Latest Thinking from IEG
IEG’s sponsorship experts provide unique perspective on the latest industry developments, news and trends. These posts will make you think, challenge conventional wisdom, give you new ideas, and spark discussion.
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The Seven Essential Functions of Successful Event Apps
My last post shared some great examples of festival and event apps that build audience engagement for both the properties and their sponsors. In reviewing the elements that allow apps to live up to their engagement potential, seven specific functions rise to the top:
Filed under: events, festivals, international, new media, social media, digital media
Great App Ideas for Festivals, Live Events and Their Sponsors
It used to be you grabbed the festival calendar from your free weekly and circled what bands you wanted to see. Now, Web-based applications for smartphones and tablets let you plan, share and update schedules with military precision. Before committing to a stage, you can review a band’s videos, see how many “likes” they have on Facebook and check out which bands they are most similar to in your music library.
Filed under: events, festivals, international, new media, social media, telecommunications, digital media
Marathon Sponsorships on the Rise
Looking back at the season for marathons, triathlons and other endurance events that unofficially wrapped up last month with the ING New York City Marathon, it’s clear that sponsors have tuned into the many benefits and opportunities that make those events unique and desirable properties. They offer sponsors access to an engaged, passionate audience; often economical rights fees; opportunities for creative and meaningful activation; and opportunities to highlight a company’s social corporate responsibility efforts.
Filed under: events, marathon, sports, activation
Garnier: Activation with Lots of Potential
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.
Filed under: entertainment, events, music, activation
Five Tips From the First-Time-Event Finish Line
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.
Filed under: cause marketing, events, local, marathon, activation
Lighting Up a Local Sponsorship
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.
Filed under: events, local, activation
Micro-Sponsorship: Hyperlocal Marketing Could Become Sponsorship’s Laboratory
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.
Filed under: events, local, sponsorship ROI, sports, trends, activation
Sponsorship and the Element of Surprise
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.
Filed under: entertainment, events, sports, activation
Procter & Gamble Does Hometown Sponsorship Right
P&G has stepped up sponsorship activity around its Cincinnati headquarters, signing title of Memorial Day weekend’s Taste of Cincinnati and expanding its partnership with last month’s Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon.
The soap giant activated both deals with a handful of brands, each of which gained ownership of an on-site proprietary program. For example, the Taste of Cincinnati featured the Pampers Stroller Speed lane, the Bounty Quilted Picker Uppers cleaning teams and the Old Spice Swagger Zone, a special seating area where attendees could watch Cincinnati Reds games on a giant TV.
At the Flying Pig Marathon, P&G’s Tide used branded laundry carts to pick up clothing discarded by runners, Old Spice High Endurance deodorant awarded a prize to marathoners who ran the last mile the fastest, while Mr. Clean sponsored the Clean Your Clock fastest split-time award.
The strategy makes a lot of sense: In addition to promoting its hometown presence, P&G was able to make a more meaningful connection with its target audience by integrating its products into the fabric of each event. The multi-brand strategy also allowed P&G to spread the cost of the sponsorships over multiple budgets.
Way to go, P&G.
Filed under: events, local, marathon, sports, activation