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.
Learn more about IEG > Work with IEG >
Gaming and Alternate Reality Games (ARG) – An Exploration of New Media Sponsorship and Marketing
Gaming is part of our daily lives, not that this is necessarily new information, but when you stop to think about it, it is pretty amazing. Video games have evolved light years, not only in terms of technology, but in their appeal. Following are some statistics from the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) from their published “2009 Essential Facts about the Computer and Video Game Industry.”
68 percent of American households play computer or video games
35 is the average game player age
60 percent of game players are men
37 percent of heads of households report that they play games on wireless devices such as a cell phone or PDA
Filed under: branded entertainment, entertainment, new media, olympics, sponsorship measurement, activation
Non Profits Hit Creative “On” Button
I’ll admit, in the past I’ve not monitored the non-profit space as vigilantly as several other sectors and topics within the sponsorship industry. One reason is probably because I held an ill-conceived misconception that when it came to creativity I wasn’t going to find anything too earth shattering going on there. Well, let me just say the non profit world handed me my butt this week as I spotted two highly creative campaigns integrating two forms of marketing that can be tricky to get a handle on — mobile and guerilla marketing.
UNICEF is upping its technological savvy to appeal to a new generation of donors by adding mobile and web enhancements to its 59th annual Trick-or-Treat campaign (the longest running youth volunteer activity in the U.S.). The mobile element of this campaign incorporates mobile giving via text — phone users text in to donate cash which is billed directly to their phone bill. No muss, no fuss in the form of entering billing info and filling in a variety of personal info fields. UNICEF has also created downloadable activity sheets, fundraising ideas, Halloween party ideas and e-card reminders. These campaign “upgrades” intrigue me not because they consider how a youthful target audience operates (with a cell glued to their hand) — that’s nothing new a million marketers haven’t honed in on before — but because it goes a step further than a text announcement, opt-in or coupon. It connects with a generation being dubbed the most conscious and charitable ever and thinks about how they might want to not just communicate, but also give. Check it out here.
Filed under: digital media, new media, cause marketing
Sponsor Mighty, Dancing, Working, Little Old ME!
For the past year it’s been my personal obsession to keep tabs on everyday Jane’s and Joe’s who’ve managed to do the extraordinary and find ways to pursue their dreams and passions by getting themselves sponsored. The kind of “self-sponsorship” I’m talking about isn’t the sleazy “place an ad here (insert body part) and I’ll promote your brand in my online video” type — it is inspired, quirky and refreshing.
My ears first perked up when I heard Stride gum was sponsoring a guy named Matt who had a goal to dance around the globe (you can check Matt out here: http://www.wherethehellismatt.com/?fbid=8uJc6NDGCmR). Stride worked its “Ridiculously long lasting” catch phrase with Matt’s non-stop dancing; exchanged funding for low key advertising in Matt’s online videos; and earned the brand one hell of an interesting spokesperson. As for Matt, well, he got to dance.
Then I learned of another guy, this one named Daniel, who was a bit indecisive in the career department and was looking to “Live the Map.” Daniel’s goal? Travel the 50 states and work 50 jobs in 50 weeks (learn about Daniel here: http://www.livingthemap.com/Living_the_Map/Why.html). The details of Daniel’s sponsorship situation aren’t quite as explicit but he’s sporting a relatively sophisticated web site with t-shirts for sale, professional travel advice and major media outlet coverage (Fox News, CNN, CBS, The Today Show, etc.) which certainly ups his sponsorability factor.
Filed under: non-traditional categories, sponsored content, new media
Indie Cred For The Masses?
If you’re anything like me – a self-admitted indie music snob who looks forward to Tuesdays’ new releases with the patience and control of Manny and A-Rod in a pharmacy – then you probably have noticed that the music industry has been blowing up with new marketing and sponsorship strategies aimed at the indie music community.
Case in point, just this month:
- ReverbNation launched “Sponsored Songs” which is an online distribution program that brings fans free songs from 1,000 artists which will feature sponsor ads alongside the album covers of currently playing tunes on fans computers, mobiles, etc.;
- Billboard Music & Advertising Conference featured a session on moving brand marketers away from major label music towards independent music to connect with consumers who are shifting away from anything mass produced, mass consumed and status quo;
- IDT Media Group and its subsidiary, DiskFaktory launched the Music Sponsorship Network, a system that will link start up musicians with commercial sponsors and feature sponsors’ ads on CD artwork.
Filed under: music, new media, digital media
Branded Entertainment Goes Nuts
It seems like branded entertainment is making as big a splash this month as the shorts and flip flops my fellow Chicagoans are breaking out of their closets. Just as summer tends to bring people out of hibernation to indulge in a little raucous behavior, it seems marketers are taking a hint from this lighter, festive time of year. Whether it’s the dog days of the TV programming season, the increasing shift towards integrated forms of advertising, or a much overdue need for some laughs and creativity, several brands are putting their goods on the line with new campaigns.
Post Grape-Nuts’ “That Takes Grape-Nuts” campaign capitalizes on the brand’s loyal following of male enthusiasts by offering 50 highly original and hilarious webisodes in “The Guy’s Manual” (in case you’re curious, here’s one of my favorites: http://theguysmanual.msn.com/?Category=catID2&Id=a20#/catID6/v8). I’m not a guy, but this campaign works. Not only was I laughing, talking about and passing along videos of this campaign, I bought some Grape-Nuts. Seriously.
Filed under: digital media, new media, branded entertainment
Giving New Meaning to Sponsorship's Applications
I love my Google G1 phone and I especially like browsing the Android marketplace for new applications (apps). I know I am not alone in this, especially among iPhone users. Recently, IEG’s Jim Andrews posted a blog item discussing the introduction of the “Countdown to Copenhagen” app from the Chicago 2016 Olympic bid committee, the first bid city to use the technology.
According to Apple, over a billion apps have been downloaded by iPhone and iTouch users. Some of the most popular and entertaining apps are the most inane. I checked out the top paid apps for the iPhone and in the top five are FMyLife Pro and The Moron Test, whose names say it all. My guess is that the novelty of these types of apps will wear off and the ones that stick around are the ones that offer convenience or information.
Filed under: digital media, new media, activation
The Digital Achilles Heel
Ever found yourself in a relationship where the person you’re seeing has a wonderful quality you adore and over time you come to find that very same quality is what drives you insane about them? Well this seems to be the song and dance digital media properties and sponsors find themselves in when trying to strike common ground and get a deal done.
Those of us digital nerds who keep up with the trials and tribulations of the digital frontier know that monetization models are lagging well behind the technological developments of this space. What we see more often than not is a digital property trying to communicate its value out in the marketplace with little more than media equivalencies to rely on. That said, when a digital property tries to sell “sponsorship” of its platform, the story becomes even more convoluted as sponsors don’t know entirely how to view the opportunity. The drill usually goes something like this:
Filed under: new media, packaging, selling, valuation, digital media
Sponsorship and the Web
Lately I’ve been hearing a lot about branding and sponsorship on the Web, social networking, Web content, monetizing Web exposure, etc. This was a hot topic during IEG’s annual conference and continues to be top of mind for me.
Generally, sponsor exposure on the Web is part of a larger sponsorship package and how the sponsor is recognized online is an afterthought, something like a sponsor logo next to a bunch of other sponsor logos. This is a mistake; a property’s Web site is often the first point of contact for your audience and where they develop their first impression of your sponsors. The Web provides a direct link to a sponsor’s products or services and in many cases it is the quickest way to a sale for the sponsor. To top it off, it can be measured and the measurement is fairly easy to obtain.
Filed under: digital media, new media, activation
Peace, Love & Sponsorship
Hello IEG friends, fans, newbies, etc.
Well, come on in! This is my first entry to the IEG blog thread, so I thought maybe you’d like to know a little bit more about me, what I’m into and the kind of information you can expect to find here when I’m blogging. My name is Shelley and I’ve been with IEG for a few years. Prior to joining IEG, I logged some time in the professional sports world working to help the WNBA Chicago Sky franchise get up and running and develop its sponsorship program. Other than that you should know I’m an avid sports, music, fashion and social media junkie and I will drop just about anything for a Reese’s peanut butter cup.
The topics of interest you’ll find covered when I’m blogging of course include corporate sponsorship (you are at sponsorship.com, right?), but also digital and emerging forms of media, sports and branded entertainment. I’m really looking forward to sharing a part of myself and my time with you as a part of the IEG community so come back often and shoot me an email if there’s something you’d like to hear me weigh in on (firstname.lastname@example.org), hit me up on Twitter (@Shelley_IEG) or if there’s just something cool you’d like to share, post away.
As one of my former colleagues liked to say: peace, love and sponsorship.
Filed under: digital media, IEG, new media, sports, branded entertainment
An App For Just About Anything
If iPhone apps are all the rage, why should sponsorship be immune? The Chicago 2016 bid committee has introduced a “Countdown to Copenhagen” app that marks the days left until the October 2 IOC vote in Denmark to select which candidate city will get the 2016 Summer Games.
Each day brings iPhone users a historic fact about either the Olympics or Chicago along with the days remaining until the vote. Chicago is the first bid city to take advantage of this technology. Given the relatively low cost of developing apps, we expect to see plenty of other properties offering updates and info through this new platform.
Filed under: new media, olympics, sports, digital media