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What Legacy Are You Leaving?

by Emily Taylor
  
28 12 2010

 I LOVE the holidays.  This year is even more special since my husband and I added the birth of our first child into November.  So we got to celebrate his birth, then on to Thanksgiving, my birthday, and then on to Christmas and soon we’ll have New Year’s!  I just wonder how January first is going to feel when we don’t have an impending holiday on the horizon until Valentine’s Day...   There’s one tradition over Christmas that I treasure, my parents have always given us a brand new ornament each year we’ve been alive.  At this point our tree is about to fall over from the ornament overload, but it’s such a special sight as you stroll around it looking at old family pictures, ornaments telling a story from year to year.  That tree has been transformed from year to year, and it pours out the story/legacy of our family. 

On a related note, it’s always at this time of year that I’m now conditioned to do a little reflection.  At heart I’m a manager, and very little excites me like seeing growth and development in the efforts of those I get to manage.  It’s so fulfilling to me to walk through a list of core competencies and determine where strengths and opportunities exist and then make a plan to get to the next level.  If I didn’t do this for myself, I wouldn’t be good at doing this for other people either, so at the end of the year when I’m in reflection mode, and reenergizing for the next great year of challenges, I like to evaluate what it’s going to take to do a better job than I did the year before.  I STRONLY encourage this practice in leaders to be taken periodically – even if you got just 5% better at your job per year, by the end of 5 years you’d be 25% better as a leader than you were before, and this will impact you personally, it impacts your team, and it impacts your company.  I do this for my personal priorities and my business efforts, and it has never been a waste of time. 

So let’s carry this over into the role of a sponsorship professional.  Here’s a few examples of some questions to ask yourself:
1- How does sponsorship touch my organization and what specific role do I play in the mix in terms of expectations? 
2- Did I meet the expectations?  Where did I perform the best and where could I improve?
3- What am I specifically going to do to see change in the area I want to see improved?
4- What is the root cause of my greatest successes?
5- What are my specific goals for next year, and what action plan should I have in place to see that happen?
6- How have I impacted the team I work with?  How are they better at their jobs because of me?

Now, most of those questions have to do with your own growth and development as a professional, but if you’re doing your job right in the sponsorship world, you really should be impacting people.  Or I should say, you ARE impacting people, it’s a matter of how.  I had a great superior tell me once that if I were to leave a company and it were to fall apart, I’m not doing my job.  Your legacy, the touch you leave on a sponsorship portfolio, your vendors, the team you activate with, the partners you work with; they all get something out of their interaction with you.  So, what is it?  Do you motivate and inspire?  Can you see growth in the talent of your team?  Does your sponsor partner see more value out of associating with your property as a result of your leadership?  Why or why not?  Your legacy is as good as a resume, it points out why you are valuable and why you would be an asset.  And you don’t necessarily need a resume polished when you’re looking for work, you need it polished to support your current value with some integrity.  So what does your tree full of ornaments from year to year say about you?  What legacy are you leaving?

So as you’re munching on turkey sandwich leftovers or considering where you’ll be celebrating the New Year, start thinking of the legacy you’re creating/leaving, and what you’re going to do to build on that.  And get SMART (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and timebound). 

From all of us at SponsorPark to you – HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! I have a feeling 2011 is going to be a good year…

 

Categories:   Elements of a Proposal | General | Marketing | Sponsorship resources | tips
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SponsorPark Distinguishers

by Emily Taylor
  
21 12 2010

Growing up my siblings and I used to gather all the Christmas presents that were under the tree and organize them by person.  Sounds like we were type A personality kids, but honestly we just wanted to know how many presents we had and had easy quick access to them on Christmas morning!  We wanted to distinguish our gifts from the others that would likely be of no interest to us in the morning.  On a related note, I’ve had a lot of phone calls lately where I spend lots of time clarifying how SponsorPark works as opposed to a sponsorship agency or even as it compares to an online database of listings.  So I thought it might be helpful to create a blog entry that went over some of those key details in case any of you faithful followers ever had interest in distinguishing the difference. 

1. We are a connection resource meant to generate exposure for your sponsorship opportunity- Perhaps this is pretty elementary stuff to most of you.  It’s probably clear that our goal is to get your sponsorship opportunity listing in front of more eyeballs – but some people don’t realize this is our primary focus.  If a sponsor indicates interest in any of the listings we represent, we put the two of you in touch, give you a heads up of their advanced interest, and exit the scene.  We are not part of the next steps for sales, contract negotiations, activation, etc.  That being the case, we do find it valuable to refer services on to some agencies that do this, and in turn there are several agencies that find our resource a helpful tool to complement their efforts in getting their opportunities in front of sponsors through a trusted middle man.

2. We allow targeted searches – We are definitely not just a large online database of sponsorship opportunities.  Sponsors are not flipping through pages upon pages of thousands of proposal listings, let’s face it, I don’t know many sponsors who would do that.  When a sponsor uses our services, they can target specific types of proposals of interest with a range of specific criteria.  Locations, dates, price ranges, categories, etc.  If they don’t want to take the time to log in every day to conduct these specific searches, they can create a profile or saved search criteria which allow us the freedom to automatically send them proposals upon a fit to their indicated criteria. 

3. We campaign to sponsors of your interest – We have marketed to a list of active U.S. sponsor numbering around 3,000; obviously this is a great start, but is honestly just the tip of the iceberg when you’re talking nationwide.  We put our heads together as a team and said, if we’re going to campaign and market to sponsors anyway, we might as well be doing so to the list our clients are most interested in getting in front of.  So – if you are a Premium or Professional level member, you can submit a list of your interests to us (preferably with contact info to speed things up), and a brief explanation why you think they are a good fit, we’ll reach out to them directly on your behalf.  Now, we’re still not selling, we’re introducing our resource and presenting your proposal as an example in a presentation, but it has proved to be a great way to get proactive about the exposure we provide you.  We also offer this option only to Premium or Professional level members only simply because their proposals offer significantly more information for a sponsor to truly consider when identifying a possible new partner.

4. We offer a foundational level proposal template – Just to clarify, SponsorPark takes the approach that customized proposals are the way to go.  So we are by no means replacing that with a cookie cutter approach.  What we are doing, is helping you to generate a foundational proposal which will give a starting point for a sponsor to better understand what you are all about, where you’re going, what kinds of benefits you have to offer, pricing, location, target audience – the things that they have indicated to us is incredibly important as they consider a potential new partner.  If you appear to be a fit with the profile we have you put together, there’s a good chance they’ll indicate that interest and a customized proposal would likely be the next step after you get in touch.  It was really surprising to us how many sponsors told us that properties tend to come to them without enough information to legitimately consider them as a partner, we’re trying to bridge that gap in the industry by giving you a helpful starting point!

So, there you have it.  These are some of the top questions posed about how our service is distinct and different from other connection agencies, and I’m happy to say SponsorPark definitely works hard to bridge some serious gaps in the sponsorship world.  If ever you have any questions, feel free to throw them our direction at [email protected], and we’d be happy to respond! 

Categories:   contracts | Elements of a Proposal | General | Marketing | sponsorship activation | Sponsorship resources | sponsorship sales | Sponsorship Valuation
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Effective Sponsorship through Engagement

by Greg Neverka
  
14 12 2010

This week, we hand our blog over to Greg Neverka of Performance Research. Neverka, Reports Manager for Performance Research, is responsible for creating and implementing research methodology to analyze the effectiveness of event sponsorship across a wide range of industries.  Though a native of Long Island, New York, Neverka is now based in Newport, Rhode Island. When he is not analyzing charts or conducting on-site research, he travels the world with his surfboard in tow. 

Performance Research (Newport, Rhode Island) is the world's leader in consumer research and evaluation for the sponsorship industry. Founded in 1985, the company has taken the leading role in understanding the marketing impact of sponsorship, as well as the phenomenon of emotional triggers and passion points among sports and arts enthusiasts.  Performance Research's consulting and evaluation work affects nearly $800 million worth of corporate sponsorship investments each year. Custom studies include on-site event surveys, telephone interviews, online surveys, and in-depth qualitative focus groups that explore the marketing impact of sponsorship / advertising from the consumer perspective.

And now, over to Greg...

Whenever you have the chance to speak with someone from Performance Research regarding event sponsorship, it is likely that they’ll make one specific point during the conversation.  They will tell you that sponsorship is extremely valuable, that when executed properly, can trump other marketing tactics as an effective tool in reaching consumers and maximizing event potential.

 
When discussing sponsorship being a valuable tool, we might as well put an asterisk (*) next to this statement.  Often times (too often!) we see event sponsorship that is not activated effectively and therefore misses the mark.  So how do you activate?  Well, for starters, both the sponsor and the property will have to start with an agreement that works for both sides.  Forget any monetary exchange; we are talking about the sponsoring party being prepared, in some way, shape, or form, to make the event better, while the property offers them this opportunity in order to help the sponsorship maximize its potential.  

Once everyone is on board, it is the job of both sides to evaluate the event and determine who the sponsor is trying to reach, how they can reach them, and how their sponsorship activation can add value to the event.  This is where we see most sponsors miss the mark.  Gone are the days when just hanging signs and banners with your company’s logos is acceptable as this will add little but clutter to the event.  The way in which the sponsorship is activated, must be engaging to consumers.  For example, this past year, we saw a Home Depot fan zone at a large sporting event in Texas.  Rather than just advertising at the event, Home Depot went above and beyond by having a fully staffed area, stocked with supplies (all of which can be purchased at Home Depot) for attendees to create large painted posters in support of their favorite players and  birdhouses for children to take home.  Home Depot not only added something special to the event, but they engaged fans by allowing them use their products, while adding to their overall enjoyment. 

Another activation that caught our “SponsorEye” over the past year was presented by the fashion design company Angela Moore.  The Angela Moore sponsorship of a regional, albeit high profile, tennis tournament was activated with a champagne breakfast and fashion show.  The fashion company leveraged their boutiques close proximity to the venue and hosted an event that not only enhanced the tennis tournament, but fit perfectly with the property and the clientele.  By hosting this ancillary event, the designer clearly understood how she could benefit the attendees, while staying in line with her sponsorship and adding a unique facet to the tournament.

While both are very different in theory, it is easy to see how both of the activations discussed above make sense for their particular event.  It is great to see when sponsors and properties both “get it” and put forth an effort that creates a lasting impression for those attending.  Not only is the profile of the event boosted, but value is as well.  Hopefully we continue to see more of this positive engagement from sponsors as we move forward.  Making the right decisions on how to reach consumers through sponsorship will certainly separate your brand from the rest in these difficult economic times.

Categories:   Elements of a Proposal | General | industry happenings | Marketing | sponsorship activation | Sponsorship resources | Sponsorship Valuation | tips
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