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?
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.
With a month to go before the IOC selects the host city for the 2016 Summer Games, Fox Chicago looked at the city’s prospects last night, including a report on potential sponsorship revenue.
Without enough advance warning for a quick change of clothes or to clear off my cluttered desk (our much more glamorous conference room was in use), I sat down with reporter Lilia Chacon. Here’s the result. more
The Australian federal government’s Preventative Health Strategy task force has recommended banning alcohol sponsorship as one method to deter people from drinking and perhaps becoming a burden on the public health system.
Whenever the subject of curbing the marketing of “sin products”—or raising their prices through taxes—comes up, I must admit that my libertarian side—as well as my drinking side—wants to shout, “If it’s a legal product, then why make the marketing of it illegal?” However, I understand the need for regulation of products that carry potential dangers.
The issue is where do we draw the line? No marketing of alcohol to kids? Of course. But prohibiting sponsorship of sports and other properties while allowing other adult-oriented advertising and marketing? Why? The argument that sports sponsorship implies an endorsement of alcohol as healthy is nonsense. Let’s give all but the weakest-minded consumers some credit, shall we?
As this article explains, as part of a ₤1 million fundraising effort for a new museum dedicated to Robert Burns, the National Trust for Scotland is auctioning off “sponsorship” of a manuscript of Burns’ Auld Lang Syne. The Trust is hoping to get ₤50,000, which entitles the winning bidder to a plaque at the museum’s display of the original manuscript.
I have to believe that preserving an iconic work of Scotland’s native son could inspire Scots and Burns—lovers to step up with more than ₤50,000, provided they have a vehicle to do so. Perhaps a cause-related marketing campaign could have been that vehicle—not unlike American Express’ 1983 campaign to restore the Statue of Liberty.
The U.K.’s Press Association news service sent out an article yesterday headlined “Stock Markets: Samsung Electronics Riding High on Back of Chelsea Deal.” Reading the piece left me with mixed emotions. I’m always happy to see sponsorship get credit for positive results, however there was not one shred of evidence that last week’s renewal of Samsung’s shirt sponsorship with the Barclays Premier League football club was the reason for the company’s share price rise. In fact, the only factual information provided in the article indicates that the recent gains are part of a trend of the last two months in which Samsung stock has “rocketed.”
Such flimsy reporting and writing infuriates me because it allows critics of sponsorship to point to such articles as proof that measures of sponsorship success are fluff. The good (factual!) news is that there is research that proves major sponsorship announcements do positively influence stock value. Read an IEG Sponsorship Report article on the research here.
The upshot is that Samsung’s Chelsea extension likely helped boost the stock price a few points higher than it otherwise would have risen this week, but an article that misleadingly credits the deal as the primary factor for shares reaching their yearly high doesn’t do anybody, including the sponsorship industry, any favors. more
There’s no getting around it. Without an explanation for a sponsorship, fans will make up their own and often they are negative. Fittingly, Allianz—official risk manager of Formula 1—runs little risk of its sponsorship being misinterpreted. While directly tied to its core lines of business—road safety and risk management—Allianz uses the F1 platform to educate and entertain fans and media so that its sponsorship comes off as a benefit rather than an intrusion. And by having its story live across multiple platforms, Allianz tells the story with various degrees of intimacy, depending on the audience.
For example, F1 fans may read about it in print ads or hear an interview with the driver of the company-sponsored Formula 1 Safety Car. Customers and prospects may hear the story directly from one of the firm’s safety ambassadors or AT&T Williams driver Nico Rosberg, also sponsored by Allianz. Journalists may encounter the story via free race clips and graphics. Even now, when F1 is in the news almost as often for scandals, rules changes and a possible breakaway circuit as it is for racing, Allianz connects the news to its story line. For example, a recent Allianz ad was titled “Prepared for the Unexpected.”
Allianz, which recently renewed its F1 partnerships, is among the many insurance companies adding deals despite the economic downturn. more
From Italian jewelry retailer Damiani’s signing of Team Italia in the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series regatta to Cartier’s presenting sponsorship of the Palm Springs Int’l Film Festival, luxury goods marketers are signing deals of all types and sizes despite the economic slowdown.
Within jewelry, luxury watches are the most active. First-time deals in the category since September 2008 include: more
Airports in Europe are half empty, flights half full and you can name your price for hotel rooms. Indeed, for the first time in the more than 30 years I’ve been coming to Florence, there was no line to get into the Uffizi Gallery. The impact of the global economic crises on tourism here—and all the businesses it touches—is devastating. Yet, live events are selling out. From Art Basel and Moto GP Mugello to Glastonbury and Venice Biennale, we are seeing full houses.
And, despite all the risks, this summer sees a record number of festivals in Europe. The major form of entertainment from the Middle Ages right up to the 19th century, festivals’ content has changed—less jousting more rock—but the appeal of a shared live experience with a slew of people remains.
While music is the overall attractor, an increasing number of European festivals are adding more, harkening back to traditional fairs that had theater, jesters, debates and sideshows. Take Latitude. In addition to four music stages, there’s poetry, literature, comedy, cabaret, theater and film at the four-year-old event in Suffolk, England launched by Festival Republic—producer of Reading and Leeds and co-owner of Glastonbury. more
Watching the German telecast of the French Open here in Italy, ads for Longines watches touted the amazing work of the Andre Agassi Foundation. A revealing twist to standard endorsements, Longines creative saluted the accomplishments of Andre’s foundation rather than Andre singing the praises of Longines. Tying to substance rather than pure celebrity hits the spot in these more modest times (see my previous post on The New Modesty).
And in a world of product parity in most every category—plus rampant commercialization—the most valuable assets of sponsorships and endorsements are morphing. For example, the implied endorsement of official product status used to have far more value than it does now. Directionally, the value’s in the audience affinity and the story that can be told.