International Conference on Sponsorship
Chicago, March 2000
is the world's fastest- growing form of marketing. In 1999,
corporations spent over $19.2 billion dollars on sports, arts,
entertainment, causes, and events, according to IEG research.
I first saw the possibilities
of how my core business -- booking talent and producing special
events -- and the sponsorship business could have synergy
when I booked performers for the annual Nike endorser party
in Vermont, which happened shortly after the '96 Olympics.
Under the aegis of
Maine Arts Commission, I attended the IEG International
Conference on "The New Sponsorship" which was held
at the Hilton Towers Hotel in Chicago on March 19-22, 2000.
I knew going in that
Sponsorship has evolved to be a good deal more than an arts
presenter asking for a corporate contribution and in return
putting up a sign in the lobby. However, more often than not,
this is exactly what constitutes sponsorship in much of Maine's
performing Arts world.
Entitled "The New Sponsorship" this conference
seeks to understand and encapsulate a rapidly changing business
enterprise. There were many attendees who came simply because
this was the best chance they would ever have of buttonholing
and quick-pitching the big-budget decision-makers from American
Express, Reebok, or AT+T. Others understand the complex nature
of marketing at the turn of the century and want to stay as
ahead of the game as they can.
Initially I was a bit
put off by the fact that arts and sports were mixed together
and not on separate tracks. On reflection, however, the essentials
of successful sponsorships are really the same for both; and
there is a significant learning opportunity from and for each.
A great feature of
the conference was that tables at lunch were arranged by categories.
Agencies, CVB's, corporate of varying stripes, arts organizations,
festivals, media, government, museums, sports teams, theme
parks, touring attractions, zoos, etc. each had at least one
table which attendees were free to join.
- Selling, Servicing, and Renewing led by Nancy Fogle
and Amy Bernier of IEG Consulting
- Building Revenue Streams into deals led by Brett Fuller
of Sprint PCS
- Sponsor Retention: 10 Golden Rules to keep your sponsors
coming back led by Gail - Lowney Alofsin of Newport Waterfront
- How to Sell first-time events and new ideas
- Emotionally Intelligent Sponsorships led by Jonathan DeWitt
of Wirthlin International
- The New Sponsorship: Activation, Customization, Future (3
parts) led by Lesa Ukman of IEG
- Achieving the Wow: Raising the creative bar on your sponsorships
Selling Web Sponsorships. This was an all-day pre-conference
- How The Home Depot builds profitable sponsorships led by
Dick Hammill of The Home Depot
- How Sponsorship has fueled Schwab's Evolution led by Leonard
Short of Charles Schwab & Co.
- Reinventing the Wheel: How Lincoln-Mercury's Cirque du Soleil
Sponsorship has turned heads and opinions
- How Best Buy stands out in the crowd led by Joseph Pagano
of Best Buy
- Building Revenue Generation through Sponsorships led by
Brad Gerdeman of Delta Airlines
- Creating Emotional Impact with Special Effects and experiential
- Using the Web to conduct research.
Zyman of Z-Group
very engaging and dynamic speaker, Zyman prevailed as Marketing
VP over the most tumultuous times in Coca-Cola's history,
including the "New Coke" fiasco and "Classic"
recovery. His message was stark, and effective: Sell or die.
Marketing is science, not art. It's about selling more stuff
to more people and making more money. Strategy is everything.
The bottom line is the bottom line. Sponsorship is an effective
marketing tool, and a complete waste of resources, depending
on how you use it. The landscape changes constantly which
benefits those who are fleet of foot, and hurts those who
don't understand the dynamic of change.
He says he uses a focus
group of 100 million every year. He calls it the Super Bowl.
He offered six imperatives
for the "New Sponsorship," as follows:
- Throw away the term Sponsorship. Instead, adopt a customized
term that reflects the objective;
- Use your property to drive the business. Every marketing
dollar spent drives the business model and creates economic
value added (EVA);
- Do your research before signing on as a partner/client/sponsee;
- Property compensation should be tied to business results;
- Property sellers are suppliers, not customers;
- Propose utilization's that "sticks to the knitting."
J. Wolf of Booz, Allen & Hamilton
J. Wolf is media strategist for the NBA, Time-Warner, DreamWorks,
NFL, Turner Broadcasting, Viacom, News Corp., and many others.
His new book, The Entertainment Economy explores the idea
that entertainment is now pervasive in all aspects of life,
particularly commerce, and has become "the driving wheel
of the global economy." He surmises that in today's world
- for better or worse -- everyone is a programmer. Pepsi is
an entertainment company. The world is simply full of fun-focused
consumers. "The sale of nearly every form of entertainment
has some form of consumer product tie-in." One reason
for the mega-mergers we hear about every day is that "many
companies lack the scale necessary to compete in some of their
core businesses." We are now exposed to an average of
4000 commercial messages per day, and in order to cut through
to consumer consciousness, creative and fully integrated solutions
are called for.
Swartz of Timberland Company
Swartz is President and CEO of Timberland Co., a family-run
footwear and apparel business for three generations. He views
his job as providing value for all company stakeholders: shareholders,
customers, employees, and communities. Under Jeff, the company
has reached new levels ($860+million) on the belief that doing
well and doing good are inextricably linked. The company has
defined success as "building communities," and each
employee receives 40 hours of paid leave per year for community
service of their choice.
It is simply not enough
to sponsor an event or property, but to demonstrate that your
commitment to making a difference is authentic. He calls it
"mission marketing" in which the company doesn't
just link with a cause, they actually advance that cause.
The brand really stands out when the company itself is transparent
to the customer, demonstrating that they operate on principles
they espouse in their marketing campaigns.
Getting what you want depends very much upon how well you
understand what your sponsor wants;
- On-line efforts should support off-line efforts, and vice-versa;
- Customers need multiple touch points;
- Sponsorship is a partnership;
- A message undefined is a message undelivered;
- Consumer-centric, experiential, quantifiable;
- Establish trackable goals;
- Think long-term, think big, think return-on-investment (ROI);
- Profit is in the renewal, not the initial sponsorship;
- Win-win is the ONLY way to go;
- God & the devil are both in the details.
is most successful when leveraged into a total marketing plan.
Integrating everything you do makes for greater awareness
and effectiveness. Continuity is critical to long-term success.
Flexibility is critical to good sponsorship deals.
For sponsees, the difference
between gaining and losing is often the quality of the presentation.
You cannot make a great presentation, however, without a serious
understanding of the potential sponsor's goals and objectives.
A client always has the money for a great idea.
longer is sponsorship just attempting to:
- achieve ubiquity
- borrow imagery
- acquire rights
- grab attention..
successful "new" sponsorship will:
- clearly establish relevance
- Own the emotions tied to the event or property
- Activate the rights involved
- Draw attention to the sponsor as well as the sponsee.
"It turns out if you are willing to step up to the
plate and put some corporate support behind the struggling
arts organizations, it's like water on a parched desert. You
get a lot of attention. We spend way more money on scholarships
and educational programs every year but we don't frankly get
very much publicity for that because every company is doing
that, and you're lucky to get a little squiggle in the paper.
We still do it because it's the right thing to do."
- Tom Higgins, International Edison
"Whom the gods
wish to destroy, they first make successful in show business."
- Francis Ford Coppolla
"Men don't want
to know what's on TV. They want to know what else is on TV."
- Michael J. Wolf
is good about business is personal."
- Jeff Swartz
IEG, Inc. 640
North LaSalle Suite 600 Chicago, IL 60610 312-944-1727 www.sponsorship.com
"The End of
Marketing as We Know It"
- Sergio Zyman, Harper Business 1999
Economy: How mega-media forces are transforming our lives"
Michael J. Wolf, Times Books 1999
Kruger will be presenting a workshop on "The Art of Sponsorship"
at the Maine Performing Arts Network annual conference on
May 18th, 2000.
Entertainment Resources is hard at work on major events for
the Rockland Festival Corp., MBNA, Prevost Coach Company,
Fleet Bank, AT+T, and American Express, to name a few.