I’ve got nothing but big ups to send out to BP, the Cubbies and the Sox today on their announcement of the BP Crosstown Cup. In a phrase, this kicks ass. The annual Chi-town Crosstown Shoot Out is one of those experiences of legend and lore – every year passions flare, lines are drawn, Old Styles are drunk and if you’re anywhere in the city of Chicago you’re “calling in sick.” In short, it’s the equivalent of an unofficially sanctioned city-wide holiday. more
In the past 24 hours I’ve had two conversations that revolved around romantic entanglements and what one should do when they find themselves in one of two conundrums (keep reading, I swear this takes a sponsorship turn): more
For a long time I’ve prided myself on being an independent gal, a true “Single Lady” that even Beyonce would give a head nod to in the club. Not surprisingly, I value this quality in others. I like the ballsy, brashness it takes to pack up your car, drive cross country with no idea what awaits you, or to start your own business on a whim and a prayer. However, as I reach the ripe old age of thirty, I’ve learned that this independence does not serve one well in all situations. In fact, if anything, it can be downright detrimental to tapping in to a greatness that you have to offer that lies on the other side of independent bad-ass-itude. more
A property’s typical, linear approach to developing a sponsorship program is to gather assets, allocate those assets, create packages at various levels, solicit sponsors that seem to fit with the property and then hopefully sign a few sponsors at each level. Ultimately, the package may be slightly tweaked to offer benefits that are a better fit for the sponsor, but overall, it is still a pretty standard package. The activation of the sponsorship is left to the sponsor, possibly with some assistance from the property. There isn’t really anything wrong with this process, it makes sense, it follows a well-worn path and it has often proved successful. It makes allocating assets easier, it is easier to price and manage, and initially it is a lot easier and quicker to take to market. more
If you read my posts often enough, you know I’m constantly waxing poetic about how important integrating the consumer into the sponsorship experience is. So it should be no surprise that upon hearing about Stephen Colbert’s, “Colbert Nation” top sponsorship of the U.S. Speed Skating team (if you haven’t already, check out my colleague Rob Campbell’s blog post here) and FanCar’s unique sponsorship opportunities around Sprint NASCAR cars; that I am ready to hand out two big, fat gold stars for fan integration. more
Something was recently brought to my attention by one of my loyal blog readers (who has no problem shooting me straight): I am a perpetual Negative Nelly in my posts. Yep, just one cynical, critical consultant throwing stones at just about everyone and everything. Thing is, when you make your living spotting potential sponsorship red flags and helping people improve their sponsorship program, you become trained to look for problems and admittedly, can overlook the good stuff.
Being a big-time believer in karma, I’d like to put something good out there too. So, this post is a step in the direction of setting my sponsorship karma right, I am actually going to talk about someone doing something well.
There’s no getting around it. Without an explanation for a sponsorship, fans will make up their own and often they are negative. Fittingly, Allianz—official risk manager of Formula 1—runs little risk of its sponsorship being misinterpreted. While directly tied to its core lines of business—road safety and risk management—Allianz uses the F1 platform to educate and entertain fans and media so that its sponsorship comes off as a benefit rather than an intrusion. And by having its story live across multiple platforms, Allianz tells the story with various degrees of intimacy, depending on the audience.
For example, F1 fans may read about it in print ads or hear an interview with the driver of the company-sponsored Formula 1 Safety Car. Customers and prospects may hear the story directly from one of the firm’s safety ambassadors or AT&T Williams driver Nico Rosberg, also sponsored by Allianz. Journalists may encounter the story via free race clips and graphics. Even now, when F1 is in the news almost as often for scandals, rules changes and a possible breakaway circuit as it is for racing, Allianz connects the news to its story line. For example, a recent Allianz ad was titled “Prepared for the Unexpected.”
Allianz, which recently renewed its F1 partnerships, is among the many insurance companies adding deals despite the economic downturn. more