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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Events, Sustainability and Sponsorship
Of all the news releases I receive, those from the Int’l Organization for Standardization are not high on my priority list of which to open. I’m not even sure how I got on the media list for this Swiss-based organization with a name that sounds like a front for a James Bond villain.
However, the announcement that arrived yesterday in my email inbox did catch my interest, as the ISO is embarking on an initiative to develop an international standard for sustainable event management, one that would lessen the negative environmental impact of all manner of large-scale events, from festivals to sports to business conferences.
Filed under: guidelines, international, trends, events
A Sponsorship Takeaway From Bono’s “Ten for the Next Ten”
U2 lead singer and humanitarian activist Bono’s recent op-ed piece in The New York Times entitled “Ten for the Next Ten” had several cool ideas that may be controversial to some and trendsetting to others.
Filed under: research, international
GlaxoSmithKline Provides Valuable Service as Olympic Sponsor
Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline recently signed on as the 25th sponsor of the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games.
As part of the three-year, estimated $15 million deal GlaxoSmithKline will assume the designation ‘Official Laboratory Services Provider.’
Perhaps the most important part of this deal is that as the Official Laboratory Services Provider, GlaxoSmithKline will provide the laboratories and equipment to test Olympic athletes for illegal and performance-enhancing drugs as they compete in London.
Filed under: international, packaging, spending, contracts
Eco-Conscience Title Sponsorship for U.K. Sailing Team
Have you ever heard of a property donating an $8.3 million title sponsorship slot? Well you have now! Team Origin, a U.K. America’s Cup team founded by business man Keith Mills, is donating the title sponsorship of their team to Carbon Trust, an independent business set up by the U.K. government to affect positive change regarding low-carbon economies.
Team Origin is an eco-conscience team at heart but they also believe this to be a good financial decision. “This is a different way of marketing sport and a model that has a lot of promise going forward” said Tom Delay, CEO of Carbon Trust. According to Mr. Delay “The team has said it believes in being sustainable in terms of our environmental impact, and we are going to attract a number of sponsors who all want to be associated with that as a core value.”
Filed under: international, pro sports, selling, sports, cause marketing
Aon Takes Man U Sponsorship to the Field
Imagine my surprise when, sitting in the salon waiting room, a blog post appeared. Someone before me had left behind Q, Aon’s employee magazine (Q3 2009 edition). The bright cover depicts children playing soccer and the headline "UNITED IN 2010: AON AND MANCHESTER UNITED" along with a call-out saying there is a team poster inside.
Above and beyond that poster is a case for a sponsorship the likes of which we rarely see. While Aon's core business is not sponsorship or even marketing (it's risk management and human capital consulting), they give their employees solid background on the reasons for the partnership, including business objectives, value drivers and ROI case studies. Particularly impressive is an interview with Charlie Armstrong, senior director, advertising & global branding for AIG, to "find out how the current sponsor leveraged its opportunity to build brand and grow AIG's business."
Filed under: international, pro sports, sports, activation
When a Sponsor Pulls Out, Who Should Take the Blame?
Even those who don’t follow sports regularly might have heard about the plight of Caster Semenya, the South African track star whose ambiguous gender created a major controversy at this year’s world championships. In the fallout, Athletics South Africa (ASA) bore much of the blame for its bungling of the matter. So it wasn’t surprising when financial services company Nedbank announced it was terminating its five-year sponsorship of ASA’s road running event series. Though the bank has pointed to the declining quality of the events as the primary reason, the Semenya debacle seems to have played at least some role in accelerating the decision.
The reaction in South Africa has been surprising. I would have expected such news to spawn additional criticism of ASA and its leadership. Instead Julius Malema, leader of the youth wing of the African National Congress, called for a boycott of Nedbank. Malema contends that Nedbank is shirking its responsibility to support the South African community and points to this as an example of—in his view—Nedbank’s history of racist policies and practices.
Filed under: international, sports, backlash
Coke, Visa and McDonald’s Sponsorship Programs Also Lost Out In IOC Decision
The IOC’s vote to award the 2016 Games to Rio was a blow to Chicago’s civic pride, as well as to the plans of many sports marketers, broadcasters and U.S. sponsors who looked forward to a stateside summer Games for the first time in 20 years.
However, the pangs of disappointment were probably most acute at three particular sponsors: Coca-Cola, Visa and McDonald’s—not that our friends at those outstanding marketing organizations will admit that. Those three companies are the only sponsors that are both global Olympic partners as well as high level FIFA World Cup sponsors. (Coke and Visa are two of the six FIFA Partners, the top-tier sponsorship, while McDonald’s is one rung down as a World Cup Sponsor.)
Filed under: international, olympics, activation
Whoever Wins The Games Needs To Reinvent Olympic Sponsorship
Having just hung up with the latest reporter doing their homework for post-Copenhagen-announcement stories, it occurs to me that I should share with readers of this blog first the ideas that may make it into general media publications later this week.
Most of the interviewers calling IEG are from stateside media wanting to know if Chicago 2016’s sponsorship revenue projections of $1.8 billion are achievable should the IOC award the games to the Windy City.
My response has been that although Chicago faces the largest challenge because it set its sponsorship goals much higher than the other bid cities, whichever contender ends up as the 2016 host (and I do hope it is my city) will have to change the way we think about Olympic Games sponsorship.
Filed under: international, olympics, packaging, selling, servicing, assets
It’s a Memorial, Not a Stadium—When Public-Private Partnerships Go Wrong
Unfortunately the Australian War Memorial provides another cautionary tale for public-private partnerships. According to this story from News.com.au, backlash has arisen over the sponsorship activity in the memorial, including corporate ties to the eternal flame and to the daily closing ceremony. While I applaud the Australian government for its willingness to engage corporate partners, I’m sorry to see it done in such a stale and unimaginative way. Once again a government entity appears to be looking at its appeal purely in terms of eyeballs, essentially equating itself to a football stadium or a mall.
In this case, visibility MUST go hand in hand with a compelling storyline. Let’s consider a more relevant tie-in for the sponsor of the closing ceremony. At the end of each day’s ceremonies, visitors could be asked to fill out a postcard providing a message of thanks to war veterans. The postcards could be filled out and dropped off at sponsor-branded tables. And, if it wants to put a cherry on top, the company could commit to a small donation to the memorial for each postcard submitted (with both a minimum and maximum threshold).
The memorial gets its money. The consumer gets to participate. The company gets the visibility and a meaningful connection to a cause. It’s not super-sophisticated, but it doesn’t have to be to produce results. Any other ideas?
Filed under: government/municipal, international, cause marketing
Survey Says: People Like Sponsors!
Interesting research from the U.K. commissioned by London agency Target Media: Of 2,000 music festival attendees surveyed, 41 percent had positive feelings toward brands that sponsored such events.
Thirty-nine percent said sponsor ads fit better with the festival experience than ads elsewhere, while only 19 percent said they were annoyed by sponsor ID at festivals. Additionally, 75 percent of attendees said they could recall beer, wine or spirits sponsors at music festivals, with 77 percent believing such adult beverages “work best” as festival sponsors.
British and European sponsors typically do a very good job at activating their presence at music festivals to ensure their brands play a role in enhancing the attendees’ experience, which I am willing to bet plays a large role in the positive feedback to this survey.
Filed under: events, festivals, international, activation