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.
I wrote about the resurgence of the auto industry in a recent post, but I’m revisiting the topic because it’s gaining even more momentum.
Two recent examples of new spending:
GM/Buick LaCrosse. GM recently inked new deals with a handful of art, film and culinary events to generate a buzz around the redesigned Buick LaCrosse and the vehicle’s early ’10 launch.
I’ve come to the conclusion that we marketing folks don’t like change. As much as we say we embrace change and a big part of our jobs is to keep up with trends and advancements, the rate of the change within the industry moves at a snail’s pace. I don’t have an in-depth understanding of how quickly other industries accept change, but I would have to guess marketing changes at about the same pace as the government.
I am not saying we aren’t innovative, but sometimes the innovation feels forced. We try to get ahead of the curve, but usually, we are lagging behind it. I think sometimes it is because we always assume the worst, that change means doom and gloom or the fall of the industry as we know it. Every innovation is a disaster waiting to happen. We are very protective of our ways of doing things.
While sponsorship deal-making usually grinds to a halt during the dog days of summer—a situation that’s been exacerbated this year as a result of the economy—some veteran sellers are starting to see signs of looser budgets and more deals in 4Q ’09 and beyond.
While that’s good news for the sponsorship industry, properties need to be more strategic than ever to capture those dollars.
I recently spoke with Cary Chevat, president of sponsorship sales agency Sponsorship Resources, who shared some tips for securing deals during the 4Q decision-making time period.
After reading Bill Chipps’ recent blog on post-event fulfillment reports, I realized that I had a lot of opinions on what a post-event fulfillment/sponsorship recap report should and shouldn’t be.
I have to be upfront, as a Senior Valuation Analyst, I don’t write fulfillment reports and I don’t typically give a lot of advice on them (I leave that to our expert consulting staff), but as someone who reviews and sorts through boxes and binders of sponsorship information for both properties and sponsors, I have some pretty clear ideas of what types of information I like and what information makes my job easier. Additionally, as an objective third-party, I often hear sponsors’ gripes about their partnerships, which can include complaints about lackluster fulfillment reports. Frankly, sometimes I feel like a sponsorship therapist. Finally, I’ve seen quite a few fulfillment reports, some good and some not so great.
My colleague Shelley Fasulko’s recent blog post about companies forging relationships with “ordinary citizens,” as opposed to celebrities, put me in mind of a new book written by veteran sponsorship pro Jeff Blumenfeld and published by Skyhorse Publishing (www.skyhorsepublishing.com).
Titled You Want to Go Where?: How to Get Someone to Pay for the Trip of Your Dreams, the book shares Jeff’s expertise from his 35 years in what he dubs “adventure marketing.” As the head of his own PR and marketing firm (www.blumenfeldpr.com), Jeff has linked companies and brands such as Du Pont, Coleman, 3M Thinsulate and Lands’ End with adventurers and explorers, including Will Steger’s North Pole and Trans-Antarctica expeditions.
To be sure, the scientific angles and life-and-death situations of the adventures discussed in You Want to Go Where take them into a different realm than the more down-to-earth exploits that Shelley talked about, making the reasons for sponsoring them certainly much different as well.
The book shares information on grants and sponsorships available for expeditions from brands such as W.L. Gore, Land Rover, Polartec and Rolex. more
In its latest music marketing endeavor, Rolling Rock beer has teamed with insurgent country purveyor Bloodshot Records to sponsor a series of concerts in 10 to 12 markets this summer, IEG SR has learned.
Confirmed markets for the Bloodshot B-B-Qs include Boston, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Seattle and Brooklyn, N.Y.
In addition to the one-off shows, Rolling Rock will sponsor tours by two Bloodshot acts: Ha Ha Tonka and the Deadstring Brothers. more
While Bud Light is banking on its “drinkability” to sell beer, it seems that many properties are trading on their sponsorability (a word I’m pretty sure we IEGers made up, along with “ambushability”) to sell sponsorships.
Considerable chatter around IEG this past week has centered on this question: How do organizations, venues and events make sure they’re in a sponsor’s line of sight when the sponsor starts looking?
We put salability of packages, strength of proposals and sales cycles aside for a minute and talked about the steps that come before the sale, where 26% of sponsorship deals are initiated by sponsors and their agencies (according to IEG’s 2008 property survey). more
With General Motors filing for bankruptcy today, one has to wonder about the fate of GM R*Works, the automaker’s dedicated promotions and event planning agency owned by the Interpublic Group of Companies.
To be sure, the automaker has significantly reduced its sponsorship activity over the past several years, dropping the U.S. Committee Olympic, pro sports teams and a number of other properties, leaving the agency with little to do.
But the agency continues to sign new deals on behalf of its client. Case in point: R*Works recently inked a new partnership with Baltimore, Md.’s Artscape festival on behalf of the Saab brand. The Swedish import replaces Saturn, which sponsored the festival last year. GM has announced plans to sell both brands.
So what’s the fate of R*Works? Will the agency continue to exist, albeit in a smaller form to accommodate a slimmed-down GM? Stay tuned. more