Tag Archives: sponsor

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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Kraft is Bringing Down the House with it’s “Cheddar Explosion”

In an interesting sponsorship move out of Texas,  Kraft Foods has signed on to be the official sponsor of the Texas Stadium demolition, or the “Cheddar Explosion” as it has been dubbed. This deal was approved by a unanimous vote from the Irving City Council last Thursday. As per the agreement, Kraft is receiving sponsorship status by donating $150,000 in cash and product to local Irving area charities chosen by both the company and by the city.

While this agreement and the explosion itself is going to generate a lot of positive hype for Kraft, another aspect of the deal is really what attracted my attention. Rather than just give this money and product to local charities, Kraft is engaging the rest of the public by having a competition to find a lucky child to press the detonation button. Children from all over the country will get to compete in a national essay writing contest, with the winner actually taking down the building! With this competition and the media coverage involved with taking down an iconic building, Kraft is poised to engage many consumers in not only the local, but the national arena.

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Where’s the pizza, Little Ceasar?

Amongst all the college football bowl games going on this month, one in particular is standing out in my thoughts.  This game, the Little Ceasar Pizza Bowl, took place last week in Detroit with a battle between Marshall and Ohio.

Little Caesars, who took over title sponsorship for the first time this year, was hailed in the Detroit local press as a savior for the city, and a good sign that Detroit is still a viable option for major sporting events amidst economic crisis.  While this positive press and media coverage is a good thing for Little Caesar, perhaps there was another area of their sponsorship that the QSR chain could have focused on.  I am referring to the fact that no Little Caesars pizzas were available inside the stadium.  On top of this, one of their competitors, Hungry Howie’s, was present and for sale.

Right off the bat one would begin to question this issue. Why not provide / sell your product at the game?  It offers a perfect opportunity for a fan that is already at “your game” to try the exact product that you are there to promote.  Not only would you benefit from name recognition, but you would tap into other senses via the pizza.

On the other side of the spectrum is the reality that selling Little Caesars pizza would infringe on the agreement that Hungry Howie’s and Ford Field already have in place.  I don’t imagine Howie being too excited about letting Caesar cut into his pizza sales.  Did Little Caesars consider this before signing on as a title sponsor? Is there anything they can do next year to avoid this same awkward issue?

Selling Little Ceasar at the game could have proved beneficial to their cause, and the fact that their product wasn’t present defintely caused a few heads to turn.  This seems to be an issue that may have not been avoidable, but certainly deserves to be questioned.

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Make Sure Your Street Team is Working For You!

This past weekend I took a quick trip down to NYC to visit some old friends and take care of some holiday shopping.  Of course, despite the tugs from my girfriend, I could not help but stop and analyze what some companies were up to as far as sponsorship and activation.

One of the moments that really pushed me to take out the camera and notepad was upon seeing a Metro PCS promotion in the Soho neighborhood of Manhattan.  There was a woman dressed up in a purple Metro PCS outfit, standing on a corner outside a subway stop.  Now this seems like a perfect opportunity to shout your message, right? Too bad it wasn’t working out as planned.

Even though that particular corner wasn’t the busiest citywide, the real problem was the lack of enthusiasm from the employee.  The hired worker basically just stood there, not going up to anyone and looking totally non commited to her role.  As we pointed out a few weeks ago in discussing the Charmin pop up in Times Square, with its outstanding engagement approach, peoples attitudes are the KEY to on street promotions.  If you smile and interact with everyone that passes by, you have a much higher success rate than just standing there (Duh!).

Another two potential customers walk by, unengaged.

Now that we establshed that the Metro PCS promotional worker should have been more effective,  lets take a look at who else was responsible for this quiet city corner.

While we are not sure whether this particular promotion was a result of a local store or the national headquarters, we are sure that a person in charge should make sure that everything is working!  From a corporate perspective, if they are providing a promotional budget for a local store to hire this girl, shouldn’t they make sure the local store knows how to run the event properly?  And from the other side, if corporate is running the promo, shouldn’t they have someone from within operating hands on when training the staff and picking a location?  Either way, choosing and managing proper staff would do worlds to make this promotion more effective.

Hopefully in the future, Metro PCS and other companies with good ideas should take it a step further to make sure their plans are carried out with the same energy that was used in the creation process.

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Subway Wins with “The Biggest Loser”

We all know the story of Jared Fogle, the overweight college student who ate only Subway sandwiches for a year and lost an exorbitant amount of weight.  His weight loss plan resulted in a spokesperson position with Subway and a successful advertising campaign dating back to 1999.    Fast forward ten years and Subway is launching another inspiring and brilliant marketing move.

In association with the popular NBC television show, The Biggest Loser, Subway is offering this past season’s contestant Shay Sorrells $1,000 for every pound she loses between now and next season’s finale in May 2010.  She will also receive free meals from the restaurant chain and have the opportunity to join Jared as Subway spokeswomen for 2010.  At the start of this past season Shay was the shows heaviest contestant ever, weighing in at 476 lbs.  As of last weeks Season 8 finale, she has trimmed down to only 304lbs.  Subway hopes that with their help, Shay can continue to drop the pounds through the spring and reach her optimum weight.

The sponsorship of Shay by Subway seems to be a perfect fit for their image.  Subway relies heavily on the promotion of their “Fresh Fit” menu items, and their position as a healthy alternative to other quick service restaurants.  Also, this sponsorship links Subway to one of the most watched reality shows on television; one that brings hope and positive feelings to so many people around the country.  Kudos to Subway for understanding what has worked for them in the past and finding new ways to stick with a good thing!

Also, this blog post would be a “loser” if we cease to mention how The Biggest Loser not only benefits from the program that Subway is offering them, but they also use the power of their show to do their own good deeds.  The television shows offers a program where viewers can go online and pledge to lose weight, with The Biggest Loser donating 14 cents to Feeding the Hungry for each pound lost.   The show also has produced an online weight loss club and fitness video game to promote effective weight loss in the United States.  It’s no wonder that The Biggest Loser is such a winner!

Check out these sites for more info:

www.subwayfreshbuzz.com

www.biggestloser.com

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The SponsorEye – The Performance Research take on Tiger Woods

While tumultuous times no doubt lay ahead in Tiger Woods’ personal life, some of his sponsorship agreements may have also hit rocky times.

We speculate that with endemic sponsors like Gatorade, Nike and Golf Digest his status is likely to remain. He still represents the best there is in the sport, and for this reason they will hold on to him.  Of course we do suspect that TV and Print ads will come to a halt as companies try to dim the spotlight on Tiger until this story blows over.

As far as non-endemic companies like Accenture, AT&T and Gillette, we suspect that some of these sponsorships will be reconsidered or pulled as their association with Tiger is on a higher level.  These companies associate themselves with Tiger as a professional with a solid personality and place in society.  With all the personal issues in his  life that have been revealed over the past week it puts these sponsors in a tough spot, as so much of their relationship is reliant on him being a positive force outside the realm of golf players.  If any companies do pull out all the way, we suspect it will be one of these.

Look for things to shake out over the next week, then the media backlash will start to slow down as publc interest quells.  Even with the possibility of losing sponsors looming, make no mistakes, Tiger and his accomplishments do outweigh this current scandal.

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“Sponsor our event, but you might have to wait five years”

Yesterday marked the 25th Anniversary of the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau Big Wave Surfing Event at Waimea Bay on the North Shore of Oahu in Hawaii. The event featured an elite group of surfers invited to compete in 25-40 ft. surf while a crowd of thousands watched from the sand, along with millions watching live on television and the web. Along with the surf and sun, Quiksilver is able to generate a tremendous amount of media coverage and ad space by presenting this specialty event.

Seems like a perfect scenario, right? Well, here’s the kicker. Although the event has been around 25 years, it has only actually run eight times. The contest is put on call every winter and will only run if perfect conditions align. As contest director George Downing famously stated, “the Bay calls the day”, making for years of waiting and close calls. From a sponsorship point of view, I wonder how difficult this makes it for organizers and corporate sponsors, having to be ready with a solid program at all times four months out of the year. Of course this must be tough logistically, but is it not also tough to keep past sponsors and gain new ones without any guarantee that the event will happen?

However the other, potentially beneficial, side of this “problem” is that the long waiting period adds a different value to the event. Although sponsors may not receive billing every year, they are aligning themselves with one of the most mystical and prestigious surf events in the world. Understandably the wait and anticipation creates a serious buzz amongst the demographic set that a sponsor would want to reach. This anticipation and level of viewership might be dulled if the contest were to run every winter season.

Understanding that the event could go years with out running, yet has all the power and stigma of any other professional surfing event, do you think sponsors come flocking or are more apt to hold back?

For more info on this event check out:

http://live.quiksilver.com/2009/edie/live.php?btn_live=_over

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Gambling with their future?

Recent legislation attempts in Poland may begin to have a negative effect on sports sponsorship in that country. Polish lawmakers have proposed a ban of online gambling and bookkeeping, which would allow only brick and mortar casinos to carry on. This news coming at a time of economic turmoil around the world could prove devastating to the sports industry in Poland. Currently over 50 million zloties (roughly $18 million) are pumped into Polish sports each year, with soccer teams like Wisla Krakow and Lech Poznan relying heavily on gambling sponsors like Bet-at-Home and BetClick.

With this legislation on the table, sporting teams in Poland are running a risk by having reliance on these companies. Along with a ban on gambling will come a ban on any gambling related marketing and advertising, including sponsorships. This would leave teams without funding for their programs, and ultimately scrambling for cash.

In light of this situation, it will be interesting to see what plans these properties have for their future. Certainly one would believe that in moving forward they would take a more cautious approach when accepting sponsors, keeping a close eye on potential legal troubles. Also, when dealing with gambling and other companies that birth moral questioning, should these properties also be concerned with how they are perceived by the public? In the coming year we’ll keep a close eye on how this pending situation takes place.

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Football and French Fries?

ronald_mcdonald_jumping
McDonald’s recently signed on as an official primary sponsor of the Football Association of Thailand (soccer), in a deal valued just below $1,000,000. including cash for equipment, uniforms and travel. The total value also included meals from the quick service chain for the athletes. Now, it’s no surprise to see McDonald’s sponsoring sports, as they have long been a supporter of sports and athletes around the world. What spurred me to write this post was their continued inclusion of in-kind goods as part of the sponsorship.

Ever since 1968 when McDonald’s had hamburgers airlifted to France for homesick U.S. Olympic athletes, the idea of providing meals as part of their sponsorship has been an integral part of their plan. This plan has taken action in many ways, from providing meal vouchers to youth leagues around the world, all the way to building a custom McDonald’s in Beijing solely for the 2008 Olympic athletes.

While these sponsorships have been in place, so has a similar menu, known best for burgers and fries. At times people have questioned McDonald’s value as an athlete food source due to this fact. However, now providing more nutritious options for their customers and athletes alike, perhaps their sports sponsorships will make more sense in the eyes of fans around the globe.

Based on what you know about McDonald’s, let me ask you all a question:

Is the fact that their sports sponsorship program gives meals to athletes more beneficial now that they take a stronger stance on social responsibilty via healthier menu choices?

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Sponsorship of Volunteers?

volunteer

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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