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Sponsorship Blog

Sponsors Can Park It Right There

By Diane Knoepke Aug 24, 2009

A reporter contacted us last week for comments on the California State Parks' decision to work with corporate sponsors to keep open as many as 100 parks threatened with closing due to budget cuts. For more information on the program, click here.

It can be tricky to attract and recognize sponsors appropriately in any venue, and green spaces like parks are especially tough to do well. Tough, but by no means impossible. The CA State Parks are not selling naming rights to their green spaces, but will recognize sponsors with “tasteful” signage crediting them with helping to keep the park open. (Source: The Los Angeles Times.) Provided that signage doesn't block any vistas, it should be seen as appropriate acknowledgment of the sponsor's contribution, much like a philanthropic gift would be recognized. That sort of strategic philanthropy may be just the thing for sponsors seeking a low-profile community connection in these sensitive times.

But for those sponsors looking for measurable returns on their investments, it will take more. Story-telling promotions and complementary activation should do the trick. Good examples of this include Unilever's relationship with the National Park Foundation, and how the Naperville Park District works with sponsors here in Illinois.

Looks like several of the existing California State Parks Proud Partners are well on their way to finding a good story and an authentic promotional platform.

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Diane Knoepke

About the Author

Diane is managing director, client leadership for IEG Consulting, where she supports the team’s growth and innovation. Throughout her career, she has advised more than 50 property and brand clients on marketing and social value creation, sales, measurement and strategy. She delights in helping people change organizations more effectively. Follow Diane on Twitter!

 

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