I get a fair number of questions about “sponsorship models”—as in, which sponsorship model will work for my organization or company?
Frankly, I bristle at this, as it is the strategic equivalent to handing out oversized oven mitts to do the dishes, when only custom-sized rubber gloves will do.
Thus, in this post, I’m speaking to how each property’s unique culture impacts strategy creation. In my next post, I’ll speak to how culture comes in to play for sponsors’ buying strategies.
Those who follow the NBA may have picked up on this story about the Los Angeles Lakers championship parade’s being privately funded, with as much as $900,000 donated by wealthy Angelenos.
While I applaud the donors—including several successful businesspeople who might have an interest in currying favor with the government and public—I have to ask, “Where are the sponsors?” For the entire season, Lakers sponsors would have been positioned to fans as the team’s biggest backers. Now, at a huge celebration of the team’s accomplishments, those sponsors are overshadowed by business magnates getting all the press (though no sponsorship rights). more
In a post last week, I posed a couple scenarios where properties had to weigh the costs and benefits of allowing a sponsor to conduct certain activities.
From an outsider’s perspective, offering free samples to attendees or bringing volunteers for a day seems like a winning proposition all around. But the property often breaks even at best.
Let me be clear. Sponsor names and logos should NOT be placed on a zoo animal! But the question reflects how heated this discussion can become within a zoo or any other cultural institution. My career has included several years as director of sponsorship at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, as well as working with many zoos, aquariums and museums in my position here at IEG.
Time and again in my work there has been healthy debate and disagreement within cultural institutions about where sponsor ID can be placed, or the appropriate size of the logo. Every department within the institution wants and needs the revenue that comes from corporate sponsorship, but they don’t all want to recognize the sponsor with appropriate logo recognition.
In this instance, the word “appropriate” is the key to the solution. Every corporate sponsor and sponsorship professional realizes that a zoo is not the same kind of venues as a sports stadium or NASCAR. With sponsorship comes a need to provide logo recognition to the sponsor, and consumers are accustomed to this in most, if not all, venue types. Museums and aquariums do not need to provide the size and type of recognition seen at the football stadium. However, if sponsorship revenue is important to the institution, some type of logo recognition is a must, and don’t make the consumer have to bring a magnifying glass to see the logo! more
A marketer calls up the rep from a concert series he’s sponsoring and says he has a great opportunity for her. His company is launching a new product, and he’d like to distribute a FREE sample to all attendees for the next concert. However, this “generous” sponsor doesn’t have sampling rights built into his contract. What should the rep do?
A marketer calls up the rep from a nonprofit her company both sponsors and donates to and says she’d like to hold a one-day volunteer event for 200 employees. The nonprofit usually accepts only volunteers who make a six-month commitment to volunteering, due to the training involved. The nonprofit rep wants to provide a quality volunteer experience—including breakfast, lunch and a volunteer T-shirt—but isn’t sure she wants to deploy the dollars and additional staff if most of those volunteers won’t be returning. What should the rep do?
I have some thoughts, but would be interested to hear from you first. more
Man walks into a bar, hands the bartender a penny and asks for a beer. The bartender throws the man and his penny out on the street.
Man walks into a bar, hands the bartender two pennies and asks for a beer. The bartender throws the man and his pennies out on the street.
Man walks into a bar, hands the owner three pennies and asks to buy the bar. The owner shakes his hand and runs out the door with his three pennies. The man fires the bartender and pours himself a beer. more
We hear that a major sports property granted its longtime official airline partner a free sponsorship recently, when faced with the prospect of losing the sponsor. This news leaves us conflicted.
We have just heard from sponsor participants at an IEG round table that they don’t believe properties are being flexible in helping sponsors adjust to difficult times. We also have been reporting in IEG Sponsorship Report on ways for rightsholders to help their partners reduce cash commitments. So wasn’t the property in this case following the spirit of what we recommend? Perhaps.
Our concern is twofold: First, indications are the gratis deal was prompted mostly by the desire to save face and maintain a full sponsor roster for a property known as a smart seller—not a justifiable reason in our book. Second, a completely free sponsorship represents excessive “flexibility” that could impact other properties. Not that we anticipate giving away sponsorship to become the standard expected by sponsors, but having it out there puts further pressure on properties at a time when they are struggling mightily themselves. more
Those seven words have been a frustration for everyone in sponsorship for a long time.
While recognizing the need for specific deal terms to be kept confidential for competitive reasons, the lack of transparency when it comes to what was paid for a sponsorship—even in general “ballpark range” terms—has been a roadblock to furthering the interests of both sponsors and properties for decades, primarily in establishing what economists refer to as an “efficient market.” more