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.
“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.
While many properties have written off the consumer electronics category due to the economy and subsequent pullback in discretionary consumer spending, JVC, LG and other companies may soon start seeking new deals to promote their latest-and-greatest products: 3-D TVs.
At least one company has signed its first deal. Panasonic Consumer Electronics recently announced a tie-in with James Cameron’s new 3-D science fiction film Avatar on behalf of its 3-D-ready plasma screen TV and 3-D-enabled Blu-ray Disc player, both of which it plans to release next year.
Panasonic will activate the tie by hosting Avatar viewing demonstrations in specially-designed trailers in the U.S. and Europe. Sources say the company plans to leverage Panasonic System Solutions Co.’s multi-million dollar partnership with AEG to host screenings at Southern California’s LA Live entertainment complex. more
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.
Last week a colleague (shout out to my fellow IEG’er, Diane Knoepke), shared an article with all of us bloggers here at IEG that discussed what keeps so many professionals back from producing great content. In this particular article the author explained how too many bloggers are worried about sounding “qualified” and “respectful” and thus, end up hiding their true voice and producing very polite content that fails to really land or compel anyone to do much of anything (check it here).
As I said, in this article the topic was blogging, but this can be said for producing great content, period. That content could be a sponsorship deck, an ad, a web platform, an app, an activation concept, a fulfillment report, etc. How many of us are using this polite, “meet the parents,” “inside,” “classroom,” “ask for a favor,” voice when producing content and interacting with clients? I dare venture most of us are. more
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
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
IEG has written about—and recommended to certain consulting clients—the idea of properties teaming up to create a better offer for sponsors, whether that be a larger package of rights and benefits, an expanded—or more diverse—audience, broader geographic reach, etc.
Typically, this has been advised for smaller properties, many of whom wouldn’t have robust enough benefits or audience numbers to attract significant sponsor interest on their own. But with larger properties facing unforeseen revenue challenges, perhaps some of them should give the two-properties-are-better-then-one idea a try.
Recently I was working with a client – who puts on a great event – that was grappling with hitting on the right formula to get their foot in the door and compel prospective sponsors to take an initial meeting with them. I started going down the path of providing methodological advice when it dawned on me what we’re really talking about here is securing the first date – and with as many years in the field and gal pals as I have, this is something I can definitely counsel on.
Let’s throw the propriety and steps out the window: a great first date is one where you talk all the time the other person seems fabulously attracted, attentive and interested in you and, if they know a little bit about what you’re into that sure is icing on the cake (hello any gentleman who can talk Buckeye sports and indie rock). It’s no different with the property – prospect relationship. As the suitor, the property has an obligation to make the prospect feel like the only one in the room (no tipping them off that you’re courting their arch nemesis at the same time).
Creating this mood requires two key things (and no I’m not talking about flowers and a bottle of Dom): more
The economy. You have a built-in explanation for any drop in performance. So put that net of excuses to good use—go deliver a death-defying high-wire act. You won't die, and you just might be the star.
Self-orientation. I'm an only child. And I married an only child. I know all about self-orientation. (See? I’ve used “I” way too many times in this paragraph already.) The good news is that being self-oriented is not the same thing as being self-absorbed or self-centered. The bad news is it's a distinction without a difference in sales. Whether it's trying to sell a program just because you need to fund it, or telling prospects information about your property that they don't need to know to buy the deal, it's not doing you any favors. Don't be an only child at the sales table; be a Gosselin or a Duggar. Those kids know it's not about one of them, the payout is in the assemblage.