Ah, the words every property yearns to hear. Or not.
I have been struggling with what to think about the announcement this week that Staples has renewed its naming rights deal for the Staples Center “in perpetuity.”
My first thought was that since we’re talking about a venue in Los Angeles, maybe both parties expect “The Big One” to come along sometime soon—so the concept of perpetuity isn’t quite the same as it would be in less quake-prone parts of the world.
I’m trying to understand the rationale behind a “forever sponsorship” and who it benefits the most. The frustrating thing, as always, is that it is impossible to truly analyze a deal without knowing its particulars. But that won’t stop me from trying.
As Bank of America and the National Football League work to hammer out a renewal of an official league sponsorship, talks appear to be focusing on an issue familiar to many properties— national-local sponsorship conflicts.
According to this story from the Charlotte Business Journal, first reported in Sports Business Journal, BofA and the league—more specifically, the league’s 32 individual franchises—are at odds over whether the bank will have the right to use individual team marks on its debit cards.
I pick on affinity partnerships a lot because, frankly, they deserve it. While many affinity partnerships are worthwhile, many more are not. Note: I’m defining an affinity partnership as a licensing arrangement where a property allows a company to use its brand (name, logo, etc.) and access to its audience to sell a product or service, in return for a royalty and/or a benefit to the audience (discount, donation to the organization, etc.). The most common type of affinity partnership is the affinity credit card, like the thousands offered by Bank of America. That said, there are countless categories that participate in affinity relationships.
Here are the questions properties should ask to decide whether to start (or even continue) to work with affinity partners. more
Partnerships between properties and sponsors, for both sides, can be complicated and challenging. There are a lot of factors working against forming and maintaining good partnerships. Things like lack of communication; miscommunication; lack of resources (e.g., time, staff and money); bureaucracy and organizational politics; changes in objectives; unrealistic or unmet expectations; personality clashes; staff turnover or layoffs; trust or respect issues; problems with transparency; issues with fulfillment; etc. I can probably think of several more, but you get the idea. All things considered, a good relationship between a property and a sponsor requires overcoming many obstacles.
Accordingly, I wanted to share a couple of dysfunctional sponsorship relationships that I have encountered. The first example is a property that used its position to bully a sponsor and the second example discusses a sponsor that takes advantage (although without malice) of a property, so, a little something for everyone. Additionally, although these relationships had always been somewhat dysfunctional, when it came time to renew the partnerships, that is when the issues really became apparent. Furthermore, even though both examples present dysfunctional relationships, the first example is far more extreme. I am not going to analyze what “could of” or “should have” been done, but present these examples at face value to demonstrate relationships gone wrong. Please feel free to comment, I would love to hear your thoughts on how you would handle the situation, or please share any similar situations (please no bashing and no names). more
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.
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.)
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.
You probably saw the news reports about the 24 thrill seekers who got stuck on the Invertigo roller coaster at California’s Great America Theme Park in Santa Clara on Monday. After I watched some coverage and let the wave of sympathetic nausea wash over me, I started to think about how situations like this impact sponsors. According to cagreatamerica.com, Coca-Cola and Almaden Press are currently Official Partners of the theme park.
Most partnership contracts have the minimum liability clauses to protect sponsors from any forthcoming lawsuits. But in a pay-for-performance world, at what point should a performance-related rebate or make-goods take effect? This may be an unpopular question, as it is certainly not something properties want to think about. How does one anticipate, let alone prevent, such things from happening? As California Division of Occupational Safety and Health spokeswoman Erika Monterroza said of the coaster, “These are machines and they do break down” (Source: Contra Costa Times). more
I was in my early 20s when I first sat in on a financial seminar given by a company’s 401k provider. I remember being very relieved that I had 40+ years to work to build up the amazing retirement I was sure to have–I have to admit I was almost gloating as I looked around the room at some of the folks who were my parents’ age. I wondered if they had been as smart as I was going to be.
But then as I started to really look at the different investment strategies they spoke of (conservative, moderate, aggressive), I realized what made sense to me intellectually (be aggressive, be-e aggressive!) was in direct conflict with what I felt like on an emotional level (savings bonds? hide it in the mattress?!). Thankfully after talking to my parents—trust me, I wasn’t gloating anymore—I found the right balance for me. more
In my last post, I shared my observations on how culture impacts—and should impact—the way sponsorship sellers create their strategies. In this post, I’m taking a look at the buyers, for whom culture is a much different thing.
To once again oversimplify, a company’s sponsorship selection (to buy or not to buy) and sponsorship evaluation (to renew or not to renew) strategy is a process that screens each opportunity against a set of criteria. Those criteria are built to measure a given opportunity’s likelihood to help the company meet its objectives. This includes opportunities where the company instigates the conversation and/or the property cold calls. more