Slingshot's Top Ten Sponsorship Blogs You Should Read 2012 9th May, 2012

I wrote a Top Ten Sponsorship Blogs You Should Read article last year (to view the last list click here) and thought I’d revise the list for 2012.  There are some old favourites that have remained on our list, but also some new blogs that have launched which are fantastic reads and definitely worth subscribing to.

As the sponsorship industry changes so much and encompasses so many disciplines and mediums, blogs are just one of the ways that the Slingshot team continues to learn from others.  Here are our Top Ten (not in a particular order!):

  1. Synergy Sponsorship Blog: Great overall sponsorship blog from both a sponsorship and brand perspective.  There are many different bloggers and so it provides a good perspective from different angles and the content is always excellent.
  2. Mike Walsh/Tomorrow Blog: although not technically sponsorship, we discovered Mike at our client’s event the BBC Showcase.  Truly inspirational, we’ve been following his blog ever since.  A forward thinker in terms of brand innovation, partnerships and the future of marketing.
  3. Generate Sponsorship Blog: Regularly updated and always worth a read.  It is great for sport sponsorship activations and opinions in the sponsorship industry.
  4. Unofficial Partner – Richard Gillis provides insight on a variety of sponsorship related topics, not to mention he’s a great blogger so it always makes for a great read.
  5. Ben Wells Blog: This is a fantastic blog – Ben thinks very much in line with us at Slingshot and so we wait with anticipation to receive his insight in our inbox.  His experience in the sponsorship industry makes him uniquely placed to provide great opinions into today’s sponsorship marketplace.
  6. Power Sponsorship: Well known in the industry, Kim Skildum-Reid provides practical sponsorship knowledge and best practice tips.
  7. Sponsor Park: A good blog, but more helpful in terms of what sponsorship rights are being purchased, where and by whom.  Sponsor Park highlight the sponsorship deals signed via Twitter so I’d recommend following them @SponsorPark if that’s a key thing you are interested in.
  8. IEG Blog: Provides international insight on the brands that IEG works with – namely in reference to analysis and best practice.
  9. Sports Marketing Frontiers: Another good blog to track newly signed sponsorship deals as well as new sponsorship opportunities that have recently become available.
  10. Slingshot Sponsorship Blog: And of course, we couldn’t miss out our own blog featuring sponsorship insight, top sponsorship tips, and general sponsorship and brand partnership developments.  If you haven’t yet, you can sign up to receive our newsletter here.


Top 10 Sales Tips for Sponsorship Rights Holders 12th December, 2011

With an increasing number of platforms available for corporate partnership, the selection process for brands is becoming more complex, with a wide range of factors influencing the allocation of marketing budgets. Therefore when approaching potential partners, it is important for rights holders to ensure that each of the following factors is taken into account:

1.  Price

The fees asked by the rights holder play a key role in the decision-making process for a sponsor to come on board with a property. The price of association is often the first aspect of a proposal to be looked at and it is therefore imperative that rights owners understand how to value their sponsorship assets correctly.

2.  Timing

Depending on the company and industry, budgeting can take place at different times of the year. However, as a rights holder, the important thing is to understand the general time of year that marketing budgets will be allocated by your prospects in order not to miss the boat.

Depending on the size of the investment relative to the prospective sponsor, opportunities with lower fees may be handled on a tactical basis. However generally, companies will be much less open to new partnerships once budgets have been set and it is therefore crucial to get in there early.

Typically planning periods are September/October and March/April.

3.  Prospects

It is important that rights holders understand the key demographic of their property’s audience as misunderstanding this can lead to approaching an inappropriate market and wasting valuable time.

Once understanding the relevant brands to approach, the next step is to understand their behavioural tendencies in terms of their general sponsorship partnerships and activations and how they have utilised these relationships in the past. This will highlight which assets are relevant to each sponsorship category and in turn allow for a more tailored approach.

4.  Audience Resonance

Are the prospect’s consumers interested in the sponsorship? And furthermore, will the sponsorship audience be interested in the prospect’s products and services? A sponsor will always have their target audience in mind when activating a sponsorship and therefore you as a rights holder must also adopt the same thought process, ensuring that the needs and wants of your prospect’s consumer base align with the benefits of your property.

5.  Attendance

In the case of an event-based platform, the attendance is always of high priority to prospective sponsors. Whether the focus is on engaging with a specific audience or allowing for key networking opportunities, the attendance must present the prospect of new business opportunities.

A common error in the sales approach of a rights holder is approaching all companies within their property’s industry rather than taking the time to break down it down by relevance. By evaluating the industry and which areas will be most relevant, sales teams can prioritise their approach, generally receiving more positive feedback and in turn taking less time to close new partnerships.

6.  Reflection of Company Values

The more a company can see of itself in a property, the more willing they will be to forge a partnership as a key aspect of a sponsorship is to emphasise brand values. This again relates to audience resonance and the tailoring of a sales approach as different selling points will appeal to different brands depending on their relative markets.

7.  Comparison of New Business Figures with Previous Sponsorships

Producing financial, attendance, or media value figures are one of the most effective ways in which to sell a property as they are cold hard facts that cannot be easily manipulated. Tangible figures and facts provide a clear indication of such highly influencing factors as ROI, media coverage, attendance and give the prospect an immediate understanding of the tangible benefits they would receive from their investment.

8.  Prioritisation of Company Goals

Each sponsorship platform caters to different aims and objectives of sponsors, this being a huge factor in the prospect’s decision making process. What is the largest benefit of sponsoring your property? There may be more than one but at least one of them should align with the core objective of the brand.

9.  Cross Marketing Opportunities

Sponsorship platforms can attract brands from different industries with similar audiences.  These rare opportunities can create cross marketing benefits that add substantial value to a sponsorship. This tends to occur with Media Sponsor rights and we’d highly recommend considering bringing on board something like this to strengthen your event or program.

10.  Data Provision

Another advantage of sponsorship is the opportunity to carry out research amongst a captive sample of a brand’s target audience. If you are able to offer behavioural data to your sponsor helping them streamline their products and services, this brings a whole new level of value to the sponsorship – gaining important exposure whilst receiving precious qualitative feedback.

By putting in the time and research to evaluate each of the above factors before pitching to prospective sponsors, rights holders are able to carry out a truly time and cost effective sales approach. This will in turn allow for a more streamlined prospect list, resulting in fewer knock-backs and improved close-ratios.

Furthermore, adopting a more methodical approach will significantly increase sales staff motivation, driving the property forward in terms of investment and the opportunities for expansion that come with it.