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Sponsorship Expectations

by David Rachell
12 02 2013

As a boy of 12, I met “the man” at his restaurant.  He was with his mother, a fixture in Stan Musial’s adult life along with his wife, Lil, of nearly 72 years.  Outside of the Midwest, and St. Louis in particular, Stan “the Man” was not as well known as some of the great’s of baseball’s golden era.  But meeting him was like meeting the most amazing hero, personable and generous, with his time and smile.

The same week that Mr. Musial passed away, other hero’s passed away as several decided to break their silence about how they deceived the public.  They join an ever expanding line of sports figures who’s secret’s are somehow “uncovered.” Trustworthiness seems to be a lost personality trait.

Maybe the public has just become numb to all of this by now.  Major sports figures, thrust into the limelight, find it difficult to maintain the high road, drunk with fame and money.

You may ask what this has to do with the sponsorship industry.  But I believe that sponsors have a direct correlation with how deeply these sports figures lie.  It’s only themselves they need to protect when there’s no sponsor to appease.  But, hundred’s of thousands, even millions of dollars are at stake when the lie is attached to a morality clause.  

Stan the Man didn’t really have corporate partners to appease, only his family and fans.  But, Tiger, Lance and Mike Phelps all had the opportunity to be better, not only for their sponsors, but for all of us.  And they turned out to be human after all.

Can we expect our hero’s to live up to higher expectations when sponsors hold them to the fire to fly right or else?  Does the sponsorship of individuals alter the athlete’s reality? Should consumers place as much importance on athlete sponsorships and is there a way to change the dynamic so that our athletic here’s can be honest with us first?  And more importantly, when will brands learn that individual athlete sponsorships are too big of risk, insurance policies or not?

Thank you Stan, for living above our expectations.

Categories:   General | industry happenings | sponsorship sales | Sponsorship Valuation
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