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Pink, Pink, and More Pink!

by Emily Taylor
26 10 2010

If you’ve ventured out at all in the last few weeks you can’t help but notice all the pink.  And considering the thousands of ways companies have leveraged National Breast Cancer Awareness Month efforts as part of their sponsorship efforts, we’d be crazy not to acknowledge it here on SponsorPark.  But this subject deserves even more – most of us have been touched by cancer in some way, whether you’ve been diagnosed yourself, or a loved one has experienced the shock of a diagnosis.  I recently watched my own Grandmother pass from cancer, and she had just won the fight with breast cancer a few years back.  There’s really nothing merciful about the way cancer wreaks havoc on a body, and rarely does “dignified “ come to mind when you consider the way a person feels physically.  But I must say on behalf of my Grandmother that she, and many others like her, chose to fight with an emotional dignity that wins the battle-regardless of the physical outcome in my mind.  I offer this personal highlight into my perspective on the disease because I want to ensure our audiences that we’re not discussing the way sponsorship touches the related charities in a cold or unfeeling way.   The truth is, sponsorship and donations around this effort are exceptionally noble and touch a serious and real need; which is also why they are so popular.  I really don’t know if I can think of any other particular cause that has gained so much traction in the world of sponsorships and donations.  It’s incredible, really – the fact that everyone knows what a pink ribbon stands for, and we have a cause that is given, not just a day – but a month to be recognized along with MAJOR brands jumping on board to help; all this underscores the WOW factor of this cause.

So, what are a few of these campaigns that have captured the attention of so many? 

Save Lids to Save Lives
As the largest nonprofit effecting the breast cancer awareness and fight, there is a slew of mentionable efforts associated with Susan G. Komen.  The brilliant campaign of “save lids to save lives” in their partnership with Yoplait is perhaps one of the best sponsorship efforts I’ve ever seen.  Brilliant!  The call to action is simple and clear, the consumer feels that their choice to get involved is impactful and relevant, and Yoplait is truly a hero – their brand isn’t just posing as a good guy, they really are impacting their target audience in a distinct way by providing MILLIONS of dollars each of the 10 years they have implemented this campaign.  And now they’re adding social media into the mix.  If you’ve ever wanted to see a smart social media activation effort within the sponsorship community, this is it.  Currently, Kroger and Yoplait are encouraging Facebook members to “like” a particular page: www.Facebook.com/sharingcourage, and for each new fan of the page, Yoplait donates an entire dollar – up to $150,000, which will be donated to Susan G. Komen.  And in the meantime, they’ll gain access to their target audience through social media.  Great leveraging.

Buckets for the Cure
This one’s a little more controversial.  If you simple google KFC and breast cancer, you’ll find a tremendous count of varying opinions on the subject of this partnership.  Is it appropriate?  Is it not?  It definitely requires an explanation.  Some individuals labeled them as “pinkwashing” meaning that the brand took advantage of affiliating with such a cause when their own true efforts do not really align with the values of the charity.  Debatable.  When it comes down to it, it’s hard to smack the hand of a brand when people CHOOSE to eat their food, and as a result, a pretty fantastic charity is supported.  If they’re going to promote their food anyway, why not do it to help breast cancer awareness?  I realize this isn’t even close to scratching the surface of the why’s and why not’s of a campaign, but you have to admit, the campaing worked.  Their promise was to donate a minimum of $1 million, and their goal was to reach $8 million – the largest single donation ever donated to Susan G. Komen. 

To be honest, there’s really not enough space to list out the many sponsorship efforts around breast cancer awareness month and the various charities that do so much work to research a cure.  I’d love it if you listed some of your favorite campaigns, or maybe some of the campaigns that draw controversy.  Give us your thoughts; I know there’s passion out there on this subject.


Categories:   industry happenings
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Why Sponsorship Valuation is Like a Snowflake

by Emily Taylor
19 10 2010

I love unique individual expression.  I personally think it’s attractive and intriguing.  A small example: the fact that no two snowflakes are alike blows my mind; and when you consider that I live in Nebraska you know that I see a LOT of snowflakes!   In sponsorship, individual expression is also attractive to a consumer, meaning no two sponsors or brands or experiences with each one are exactly alike either.  And when customized activation of partnerships between properties and brands is required to meet the needs of each individual sponsor, this translates into a direct correlation into valuation: the value of your offering/partnership is not the same for any two sponsors. 
When we were in market research, before we had developed anything with SponsorPark, we started researching, interviewing and navigating through resources to try and uncover some of the major gaps in the industry.  One such “issue” that came up over and over again was the topic of sponsorship valuation.  More specifically, how do you place a value on assets and relay that to sponsors when the value of these same assets and benefits are going to increase or decrease based on the interests and needs/priorities of each individual sponsor?  Joe Smith from “up and coming” new company may be very interested in your ability to get his brand out so that it is more recognizable to his target market.  Coca-Cola isn’t probably as concerned with creating brand recognition (I think we all know who they are by now… worldwide) as they are relating to their target audience in an attractive way.  Your value will be established based on the customized partnership you offer each brand, and you can’t really place a value or price in front of that package until you better understand their marketing priorities.  The catch 22 is that you really have to start somewhere in order to communicate what it is you need from them.   These same sponsors need to know if you’re going to ask an approximate $500 or $5,000 from them in order to partner.  And I’m not sure that there’s a perfect formula or solution that we’ve yet seen so far that perfectly encompasses a solution in a neat and tidy way.
We do have a few insights and advice to offer when it comes to taking the plunge and assigning value the best that you can.

  1. First – sit down and inventory your assets/benefits.  Some of them are obvious, some may be creatively unraveled as you get you get going.  You have to first know what you have to offer before you can start assigning a value to it.
  2. Measure something.  For example – if you have a media partner that will be providing broadcast exposure for your sponsors, you can communicate exactly what that air time will consist of and what this partner values that offering at.  Some of the measurement is very clear, other measurement is somewhat subjective especially as it relates to items like popularity of your event/property, or exclusivity of a sponsored category.  But you can highlight measured growth of your audience participation – perhaps your fees are up 20% this year because your popularity continues to climb by 20-25% each year.    If you just throw a price out there a sponsor is blindly evaluating why you’ve priced it in such a way.
  3. If someone hands you a “perfect formula”- run.  There are companies out there that will hand you formulas for how to measure the value of your sponsorship.  If you use something like this you have to keep in mind that it’s a starting point and it’s very likely that you’ll customize this once you connect with a potential sponsor.  Now, I’m not saying it’s bad to use a service like this if you are looking for a starting point for your value, but just know that it might not translate perfectly to each sponsor you talk to.  If a company asks for a large chunk of your pocket change to assess your worth, and then claims it can carry over and apply to all sponsors – this just isn’t the case – don’t be played the fool.
  4. Communicate give/take after customization – when you’re creating a proposal for a sponsor, make it clear that while you’ve spent some time considering why the packages you’re offering are valued the way that they are, you’re very open to customizing the partnership to the needs of your sponsor.  This shows that you’re truly interested in meeting their needs, and who knows – this might increase the value of your partnership! 
  5. Consider sponsors who are going to most benefit from what you offer – if your clear pricing need is at xyz price, and the value will be worth even more to a particular partner for a specific reason – point it out, if you are charging a price that’s lower than the perceivable worth they’ll feel like they’re getting a deal. 

We know this is a tricky subject – if there are suggestions out there or tips for how to better approach valuation, please feel free to comment here!  And please realize that we are definite advocates of doing your best to value your offering the best that you can upfront; in fact, we require it in the way we layout our sponsorship listings, but it’s just that: a starting point.  We realize that this value can change because just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, sponsorship value is in the eye of the partnering brand! 


Categories:   sponsorship sales | Sponsorship Valuation
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Spotlight on Sponsorship! The Wild West Music Festival

by Stephanie Lochmiller
11 10 2010

As a way to draw increased awareness and attention to some of the standup sponsorship opportunities on our site, we set apart one blog per month to put the “Spotlight on Sponsorship”! If you have a premium level listing on SponsorPark, and would like to have your event featured, please contact [email protected] to submit your event.  This month our spotlight shines on The Wild West Music Festival.

What is the Wild West Music Festival all about?
The Wild West Music Festival is a three day event produced by the Lili Claire Foundation a non-profit that builds medical care centers for children.  The foundation produces approximately ten fundraisers annually to generate funds for its centers.  This is the first year for the Wild West Music Festival, a three day family country music festival with nightly concerts featuring nine chart topping country music acts including Kenny Rogers, The Eli Young Band, and Montgomery Gentry.  The event will also feature celebrity host Matthew Perry, and will include exhibitions, rides, vendors, food, cowboys, games and more.  While this is the first year for this Las Vegas event, the plan is to expand the festival into a weeklong, and ultimately month long event in future years.

What makes this property unique?
The fact that this is the first year for the Wild West Music Festival, offers sponsors a chance to get in with a young event, and customize sponsorship packages tailored to suite specific needs.  The event plans to expand its reach and venue over the years, and this will only add value for those sponsors who are on board from the start.  In addition, the Wild West Music Festival has partnered with Beasley Broadcasting and Sunbelt Communications in order to  saturate promotions in the Las Vegas Market.  In addition, they are marketing in Utah, Arizona, California and New Mexico in order to broaden their reach. 

Surviving Sponsorship in a Heated Economy
The event has incorporated using SponsorPark as an addition to their current marketing and sponsorship efforts.  With competition growing and sponsors demanding more, event directors say that the more outlets they can feature their event on the better.

Preferred Partners

This events primary category consists of family brands-automobile, home security and insurance companies could all benefit from creating new and lasting partnerships with the festival.  Country music has always been a safe music style for the family, and the festival hopes to offer families a fun weekend to enjoy their time together.  To learn more about this event, and future potential partnerships check out the event listing on www.SponsorPark.com.  To learn more about the other things going on at SponsorPark, or to learn more about the listings on our site, or to promote your own event, join us on LinkedIn. 

Categories:   featured listings | General | industry happenings | Marketing | Social Media
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