Tag Archives: Performance Research

LA Tech Firm Belkin Hopes to Rejuvenate Pro Cycling with Sponsorship

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Professional cycling is getting a much-needed boost heading into the 100th rendition of its major annual event, the Tour de France.  Los Angeles based tech company Belkin has announced a deal to sponsor the artists formerly known as the Rabobank Pro Cycling team through 2015.  The Dutch lending firm is just one of the many team sponsors to remove themselves from the sport in the wake of all-time cycling great Lance Armstong’s fall from grace.

Rabobank asserted, “the trust in the cycling world has gone,” upon its withdrawal of its $20 million annual sponsorship.  Nissan has also dissociated from another cycling team featuring at least one member with ties to Armstrong’s serial use of performance enhancing drugs.  In addition, The HTC-Highroad team was forced out of commission because of potential sponsors’ hesitation to associate with a sport whose history is rooted in corruption.

Belkin has an incredible opportunity to expand its brand globally this weekend.  The Tour de France is one of the only truly global sporting events.  The three week long ride provides ample advertising opportunity, especially if the Belkin Pro Cycling team competes near the front of the pack. Riding as Team Blanco, Belkin’s new squad has already amassed 19 victories this year. The team is comprised of 29 different cyclists of five different nationalities.  Belkin currently sells products to more than 100 countries, and will look to amplify its presence in the global market with this move.

Belkin has pledged to uphold a no-nonsense policy on doping, a plan that their newest sponsees should have no problem respecting.  The team made the decision to ride as Team Blanco after being dropped by Rabobank to signify a fresh start for its members and the sport in general.  They will remain a member of the Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC) as they ride under the Belkin umbrella.  The MPCC is an assembly of teams devoted to cleaning up the sport, holding themselves to even stricter anti-doping measures than those established by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

This sponsorship represents a huge investment for the California consumer technology firm.  In fact, CEO Chet Pipkin says it is the largest Belkin has ever made in the marketing arena.  Pipkin will not be the only person eager for this marriage to work.  From prospective sponsors to the most casual of fans, the world will be monitoring the success of this relationship closely.  The tech savvy and faithful cycling fan base already in place fits well with the Belkin brand.  Pipkin hopes this association with a well-established pro team will introduce Belkin to a new pool of consumers and stimulate the reemergence of cycling on the world scale.

Lance Armstrong was once one of the most revered athletes in the world, but the truth behind his success has pushed many potential followers in the other direction.  Fans of a sport in need of a savior should be optimistic about the combination of an enthusiastic sponsor and a team devoted to competing with honesty and integrity.  Belkin’s pledge bodes well for professional cycling, but the question remains: How will the sport recover from the fall of its prodigal son?

A good showing by the Belkin Pro Cycling squad in France will go a long way in accomplishing just that.

Catch coverage of the 100th annual Tour de France throughout July on NBC Sports Network.

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PR On-Site at X Games LA 2012!

The Performance Research team was busy conducting research at the X Games in LA this summer. The event continues to grow, and sponsorship activations on-site are growing right along with it.

Check out some of our pictures, below, and let us know: did you watch X Games this summer? If you did… did you see the Hot Wheels Double Loop Dare? It’s been getting lots of attention on social media. It was our favorite sponsorship activation by far. The stunt drew huge crowds and follow-up traffic at their X Fest booth. It was a unique and daring way to engage with X Games fans who have a penchant for the unique and daring.

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The Newest Tools and Latest Insights in Audience Research – IEG 2012

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Presented by Jed Pearsall and Bill Doyle at the 2012 IEG Conference.

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Politics and Sponsorship

Sponsors oftentimes find themselves caught in political entanglements where they are forced to make a decision to stay the course or make a change. Longtime sponsor darling and advocate for breast cancer research Susan G. Komen for the Cure has recently found themselves in the middle of a heated political media frenzy over their initial decision to reallocate funding away from Planned Parenthood.

We know the political side of the story but now let’s talk about this from a sponsorship standpoint. As an advocate for women’s health and finding a cure for breast cancer, the Komen foundation generates millions of dollars each year through numerous fundraisers and charitable donors. The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure fundraiser attracts national sponsors such as Yoplait, Bank of America and Ford Motor Company among others who generously donate for the cause. These companies also represent Komen’s Million Dollar Council Elite in which each company individually donates a minimum of one million dollars annually to the foundation along with companies including American Airlines, New Balance, Caterpillar and others.

The move by Komen to defund Planned Parenthood has been condemned by many as a blow to women who cannot afford or do not have access to alternative health services. This money is entrusted to Komen with the confidence it will be appropriately allocated to work towards a cure for breast cancer. Dress it how you like – more stringent grant policies on Komen’s end or the outsourcing of mammograms and other women’s health services on the part of Planned Parenthood –  Komen decided they could no longer afford to support an organization which could not guarantee funds given would be used solely toward intended health services. Ultimately, heavy political pressure was enough to persuade Susan G. Komen for the Cure to change its position and accept grant applications from Planned Parenthood. Now the Komen foundation is under the media microscope once again as critics argue, how can Komen take money from sponsors  under investigation, when they say they won’t give to organizations under investigation.

Many long-time supporters  of Susan G. Komen for the Cure have parted ways with the non-profit as a result of these seemingly hypocritical policies. Komen created  a double standard when they accepted support from sponsors such as Bank of America who has been the target of several federal investigations recently yet claimed their organization could not accept grant applications from organizations under investigation. Many have taken to social media to express their frustration with the foundation which has left Susan G. Komen for the Cure with an undeniably tarnished image.

We witnessed similar political backlash in December when Lowe’s opted to remove its television ads from timeslots which centered around the TLC show All American Muslim. Now the question remains  as to what will be the long-term effects of this political frenzy on the Komen foundation?

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Performance Research presents at IEG 2011

Once again, IEG was a huge success! If you missed out on our Sponsorship ROI presentation take a look at the slide show in its entirety below. Of course, if you have any questions, shoot us a message anytime!

Presented by Jed Pearsall and Bill Doyle at the 2011 IEG Conference

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Optimizing Sponsorship Performance

Castrol recently broke news off their official sponsorship of the National Football League. The company is a well established producer of high performance synthetic motor oil and plans to expand their audience. By having the Castrol EDGE endorsement distributed through various mediums that the NFL can offer, Castrol will gain exposure for their product line.

The multi-year sponsorship of the NFL will represent a considerable investment for Castrol. Companies often obtain the title of official sponsor but are unable to break through the clutter of other sponsors competing for exposure. As a result unaided awareness for a company’s sponsorship may fall short of company goals.

What can Castrol do to get the most out of their investment? One way is by making the sponsorship work for them at point of purchase. This means have a promotion in store, on the product itself. Attach an entry form for chances to win tickets to NFL playoff games and later promote tickets to off-season training camps. This would represent a comparably inexpensive approach to making the initial sponsorship work for them.

Point of purchase is where the majority of purchase decisions are made. A promotion such as this would also serve to remind consumers of the connection between the performance demanded in the NFL and by the Castrol EDGE product itself.

Promotions like this would be a great way for Castrol to reach potential customers at the local level while also helping to break through the clutter of other sponsorships.

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BP Oil Sponsorship Ramifications – The Full Report

Check out the presentation below to see the full results from the Performance Research independent study regarding the sponsorship ramifications in the wake of the BP oil spill.

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Public Wants You to be a Sponsor!

Not only does the public want your company to sponsor events, they also feel that you SHOULD be sponsoring events.

Their call for corporate aide is also matched with a desire to support the companies that utilize sponsorship to benefit the community!

Support what matters and do good for the public; Your brand will reap the benefits!

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Rogers Seeks to Expand Influence in Western Canada with Canucks

This month Rogers Communications sought to expand its grasp on the western Canadian market by acquiring the rights to the hockey arena where the Vancouver Canucks play. Formerly known as General Motors Place, the newly-christened Rogers Arena is part of a ten-year sponsorship deal between the Canucks and Rogers as the communications company seeks to gain new ground on unfamiliar territory. In addition to the naming rights deal, Rogers has also partnered with the Canucks on telecommunications sponsorship and broadcast rights via Rogers Sportsnet. Part of the deal will also enable Rogers customers to access exclusive Canucks information through their wireless phones, although specifics have not yet been disclosed.

The sponsorship signing by Rogers is a smart move for the communications company to make for several reasons. First, the association with the Canucks will help to expand their influence in western Canada, as Rogers is not as well known compared to other communications competitors such as Telus, which is based out of British Columbia. Second, through their additional sponsorship of telecommunications and broadcast rights, as well as their desire to seek radio broadcast rights when those become available, Rogers has ensured their name will be affiliated with the Canucks brand in every possible way. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the availability of exclusive Canucks information through Rogers Wireless will ensure continued customer loyalty as well as the possibility of attracting new local customers. With this sponsorship deal, Rogers adds another Canadian sports landmark to an already impressive list, including the Rogers Centre where the Toronto Blue Jays play. Hopefully their actions will encourage other Canadian telecom companies to seek stadium sponsorships to compete with Rogers.

An important point for sponsors to be wary of, however, is that changing the name of a stadium may do more harm than good if the feelings of the fans are not taken into consideration. A study by Performance Research in the U.S. and U.K. revealed one in five fans did not agree that sponsors have the right to change the name of the stadium because of their sponsorship. While a move from GM Place to Rogers Arena may not have as large an impact as the change is from sponsor name to sponsor name, companies should be aware of the possibility of backlash should they try to change a more traditionally-named stadium.

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Local Sponsor Takes Advantage of Tennis Championships

On Monday, July 5th, the 34th annual Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships kicked off in Newport, RI with 32 singles players and 16 sets of doubles competing for the Van Alen Cup. This event, which has been hosted during the week following Wimbledon since 1976, is the only grass court ATP tournament in the U.S. and is a top attraction for the Newport summer crowd. As Performance Research is based in Newport, this event hits particularly close to home. Although the event is an official part of the ATP tour, its low-key nature allows for smaller and/or local businesses to provide sponsorship. This enables companies to gain official recognition without having to shell out a much larger sum for sponsorship of a more internationally-known event, such as a Grand Slam tournament.

One such company that has taken advantage of the tournament is Angela Moore, a locally based fashion designer with retail stores in both Palm Beach and Newport. As part of their sponsorship deal, Angela Moore is hosting a fashion show and champagne breakfast this Thursday, July 8th. In addition, a full day of courtside tennis and an Angela Moore gift certificate are included, which will incentivize those who participate to shop at the local store. Clearly Angela Moore is taking full advantage of their sponsorship through these activations and is making a point to stand out from the list of sponsors. This is a very smart move by Angela Moore to attach their name to a prestigious event and take advantage of a golden opportunity in their market. Hopefully their actions will encourage more local businesses to not only sponsor, but fully utilize local events when considering their marketing objectives.

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