The Sponsorship Selfie
1st May, 2014
With June just round the corner, there has been time for a bit of light reflection about what 2014 has served up so far, and what a bizarre year it’s been. The list already includes conflict, flooding, missing planes, #moyesout, little Georgie, twerking and last but certainly not least, ‘the selfie’!
However lauded the ‘selfie’ might be, it can offer quite a good starting point for rights holders looking to gain sponsorship. Such introspection should be the first port of call when beginning the process of sourcing sponsorship, rather than the immediate ‘show me the money’ approach.
Making sure you know what you want to look like before your sponsorship selfie is essential; therefore, forming goals and objectives in order to create a pre-determined strategy will be key. So, how is this broken down – what should rights holders be concentrating on?
Engagement is the acid test for any successful sponsorship. Making sure that sponsors are engaging with your audience and increasing the customer experience is essential; logo placement is never enough. This also helps drive other factors such as footfall, PR and unlocking extra assets within your platform. In recent years, O2 have been pioneers in engagement, using it to reduce churn and increase customer loyalty. This was subsequently achieved through priority moments, which amongst many things, offered fans a catalogue of benefits for being an O2 customer.
Sponsor activation and brand presence if used strategically should add value to your property. This has to be done with the brand image and objectives in mind, making sure that there is an authentic fit and your integrity is not challenged. Over the past twelve months integrated stadiums have been a hot topic; none showcase this more poignantly than the rise in Cisco’s investment. This activation fulfils a number of objectives, and ultimately allows the stadium to generate more revenue by offering mobile purchasing of refreshments, and the initial costs are offset by an exchange of assets in return.
Having the endorsement from a big brand can revolutionise a rights holder’s public image, and provide the credibility needed to stand in an ever cluttered market place. British Airways’ new partnership with the Rooftop Film Club has done just this; an underground and relatively unknown rights holder has the backing of partner who will add kudos and an air of reputability (watch this space for 2014).
Not being blinded by the money is key to utilising any partnership to the full; a truly successful sponsorship deal must comprise all of the benefits above. However, going against the true spirit of the selfie – try not to be vain, consider the ugly duckling partnership. By broadening your horizons and keeping an eye out for the unlikely partnership, like ‘Good Earth Teas’ have formed with music supremo EMI, can launch something new – which is what partnerships are for, right?