You may have seen Joe’s recent blog about the partnership between Best Buy and Children’s of Minnesota. The partnership includes some pretty unique and well-suited activation. Inspired by that partnership, I set out to find some additional examples of good activation programs.
Garnier, a division of L’Oreal, caught my attention because of its activation around its sponsorship of Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival. As a major sponsor of Bonnaroo, Garnier Fructis hosted the Rock Your Style Bonnaroo Salon. The salon offered hair washing, hair styling, free samples, karaoke and giveaways. The full-scale salon allowed concertgoers of the multi-day festival an opportunity to freshen up – a much needed amenity after several days of camping and apparently limited shower facilities. more
In step with IEG’s projection that North American companies will increase their spending on marathons and running events by 2.5 percent in 2009 (to an estimated $86.1 million), I had the pleasure of participating in an inaugural half marathon event on November 22nd.
The first-time event—the Women’s Running magazine Women’s Half Marathon to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society—was held in St. Petersburg, Florida. While I was first and foremost there as a charity runner, I had plenty of time on and off the course to check out the sponsorship activity. While my running resume is by no means prolific (especially compared to IEG’s resident ultramarathoner Shan Riggs), I have participated in enough races of varying distances, sizes and sponsor profiles to know the drill. more
If you’ve heard an IEGer on the speaking circuit in the last couple of years, you may have listened to one of us talk about how sponsors need to move from the idea of “sponsored by” (translation: we wrote a check) to instead communicate a “provided by” message and feeling (translation: we get you and want to improve your experience).
Harris Bank has taken this idea and woven it seamlessly into its overall positioning in ads, and other marketing messages, for its sponsorship of The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival® presented by Harris (the popular holiday event took place November 21-22 here in Chicago). Harris’ tagline—“We’re Here to Help”—has been the centerpiece of a fantasy ad campaign that has featured Harris Bank signage helping people avoid awkward situations, take advantage of split-second opportunities, and avoid bodily harm. more
Received a press release yesterday from Pheasants Forever, a nonprofit conservation and hunting-oriented organization, announcing that Miller High Life will again be the official beer of the group, extending a longtime relationship. MillerCoors will overlay the sponsorship with an on- and off-premise promotion that raises funds for PF. The Miller High Life Rooster Promotion allows adult consumers to purchase paper roosters for either $1 or $5, with “net funds raised” going to local PF chapters to fund wildlife habitat projects. 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.
With the Bank of America Chicago Marathon behind us, sights are set on the next major event on the running calendar: November’s ING New York City Marathon.
Unlike those who are particularly adept runners (my running style has occasionally been compared to that of a Mack truck), I focus not on incredible feats of endurance but feats of sponsorship activation.
One of the best activation examples of the upcoming ING New York City Marathon comes to us courtesy of Toyota.
Often when you look at an event or other sponsored property, sponsor presence is akin to a bunch of strangers attending a party—all lined up against the wall, well-dressed and smiling, waiting for someone to notice and engage them.
Someone—it really should be the party host, or sponsored property—should nudge them and say, “Hey guys, why don’t you start by mixing with each other? That will probably help attract others to you.”
IEG has long been a proponent of cross-promotions among cosponsors as a way to access new channels, share costs and in general, join the party. I consider hosting sponsor summits and facilitating conversations among sponsors as one of the most fun parts of the job.
Hyperlocal involvement is a growing trend in the marketing world, and which could be readily applied to sponsorship as well.
Hyperlocal is, as the name suggests, the effort to focus on extremely local markets. For sponsorship, I apply the term micro-sponsorship to encapsulate both local market activity and sponsorship of small properties that may cover more than a single market.
Sponsorship has in essence always been hyperlocal. For years it has bankrolled local fairs, festivals, sporting events and other endeavors. However, for big name companies, these smaller sponsorships have taken the backseat to platforms that can be marketed nationwide. more
Let me say first that I think IHOP’s NFL sponsorship is a deal that could provide the pancake chain with numerous promotional platforms to drive traffic, enhance the brand, etc. In fact, IHOP has introduced a number of activations, which you can check out at the company’s new microsite, www.IHOP.com/NFL. However, French toast in the shape of a football just doesn’t cut it. First, even if this menu item was a good idea, IHOP didn’t need an NFL sponsorship to introduce it. Second, this menu item is a bad idea because no one over the age of 12 wants to eat food shaped like a football (or other sports equipment for that matter). more