As mentioned in part one 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 second part of the series concentrates on unique access opportunities. Many of the principles for valuing VIP hospitality apply to unique access opportunities. Keep in mind, there isn’t always a clear delineation between categories; the line can be a little blurry. more
This post won’t be tagged under “deep insights,” but just an observation about a noteworthy sponsorship that could be replicated by other properties.
This coming weekend’s Ford Ironman Louisville event features sponsorship from the city-run Louisville Water Co. Given its role as the local water utility, LWC has come up with a unique way to supply the hundreds of gallons of water needed by the triathletes that eliminates the need for thousands of eco-unfriendly plastic bottles. The company will tap into its existing water lines and one mobile water trunk and provide 100-plus volunteers at nine stations with hoses to fill 125,000 cups of water.
LWC plans to use this model for other local events to which it currently supplies bottled tap water.
For properties that have not had success securing an official water sponsor, or for those seeking a sustainable alternative to bottled water, tapping into your local water utility may be a good way to go.
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.
Initially, I wanted to address all of these types of benefits in one blog but I quickly realized that there is too much information to cover, so I am going to do a three-part series and the first part will concentrate on VIP or “can’t buy” hospitality. Even for my blogs, this one is a little long, but I think that if you can stick with it, there is some really valuable information here (maybe too much).
IEG has written about—and recommended to certain consulting clients—the idea of properties teaming up to create a better offer for sponsors, whether that be a larger package of rights and benefits, an expanded—or more diverse—audience, broader geographic reach, etc.
Typically, this has been advised for smaller properties, many of whom wouldn’t have robust enough benefits or audience numbers to attract significant sponsor interest on their own. But with larger properties facing unforeseen revenue challenges, perhaps some of them should give the two-properties-are-better-then-one idea a try.
What is it about nostalgia that is so engaging and why do brands that have successfully captured it stir up such an emotional response? Additionally, what are some current examples and what is the role of nostalgia in sponsorship?
I don’t quite understand it, but consumers (me included) seem to respond to almost anything that is reminiscent of earlier times in their lives, and strangely enough, people often have a fondness for decades that occurred before their birth (think Kenley Collins from “Project Runway” and her fascination with fashion from the 40’s and 50’s).
In fact, although most of us were not alive during the Great Depression, the 1930’s depression era is currently in vogue as we experience our own modern day economic uncertainty. Apparently, especially in times of turmoil, there is comfort in the familiar. more
Related to my gripe about using generic demographics to define target audiences, I really would like to see more brands better define their marketing, advertising, media, sponsorship objectives, etc. Many companies have “increase brand awareness” as a stated marketing objective. Why? Either because that is how it has always been defined and/or not enough thought has been put into determining their objectives. I think an objective of “increase brand awareness” is a cop out; it is as generic as saying “I want to be a better person.” Does it really give a good sense of purpose and direction?
Often, a brand has some level of broad awareness among consumers. So, its not that consumers have never heard of the brand; but maybe consumers need to be reminded of the benefits of the brand; perhaps there needs to be a change in the perception of the brand; possibly consumers need to be informed about a new product/service; or maybe they need to be educated that this is a product/service that they can’t live without. At the very least, if brand awareness is truly the objective, what are the benchmarks to say that it increased? What is it being measured against? (Obviously, all marketing objectives, not just increase brand awareness, need benchmarks and measurement).
Prior to yesterday’s announcement, if I had been asked to guess the name of Lance Armstrong’s next major sponsor I probably would have gone through at least a couple of hundred other companies before getting to RadioShack. I mean let’s face it, RadioShack isn’t a major blip on most folks’ radar screens. I still think of it as “a Tandy Corporation company” even though my just-completed tour of the Web site informs me the Tandy name disappeared nine years ago.
So what to make of this new alliance? As with all sponsorship speculation, those of us outside the parties to the agreement are at a disadvantage without knowing the specific deal points, the company’s business priorities, etc. But that hasn’t stopped us before, has it?
I’m coming down on the side of this being a good deal for the sponsor. The RadioShack brand is currently pretty irrelevant. Whether you admire Lance for his amazing accomplishments and comeback from cancer, or think he and/or his sport are not on the up-and-up, he is most certainly relevant. The association with him will bring attention to RadioShack in a way that spending probably twice as much on a NASCAR or other pro sports league would not.
According to WARC.com, a new survey from Ipsos Marketing says over 80% of global consumers are interested in trying new food, beverage, household and personal products. In the face of unfavorable economic times, during which many companies cut back R & D spending, companies bold enough to launch something new have an audience.
Seems to me that a few partnership teams got a jump on this insight by going beyond “traditional sponsorship” to create something new for consumers and/or business customers. Of course the technology space is chock full of inventions through partnership. To mention a few:
Properties looking for a good way to whet the interest of potential sponsors should consider offering proprietary platforms that give companies “ownership” of part of an event.
That ownership can come in many forms, ranging from title of a cooking area at a food festival to naming rights to an entrance at a sports complex, state fair, or community festival.
Two things I saw this week have prompted me to conclude that I would love to see more sponsors utilizing the element of surprise. First is a viral video that has been spreading in the music community of band Bon Iver spontaneously performing an a capella version of a song in a Paris hallway and taking to the city streets to perform as they meander along the sidewalks with fellow passersby (seen here). Second is the concept of flash mobs (more info here) which I’ve been reading up on after some debate about these events resurfaced in the press last week.
The reason these two things are being talked about and gaining buzz is because they are unexpected. You don’t expect to see a professional rock band completely unguarded and accessible, playing on foot for anyone who cares to stop and listen. You also don’t expect to run into 200 people in Grand Central who, without notice, freeze in various positions of daily activity and then return to what they were doing as if nothing ever happened.