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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Extreme Makeover: Sponsorship Edition (Episode #1)
Don’t be alarmed, at no point during this blog post will a floating ad featuring Ty Pennington jump out of this blog post and scream at you through a megaphone.
We all have our armchair quarterback moments, where we see something we would have done differently to enhance a campaign or partnership. And then we see some that nag us because they have potential and yet need a bit of an overhaul. Right partners, not-quite-right relationship.
Just a note: as we have so much merging and converging of ideas and relationship types in our industry today—I’m going to use “sponsorship” fairly broadly and cover corporate relationships like added-value advertising and cause marketing as well.
Filed under: digital media, new media, non-traditional categories, activation
ReMIND Campaign is a Sign of Tweets to Come
In case you haven’t seen it, the Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) has launched ReMIND.org, an initiative to spur consumer action in support of U.S. troops. While the Foundation provides support to members of the military, veterans and military families, the ReMIND initiative turns to the public with an awareness and fundraising goal.
ReMIND has two big things going on right now:
Filed under: agency, cause marketing, digital media, in-kind, new media, non-traditional categories, activation
Power to the People: Democratic Sponsorship
If you read my posts often enough, you know I’m constantly waxing poetic about how important integrating the consumer into the sponsorship experience is. So it should be no surprise that upon hearing about Stephen Colbert’s, “Colbert Nation” top sponsorship of the U.S. Speed Skating team (if you haven’t already, check out my colleague Rob Campbell’s blog post here) and FanCar’s unique sponsorship opportunities around Sprint NASCAR cars; that I am ready to hand out two big, fat gold stars for fan integration.
Filed under: digital media, entertainment, new media, selling, sports, activation
Really the “Truth” about Product Placement? Outlook hazy.
Sipping my coffee this morning, checking the publications and newsletters that keep me up to speed with what’s going on around me and Product Placement News caught my eye. The product placement world has been abuzz for quite awhile now (particularly across the pond) as lobbyists, government figures and industry folks debate what is and is not “product placement,” and where product placement should and should not be allowed.
The latest installment in this drama was laid out today by a group called Truthful Media who is lobbying the FCC to “call product placement what it essentially is – paid advertising” (via Product Placement News). Evidently, Truthful Media has reached out to FCC chairman Julius Genachowski stating that there is too much product placement occurring on television – citing teen shows like One Tree Hill as examples of product placement gone awry.
Filed under: digital media, product placement, branded entertainment
Siemens UK Outfit Puts Together a Classic
The sheer volume of sponsors doing sports/cause cross-property promotions means the approach is no longer trendy. Rather, it’s become a new classic—the sponsorship equivalent of “Jackie O” sunglasses or leather motorcycle jackets.
I came across an example yesterday that struck me for how textbook the activation seems—and I mean that in a good way. Siemens sponsors both the Great Britain Rowing Team (GB Rowing) and The Stroke Association in the UK. Siemens is activating them both simultaneously, with a cross-property platform called Stroke for Stroke, which challenges the public to row 10K—inside or outside—to raise funds for the cause.
Having looked at the components online and the supporting press, it seems to me that Siemens and its partners are working from a very smart little checklist of how to set these types of promotions up.
Filed under: cause marketing, digital media, hospitals and healthcare, nonprofit, non-traditional categories, olympics, sports, strategic philanthropy, activation
Go For Sponsorship Gold: One Simple Rule
Remember the Golden Rule (for those academics reading, you may be more familiar with it as the “Ethic of Reciprocity”)? Something to the effect of “do unto others as you’d have done unto you” (not sure if I got that exactly right, I’d be overstretching it to say I’m the most virtuous person), but I’ve always loved the zen utility of being able to answer every question or solve every problem with one simple tenet.
So what’s the Golden Rule of sponsorship? If, as people, we’re supposed to treat others how we want to be treated, what as sponsorship pros is the golden statute to employ? Now, I’m no Buddha and I don’t claim to have the mystical, sage wisdom of the ages, however, I have seen a lot of sponsorship – good and bad – and while it may not be sexy, I think it comes down to this: enhance the consumer experience.
Filed under: branded entertainment, digital media, entertainment, fashion, activation
Social Media and Sponsorship Join Forces for Marquette Basketball
This past week, Marquette University started posting from a Pepsi-sponsored Twitter account focusing on the home opener for its men’s basketball team.
This development is unique in that very few (successful) forays have been made into the world of sponsored social media.
So far, the only evidence of Pepsi involvement is a Pepsi logo and the text “Pepsi Season Opener” on the Twitter page. There have been no tweets or links posted regarding Pepsi or the sponsorship and the posts have largely focused on information aimed at building excitement around opening night.
If the user’s window is not maximized, the Pepsi logo and blurb receives little visibility, as it is mostly shrouded by text display.
Filed under: digital media, new media, social media, sponsored content, sports, trends, activation
Now You Can Be Interesting AND Keep Your Soul
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.
Filed under: associations, cause marketing, digital media, government/municipal, guidelines, hospitals and healthcare, nonprofit, activation
ACL Sponsors Didn’t Come Ready To Rock
Well hello friends, September had me traveling and out of the office quite a bit so I apologize for my absence from the blogosphere. That said, I’m back in the swing of things and had a big weekend checking out all the musical goodness of one of the best festivals in the US (if I do say so myself) Austin City Limits.
Being a music junkie, an event like ACL (3 days, 8 stages, and 130 bands) is my substance of choice. Being a music junkie who also happens to be a sponsorship professional pretty much guarantees that an event like ACL will leave me stimulated to the point of overdose. Between taking in the music, checking out the on-site activation, tweeting and posting pics I’ve got to say I am spent. If you want reviews of the music, believe me, I’d gladly indulge you for hours, but I’ll leave the music out of it for the moment and share my takeaways from the sponsorship perspective. It boils down to this: ACL 2009 couldn’t hold its Zippo to the sponsorship activity and creativity of ACL 2008.
Filed under: branded entertainment, digital media, entertainment, activation
Hearts And Minds, Not Eyeballs
The news this week that Jack Daniel’s is quitting its NASCAR team and Anheuser-Busch’s Michelob Ultra is not renewing title of its LPGA Tour stop in Virginia are but two examples of the scores of sponsors dropping title of pro golf tournaments and motorsports teams.
It is a tough environment for everyone selling sponsorship, but among the most challenged are pro golf events and motorsports teams. Rightsholders in these sectors have often sold on media visibility, and that’s a dangerous path for anyone in sponsorship.
On merely a CPM basis, sponsorship cannot successfully compete with advertising. When times were flush, marketers were willing to pay the higher CPM because intuitively they understood that sponsorship offered more. But intuition is no longer enough, and treating sponsorship as the “added value” piece and media as the main event, no longer works.
Filed under: assets, digital media, NASCAR, new media, pro sports, selling, social media, activation