Strike While The Fire Is Hot

I have just finished doing some work for a nutrition association and I think they are in a good place right now. Nutrition is at the top of people’s minds these days, especially with the new Canada Food Guide coming out. Companies are vying to have their food group included in the Guide and have their food group considered as essential to a healthy body. All of these companies know what it means in terms of sales to have their food group included in the Guide.

In short, this association can’t be at a better time when it comes to seeking sponsors. For companies, this association is the strategic leader when it comes to food nutrition, they put the science behind food.  Any corporation that wants to cozy up to the food bunch, knows that a relationship with this association is more the strategic way to go vs. becoming involved in a more more direct sales environment. For the association, the media is doing your job by shining a light on the food industry (overall) and positioning your association as the expert.

In sponsorship sales, as in most sales, timing is everything. When someone wants your product, it is time to stoke the fire. It is a lot more difficult to get anyone excited about an opportunity when it is the last thing on their mind; for example, an Olympic sport, in the second year of four years in between competitions. Conversely, you want to make the pitch when fever is running high, there is more to lose from not being involved and the event experience is memorable. In the case of this association, the media are are making food an Olympic year and the timing for a close relationship is right, especially an association with an organization who is viewed as a trusted leader in the industry.

Sales is difficult enough. You might as well have everything working in your favour to increase your odds for success. This includes timing your requests, so that the company motivation for making a deal is high.

Later, BC

What’s in a Naming Rights Name?

I have been working on a number of Naming Rights strategies this year, from municipalities to sports fields and I can’t tell how effective a good name is from both  a “fit” and a memorability perspective. A good name makes good common sense to everyone, especially the user. A poor name can have you remembering for all the wrong reasons.

Here are a few names that made me laugh and I thought they would inject some humor into your day.

  • Automated Group Technology Stadium – West Midlands, England
  • Bojangles Coliseum – Charlotte, NC
  • Smoothie King Centre – New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Pirelli Stadium – Staffordshire, England
  • Curly Wurly Arena- Birmingham, England
  • Star Bar Stadium – Manchester, England
  • Kit Kat Crescent – North Yorkshire, England
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods Park – Commerce City, Colorado
  • Paul’s Pizza Stadium – New York, NY
  • Totally Wicked Stadium – St. Helene’s, Wash.
  • Neuroscience Group Field – Fox Cities, Wisconsin
  • KFC Yum Centre – Louisville, KY

You can see why the name is so important. One can also see why different companies are jumping on the bandwagon – naming rights are a great way to increase your profile in a marketplace, among other reasons for investing in naming rights in the first place.

The bottom line is that naming rights have evolved into a legitimate vehicle  for achieving multiple objectives.


Later, BC

Are You Responding to Corporate Marketing Priorities?

The way companies market is changing and so are their priorities. As sponsorship professionals seeking support from the corporate sector, it is imperative that we recognize this evolution in marketing and build more meaningful partnerships that address corporate objectives head-on.

From what I’ve read recently, the following marketing priorities will be occupying the minds of marketers in 2018:

1. Topping the list of priorities was Understanding the Customer and their Buying Journey. In a nutshell, companies are focused on data, to identify, track and convert prospects into customers. They are using this information to develop products and messages that resonate with a variety of customer profiles.

2. Movement towards One-On-One Marketing and Providing Unique Customer Experiences – in today’s complicated consumer environment, customers are looking for unique and engaging experiences. By creating social experiences and emotional connections, you can forge deeper relationships with your customers.

3. Brand Storytelling through visual imaging and content messaging. Companies are using a variety of mediums to build awareness and relationships with their customers about their products and values. Your brand story is more than what you tell people. It is what they believe about you based on all the signals your brand sends out.

4. Companies are using Content Marketing as a means of differentiating and supporting their brand as well as offering value back to their customers. Giving useful information without always including a promotion is the key to developing loyalty and trust.

5. Companies are relying more on Social Media for Customer Engagement with creative content, rather than simply sending ads or offers.

Although there were lesser priorities, these five stood out as essential in the marketing mix. As you can see, they are mainly focused on communicating brand attributes and building a unique customer experience that encourages repeat visits and long-term loyalty.

The bottom line is that if we are focused solely on logo exposures, we are missing the mark in supporting the unique priorities of companies. While visibility and exposure provide a good starting point, we need to move beyond logo placement to be relevant and valuable in the minds of sponsors considering where to place their marketing dollars.

What are you doing to update your sponsor benefits packages to better reflect today’s corporate marketing priorities?