I thought we all agreed some years ago that the idea of a company showing up, being seen, putting its name on something and then counting eyeballs and impressions was a marketing concept whose time had come and gone, made obsolete by new technologies and no longer relevant in a world of consumers who demanded to be engaged.
Well someone forgot to tell the many sports marketing experts I have seen quoted the past few days regarding Tiger Woods’ return to golf at The Masters. The consensus among this chattering class—many of them academics—is that Tiger’s return, in and of itself, will be a huge boon to the companies he still endorses because of the attention it will attract to him and, presumably, those marketers.
Beyond the particular circumstances of the Tiger Woods saga are some specific lessons for marketers who partner with individuals and properties.
See my guest column in this week’s Advertising Age to read what all marketers should take away from Tiger’s tale.
I had the pleasure of participating in a panel discussion at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management this weekend. The occasion was the school’s inaugural sports business conference.
“The Business of Sports Sponsorships” panel—which featured Bank of America sponsorship chief Ray Bednar, Cleveland Indians SVP of sales and marketing Vic Gregovits and IMG College SVP Lawton Logan in addition to me—covered a lot of ground in our 75 minutes. more
This past week I attended a National Sports Marketing Networking (NSMN) event on The Evolution and Role of ROI in Sports .
Set up as an open forum with the audience and six panelists, there was a lot of great discussion and insight on what sponsors are looking for in ROI and how properties can provide it. Outlined below are a few of the key takeaways I left the event with: more
We had a great four days at the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) Annual Meeting this week. The event’s host city, Dallas, repeated its catchy “One More Thing” theme throughout the event. With my thanks to Dallas for a great job as host, here are eight more observations from PCMA—I promise at least seven of them have real-life applications, and I’ll let you decide about #8. more
The NFL has been on a recent kick of signing short-term sponsorship deals in the quick-service restaurant category.
Most recently, the league announced this week a deal lasting through March 1 making Papa John’s the official pizza sponsor of the NFL and Super Bowl XLIV. This sponsorship is very similar to the league’s relationship last year with KFC, in which the fast-feeder was the official wing of the NFL Playoffs and Super Bowl XLIII. more
Is a new-year’s-resolution post a tad predictable? Yep, and I’m embracing it, as you should embrace the idea of embedding predictability into your world in 2010.
Put measurement (and results-driven action) at the top of your 2010 To (Really) Do List and you will have a more prosperous new year and a more bankable future. more
The topic of sponsorship research has been on my mind lately. Sponsorship research can help both properties and sponsors with their decision making. There are many applications for sponsorship research. It can be used to determine the fit between a property and a sponsor; it can be used by a sponsor to measure an audience’s response to its sponsorship and activation programs; it can be part of return on sponsorship or ROI exercise; a property can use information garnered from research to demonstrate to its sponsors some of the benefits of the partnership; and it can be used to track trends or changes related to the sponsorship. Some properties and sponsors have the luxury of hiring an outside research agency. However, a lot of properties and sponsors have never conducted any research, or the property or sponsor conducts its own research (which is preferable to not conducting any research).
I would encourage sponsors and properties that don’t do sponsorship research to consider it, but there should be a clear purpose to the research, and the findings should be actionable, otherwise the results will be disappointing. Although the findings won’t be as specific, as a first step, a property or sponsor could consider using syndicated third-party research such as Scarborough or MediaMark (MRI).
Conventional sponsorship wisdom says that one of the best things a property can do to sell/renew deals in a disastrous economic climate is to show the prospect/sponsor that the relationship can result directly in product sales. There is no better ROI measurement or justification for a sponsorship expenditure than proving the connection between the partnership and revenue for the sponsor that goes to its bottom line, so the thinking goes. Seems to makes perfect sense.
There may be a flaw in this logic, however. This thought was spurred by this summer’s news DeWalt tools would not renew its 10-year-old sponsorship of Roush Fenway Racing’s No. 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entry driven by Matt Kenseth. This news called to mind an IEG Sponsorship Report story of a few years ago, in which DeWalt’s then event marketing manager told us the company generated enough profit (not just revenue) from the sponsorship—through securing new trade partners and generating incremental sales at existing accounts—to recoup its annual rights fee, which we estimated then to be about $14 million. 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).