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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Not the Usual Suspects
So many of our rightsholder clients have been successful bringing in new sponsors by looking beyond the usual suspects.
One screen we use to identify new prospects is synergy with existing sponsors. For example, if a client has an official spirits company on board, it provides a hook to attract new dollars from complementary brands such as the Rose’s line of mixers from Dr Pepper Snapple Group. Include an activation overlay such as creating and promoting themed specialty cocktails, and you’re on your way.
Filed under: prospecting, selling, non-traditional categories
Hearts And Minds, Not Eyeballs
The news this week that Jack Daniel’s is quitting its NASCAR team and Anheuser-Busch’s Michelob Ultra is not renewing title of its LPGA Tour stop in Virginia are but two examples of the scores of sponsors dropping title of pro golf tournaments and motorsports teams.
It is a tough environment for everyone selling sponsorship, but among the most challenged are pro golf events and motorsports teams. Rightsholders in these sectors have often sold on media visibility, and that’s a dangerous path for anyone in sponsorship.
On merely a CPM basis, sponsorship cannot successfully compete with advertising. When times were flush, marketers were willing to pay the higher CPM because intuitively they understood that sponsorship offered more. But intuition is no longer enough, and treating sponsorship as the “added value” piece and media as the main event, no longer works.
Filed under: assets, digital media, NASCAR, new media, pro sports, selling, social media, activation
Sponsors Need to “Get Real” Regarding Sales Process
I don’t envy the folks at corporations who are the recipients of hundreds, if not thousands of unsolicited sponsorship proposals, especially when many of those pitches are ill-targeted and/or don’t contain the information necessary to be effectively evaluated.
These sponsors are in their rights to expect that those pitching them will have done their homework, tailored their proposals and spelled the contact’s name right. However, there is one “recommendation” that I increasingly hear sponsors make to properties that I strongly take issue with: the advice that properties should not follow up on a proposal and simply assume that if they don’t hear back it means the prospect received it, read it and rejected it.
This is completely unrealistic. Would the salespeople at these sponsors’ own companies ever be advised not to follow up with a prospect? I highly doubt it.
Filed under: selling
Patience Is the Key to Launching a New Sponsorship Program
Most of us probably don’t even remember learning to ride a bike or learning to swim. For those who did not learn how to do those things when they were young, trying to learn as an adult can be difficult. This typically comes with added fear, increased effort and requires more patience. Learning to do these things as an adult also usually takes a longer period of time.
Launching a new sponsorship program, or re-launching an old one, can be just like learning to swim as an adult. The problem is that many executives within organizations expect new revenue within weeks, even in this economy. The truth is it will not happen overnight. It can take several months to get your assets organized strategically for the sales process. In my experience, once the sales process starts in earnest it can take anywhere from 6-18 months to see new or increased revenue.
Filed under: selling, assets
Properties: Are You Selling Pennies or Making Pennies?
I heard yet another quip the other day about how a penny, the U.S. one-cent piece, costs more than 1¢ to make. It is actually more like 1.2¢ - 1.4¢ per coin, based on the increased and fluctuating price of the zinc, copper and nickel used to make pennies (including the costs of metal, fabrication, labor/overhead and transportation, according to usmint.gov).
While it at first sounds preposterous that a penny costs more than a penny to make, it is actually not such a big deal, considering that pennies are not disposable. Each penny changes hands many, many times while in circulation.
In other words, cost and value are not necessarily related; they’re two separate factors that, in the case of pennies, make for interesting cocktail party conversation but don’t actually need to correlate for it to be worthwhile to create the penny. Its functional cost and its value are separate issues. (Thanks for the insight, Snopes.com.)
Filed under: negotiating, nonprofit, selling, what is sponsorship, activation
Pitching Hotels? Might Be Time for a Changeup
“Generic” might be having a good run in pharmacies and grocery stores right now, but hotels are looking for assets that differentiate them from the guy down the street.
An article in Monday’s The Wise Marketer highlights a recent study of hotel rewards programs, conducted by Razor’s Edge Business Intelligence. As most of the chains have run their loyalty programs for many years (some more than two decades), Razor’s Edge is predicting that the programs will “move on from simply adding more partners and more benefits toward developing in whole new directions. . . . such as the creation of sub-clubs that appeal to special interest groups (e.g. sportsmen, sports fans, or bikers) or the addressing of environmental concerns.”
Filed under: cause marketing, destination/tourism, packaging, selling, associations
Takeaways: When and How to Include Sponsors in Social Media
In conversations over the last week—with an association client or two, a group of zoos and aquarium sellers, and a financial services sponsor—the appropriate use of social networks for sponsorship activation has been a hot topic. How do we take sponsorships—those that live primarily off-line and those that have a foot firmly in both worlds—to the social nets?
In keeping with the old mantra of “if one person has the question, probably a lot of people have the question”—here are a few takeaways from those conversations.
Filed under: contracts, digital media, guidelines, negotiating, packaging, selling, servicing, 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
Health Care Reform May Lead To More Spending From Insurers
With everyone chatting (if not yelling) about the pros and cons of health care reform, I thought I’d take a minute to address one potential positive for the sponsorship industry: more spending by health insurers.
Like other players, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida is developing marketing strategies that address the potential outcome of health care reform. The company believes any hint of mandated coverage could prompt new sponsorship spending.
Filed under: how to get sponsorship, selling, sports, events
Sponsorship Value Derived from Strategic Alliances Between Associations
“United we stand, divided we fall.” Words spoken in some form by Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln and which many credit to John Dickinson’s “Liberty Song,” published on July 18, 1768, in the Boston Gazette. These words ring as true as ever considering the current economic climate. So, what does this have to do with sponsorship?
Many associations are spending countless hours figuring out how to keep sponsors, and, hopefully, continue to grow their sponsorship programs. Sponsors seem to have less to spend, while associations don’t really have an overwhelming amount of new and different opportunities. Sound familiar? What it means is that as an association, you need to bring new value to the equation.
Filed under: associations, packaging, selling, assets