Can I really tell CVBs to spend less on advertising? Am I brave enough to court the wrath of media entities and the hospitality and travel industries? OK, no.
CVBs, tourism boards and destinations should spend fewer marketing dollars on one-off advertising and a la carte direct mail marketing. Instead, spend dollars on ads and direct mail campaigns as part of—or activation of—integrated sponsorship packages. more
See Episode 1 for information about this blog series.
Motel 6’s Great Teddy Bear Roundup
Before: This week, Accor North America’s Motel 6 and Studio 6 brands launched the second annual Great Teddy Bear Roundup. This program asks people to donate new teddy bears at Motel 6/Studio 6 drop-off locations. The locations then deliver the teddy bears to local law enforcement, fire stations and hospitals that use the teddy bears “to comfort children experiencing stressful or traumatic situations.” The 2008 campaign yielded 10,000 teddy bear donations across the country. This year, the local police or fire department in the community where the most donations are made will also receive $6,000. Read the Motel 6 press release here.
Here in Chicago (and only a couple of stops from IEG) Apple committed $4 million to renovate the Chicago Transit Authority’s (CTA) North and Clybourn stop on the Red Line.
For its commitment to revitalizing the run-down CTA station, Apple receives the exclusive right to buy all of the ad space in the station and, perhaps more importantly, first rights to rename the station should the CTA decide to sell naming rights.
Although a first for Apple, its new relationship with the CTA does not completely come from out of the blue. Next year, Apple plans to open a new Chicago location steps from the North and Clybourn stop.
Yet again we’re seeing an unfortunate intersection between sponsorship and politics. In this story reported in the Charleston Daily Mail, the West Virginia Coal Association has indicated that increased environmental regulation may force it to cut back on its sponsorships and charitable spending.
That spending includes sponsorship of the Friends of Coal Bowl—an annual rivalry game between the state’s two biggest college football teams. The association’s seven-year deal runs through 2012. The story quotes WVCA president Bill Raney, saying, “You're taking today and looking at 2012 and we certainly hope we'll be able to do it, but the destiny lies in the hands of the administration in Washington.”
The City of Indianapolis recently jumped on the municipal marketing bandwagon, hiring agency Third Street Partners to develop a sponsorship plan and broker deals with prospective sponsors.
The five-month old firm was able to beat out more established agencies for the business, and we’re guessing a big reason for that—in addition to Third Street’s local roots—was its willingness to work entirely on commission, with no retainer or expense coverage.
According to the city’s Web site, the agency will take a 15 percent commission on deals it lands during the first two years of the contract and 10 percent on sponsorships signed during the final five months of the agreement, which expires at the end of 2011.
Often when you look at an event or other sponsored property, sponsor presence is akin to a bunch of strangers attending a party—all lined up against the wall, well-dressed and smiling, waiting for someone to notice and engage them.
Someone—it really should be the party host, or sponsored property—should nudge them and say, “Hey guys, why don’t you start by mixing with each other? That will probably help attract others to you.”
IEG has long been a proponent of cross-promotions among cosponsors as a way to access new channels, share costs and in general, join the party. I consider hosting sponsor summits and facilitating conversations among sponsors as one of the most fun parts of the job.
In protecting their ethics and standards, too many organizations avoid creativity. Like cutting fat and cholesterol from your diet and deciding that must mean flavor is bad for you too.
I am pleased to see GOOD Magazine's partnerships with Gap Inc. and Whole Foods. While you could argue that Whole Foods is a like-minded company that is endemic to GOOD's M.O., Gap surprised me a little bit. In a good way. Sure, they have a history of ethical labor practices (including their response to the 2007 child labor problem in India), but it could be tough for a magazine like GOOD to find truly mainstream partners that are in keeping with their image. more
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?
As mentioned in parts one and two of the series, of all of the categories of tangible benefits (both measured and non-measured) that I come across, valuing “can’t buy” hospitality, unique access opportunities or interactive/highly-integrated benefits are some of the hardest tangible benefits to value. Of course, these also happen to be some of the most valuable pieces of a sponsorship package.
The third part of the series concentrates on on-site interactive or highly-integrated opportunities. Many of the principles for valuing VIP hospitality and unique access opportunities apply to interactive/highly-integrated opportunities. Keep in mind, there isn’t always a clear delineation between categories; the line can be a little blurry.
Anyone who blogs on a regular basis knows that some days you need a little blog-spiration (yep, I’m coining that one). So, I took to my social networks to find out what the masses (e.g., my posse of LinkedIn, Twitter and facebook peeps) wanted to hear me weigh in on. And the results – drum roll please... more