Monthly Archives: October 2009

Sponsorship of Volunteers?

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Well, I guess we have the volunteers, but how about some more sponsors?

Over the past few years certain numbers have been dropping all around us. But while incomes, employments rates and budgets have been on the decline, it’s surprising to see that one number is actually up. We are referring to the increase of volunteers in the United States. Whether or not people are volunteering more due to compassion during a time of economic struggle is up for debate, but the fact is that there were 61.8 million people with documented volunteer hours in the U.S. last year, one million more than the previous year.

Seeing how volunteerism is more prominent than ever, it seems a perfect opportunity for sponsors to offer support to the people and groups who are donating their time and energy to a cause. A sponsor could make arrangements to be present at events, whether it is a beach cleanup, a community program aimed to mentor youth, or any of the thousands of volunteer opportunities available to the public. In doing so, the sponsors are supporting the individuals volunteering, in turn adding value to the cause as a whole. Some forms of support that a sponsor could offer would be donating funds, giving out their product for free, offering discounts on product, or perhaps providing food and drinks for the volunteers.

By sponsoring the volunteers a company would touch each person individually, helping them feel appreciated and accomplished. Also, the sponsor would look good in the public eye through this act of community support. As volunteering continues to grow, let’s hope that sponsor support can keep in step. By the looks of it, all sides will benefit. What do you think?

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Engaged at Futbol Fiesta

caughtoureye4If you have ever been to the Futbol Fiesta prior to a Mexican National Soccer Team game then you already know that it offers a party like atmosphere including loud music, games, player appearances, and dozens of other activations presented by the sponsors. If you are a first timer (like I was last month in Dallas when Mexico played Colombia), then you are in for quite the experience. If you like to see passionate fans, engaged by equally ardent sponsors, than look no further!

Like all the events we attend, no matter how many good activations are present (quite a few in this case), there is usually one that really piques our interest. The activation that “Caught Our Eye” this time was presented by Home Depot. The Home Depot had several different booths open to fans, with multiple activities on hand. The particular aspect of their activation which impressed us the most was how they gave fans paint, brushes (items they sell) and large poster boards in order to make signs for the game. Whether you were painting the words “Let’s go Mexico!” or “Colombia Rules!”, you were able to take the sign into the Cotton Bowl for the game, and then bring the poster home with you as a souvenir.

Home Depot 3Not only did Home Depot engage fans by offering them the chance to directly participate with the soccer game, they also encouraged the use of their retail products and sent people home happy with free memorabilia. It seems to make perfect sense why the Home Depot activation was one of the busiest we saw.

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Isn’t it worth saving the Soap Box Derby?

All-American_Soap_Box_Derby_Logo_We all know that the current economic state has affected the way that companies spend their marketing and sponsorship budgets in regards to major sports properties like NASCAR and the PGA. If we take a deeper look, we can also see how the little guy is being affected by corporate budget cuts. One example is the current situation facing the All American Soap Box Derby. Since 1933, the AASBD has been the governing body of American soap box racers. They govern regional events, culminating with a National Championship in Akron, Ohio each July.

Two years ago the AASBD lost their title sponsor and are now struggling to stay afloat as they will incur a financial loss for the second year in a row. With only a few regional sponsors, and a dwindling budget, the organization hopes that some company will come forward with the $250,000 annual title sponsor charge. While the price may seem relatively small compared to the fees charged by larger organizations, the AASBD is constantly reminded about the lack of marketing funds from potential sponsors for the upcoming year So what is the organization supposed to do?

Well it seems as if the AASBD has a plan. This non-for-profit group is taking a new approach in which their value to potential sponsors is highlighted. Right in step with the green movement amongst Corporate America, the group will focus its sponsor pitch on the fact that their sport uses only gravity during competition. Paul Swangard of the University of Oregon recently remarked in USA Today that the AASBD has “been green longer than Al Gore”, and suggests that an alternative energy company may want to sign on at this price.

The fact that the AASBD is presenting themselves off as a green group may be just the type of sales pitch that they need. This, coupled with their non-for-profit classification puts them in a prime spot for companies wanting to benefit from cause marketing. As we have mentioned on this blog previously, cause marketing in the current economy ensures companies remain relevant through sponsorship, while touching a positive place in the hearts of consumers.

Besides the opportunity of a sponsor capitalizing on soap box racing as a non-profit eco-friendly sport, a corporation could also benefit from sponsoring a sport that is considered as American as apple pie. During this period of economic hardship it seems logical to show some national pride by teaming up with an American tradition.

It will be interesting to see which companies rev up this flailing sport, and by which methods of sponsorship they decide to activate. If a sponsor does partner with the AASBD, a strong plan of action will go a long way in benefiting from the relatively inexpensive cost of the title sponsor slot. As our Vice President Bill Doyle stated this past spring, sponsors should go on a “diet”. If done effectively, a $250,000 sponsorship of this worthwhile organization seems like it could match a sponsorship manager’s appetite perfectly.

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Mexican National Game @ the Cotton Bowl / Texas State Fair

Some of the Performance Research team spent last week in Dallas at the Texas State Fair, which also was hosting a soccer game between Mexico and Colombia! The crew spent most of their time conducting surveys, but don’t worry, everyone found time for a few carnival games and fried candy bars!

Here’s the crew after all the work was wrapped up!

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Congrats to Rio – Will sponsors take advantage?

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Rio wins the Olympic bid!

Just moments ago, the IOC announced Rio as the as the host city for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

As the first Olympiad ever to take place in South America, Rio 2016 promises to be a tremendous marketing opportunity for all IOC and USOC sponsors. Will you be ready?

Marketing success in 2016 begins now, and research is a vital part of that process. With the Vancouver Games starting in just a few short months, and London 2012 right around the corner, there is no better time to measure your existing programs as well as investigate new ways to leverage your sponsorship affiliation. Don’t miss this unique opportunity in time.

Whether it is quantitative research with casual TV viewers, focus groups with avid fans, or on-site interviews with visitors to the Games, Performance Research has studied every Olympiad since 1992, accumulating more data and insight into Olympic sponsorship than any other research company in existence.

As the world-wide leaders in sponsorship measurement, we are uniquely qualified to help you determine how well you are breaking through the clutter of Olympic marketing, and if your efforts are truly strengthening an emotional bond with target consumers and building the health of your brand.

Olympic partnerships are a long-term investment. I encourage you to contact us so that we can help you measure and maximize the value of that investment to the fullest.

We look forward to seeing you in Vancouver in 2010, London 2012, Sochi 2014, and now Rio in 2016!

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