponsorship revenue. New partners for the Sept. 10-19 event included Research in Motion’s BlackBerry; the Procter & Gamble Co. and shoe and apparel marketer The Timberland Co.
Anette Larsson, TIFF’s vice president of sponsorship and development, attributes the festival’s ability to maintain and slightly grow sponsorship revenue to the following three steps:
Most corporations spend the late spring through early fall setting the next year’s sponsorship budget and roster. As a property, if you don’t get on their radar screen over the summer, you don’t usually stand a great chance of having them become a sponsor for next year. This is especially true of larger deals.
However, there is one caveat to that general timeline. When I worked at Ameritech, we did spend most of the summer setting the following year’s budget. If you tried to pitch me a deal of any significance in October (say $100,000-plus), you were not going to have a lot of luck getting that deal done. But every year in the November-December time frame, I would get a note from my boss that said “pick two or three deals that were not in our finalized budget and get them to me by the end of the week.”
The City of Indianapolis recently jumped on the municipal marketing bandwagon, hiring agency Third Street Partners to develop a sponsorship plan and broker deals with prospective sponsors.
The five-month old firm was able to beat out more established agencies for the business, and we’re guessing a big reason for that—in addition to Third Street’s local roots—was its willingness to work entirely on commission, with no retainer or expense coverage.
According to the city’s Web site, the agency will take a 15 percent commission on deals it lands during the first two years of the contract and 10 percent on sponsorships signed during the final five months of the agreement, which expires at the end of 2011.
I have something to confess. My name is Diane Knoepke, and I have been a chronic multitasker.
While the tide has turned and I (and many others) now see great value in unitasking, sponsorship sales is the perfect role to flex both your multitasking and unitasking skills.
What makes a great property to work with? What are they doing that other properties are not? I recently posed that question to Todd Fischer, manager of national sponsorships for State Farm.
Fischer identified three attributes that help properties stand apart from the pack:
Properties that understand a sponsor’s business. Properties need to understand a prospect’s business—including their brand messaging and positioning—and build packages around those needs.