Thank you for joining in the discussion and sharing your experience.
Having a blank sheet to work from certainly frees you from any legacy obligations that other rights holders might have, but everyone really needs to constantly review what the market demands are and what they are able to offer to meet them.
If you look at some new sports, such as Formula E, they had a fantastic opportunity to be as innovative in sponsorship as their cars are, but they seemingly adopted a quite dated sponsorship strategy instead.
I like your point about the "rule book" as, of course, we shouldn't have a pre-determined rule book; it should be about delivering what the audience needs are and doing so in a way that meets your objectives and those of your sponsors.
The 'partnership' approach to sponsorship means building something together that goes beyond branding exposure and engagement, and will have an impact on Glasgow long after the event has finished.
I wish you the best of luck with it and will look forward to seeing what innovative sponsorship assets and activation comes out as a result.
That's great to hear and thank you for sharing that. From the 'partnership' point of view, it would be great to understand what GOLDOC is doing to support its partners' businesses, perhaps creating something new with them that naturally establishes a long-term relationship, rather than a focus around one event.
Assistance in activation planning is an essential part of what a rights holder can offer to sponsors, but we advise going further to really understand their business needs and helping them to deliver on those objectives, not just the sponsorship objectives.
Maybe we can arrange a call so I can better understand your requirements and make some suggestions?
I've recently done some consultancy work for CNP (http://www.cnpprofessional.co.uk) helping them grow both their B2B and B2C business in what, as you know, is a very crowded marketplace.
This news should come as no surprise and most definitely first the first step before we start seeing all teams in the league featuring sponsors on their jerseys. The only surprise is why, in a country where fans are so accustomed to commercialization of their professional sports, it took this long to introduce.
American sports leagues are notorious for their ability to monetize every aspect of their operation and will have seen this as an area that could drive substantial income. It’s perhaps the most coveted ‘real estate’ in what is increasingly a global marketplace.
Shirt sponsorships in NBA will run in the tens of millions. Introducing it at the All-Star game makes it easier to roll out across the league, but again, I don’t foresee much opposition from American fans.
There is an acceptance now that top professional teams are global entertainment properties rather than teams rooted in local communities. We may not like it but this has been a trend for a while and will almost certainly continue.
With research claiming that Premier League shirt sponsors are losing £10m per year, many are calling out for a wholesale transformation in brand strategy.
However, people need to tread carefully and take the report with a pinch of salt.
Whilst the headline is visually arresting and emotionally stirring, it’s important to note that many Premier League shirt sponsors have done an impressive job of marketing their brands across a range of platforms and regions.
That being said, there is definitely room for improvement. By using a reach, engage and convert model, brand sponsors will be better positioned to take advantage of existing partnerships.
888 have been very shrewd. They have generated more PR by terminating the agreement than they could ever have hoped for with the agreement itself. Similar to how Zoopla benefitted from the Anelka case 888 have been all over the media and were 1st movers in terminating their relationship. Its hard to understand their otherwise rationale for terminating based on Suarez's unsporting behaviour when in fact they knew when they signed him as ambassador he had already been guilty of unsporting behaviour for the same offence.
I think what Louisa says makes very good sense. Different brands undertake sponsorship programmes for different reasons. Aviva has a long history with the club and has a strong presence in a city where the company has a strong presence and where it has a lot of employees. There are not too many other high profile sponsorship opportunities in the Norwich area. The opportunity to develop targeted campaigns in other towns and cities in the UK may very well be more effective than relying on the very high levels of global exposure from the Premier League for a brand that only has a presence in a relatively small percentage of the countries where the Premier League matches are shown. Also relegation generally brings a reduction in sponsorship fees.
Because sport and the marketing power of great sportsmen and women was so undervalued for so many years, many former sports stars are now playing catch up. About 5 years ago Muhammed Ali, because of the sale of his image rights, became America’s highest earning sports star that year – almost 30 years after his last fight! Since Arnold Palmer started earning more in “retirement” than he did playing golf, the true marketing potential of the very top stars has begun to get realised. Pele is a classic example of a player whose earnings after he stopped playing football increased considerably and there are many others like him.
However, things have changed and marketers now realise the great potential in the present day sports stars. David Beckham is a marketing phenomenan but a great proportion of his off pitch earnings came while he was still a top player. Similarly the current crop of top footballers will do extremely well from the likes of this year’s World Cup. Lionel Messi has a string of ambassadorial roles – including with global brand giants like Gillette, adidas, Samsung and Pepsi. These will all be multi million pound deals. Of course the marketing potential for retired legends will remain but increasingly it’s the stars of the here and now that will really hit the jackpot.
Ambush marketing will always be a challenge in new and existing markets but the move into new markets provides new opportunities, audiences and sales and expanded brand exposure for IOC and Games sponsors, especially to youth audiences, and therefore greater returns for sponsors on their Games investments.
The FA Cup is not for every major sponsor. It has great heritage and some unique rights, such as the Cup itself, but it requires creative activation to achieve stand out and ROI.
The key is understanding how this unique sports property could fulfill a potential sponsor's marketing objectives. I persuaded Littlewoods Pools to become the first ever presenting sponosr and subsequently negotiated for AXA to become the second sponor.
Littlewoods Pools wanted to publicise the brand at a time when the National Lottery was being launched with the prospect of much bigger prize money than the traditional Pools millionaire and betting on football with bookmakers was increasing. AXA, a French owned company, was on an acquisition trail and had bought two British insurance companies, Sun Life Assurance and Equity and Law, which it wanted to re-brand as AXA and generate employee and customer acceptability in the UK.
I negotiated the right to the designation AXA sponsored FA Cup which had the obvious benefit of ensuring maximum brand recognition without having full title sponsorship. There are four key elements to this sponsorship: The title designation, the broadcast partners and the the price. The fourth is whether the FA would be able to persuade the Premier League to permit automatic entry to the Champions League for the winner of the FA Cup. Don't hold your breath on this last one.
Fiona Green's comment are spot on. The deals include a commission as the 'sponsors' are actually more interested in the merchandise (predominantly replica shirts but also training tops, tracksuits etc) that they sell. In almost every case, the kit supplier gets to sell merchandise on a global basis. With increased measures to combat counterfeiting and the growth of exposure and hype globally for the clubs, the demand for replica shirts is growing. Go to virtually any country in Africa or Asia and you will see thousands of people wearing European replica jerseys. Although the majority are fakes, the market is growing and capturing the top teams is important for both sales and branding. It will be interesting to see if the Man Utd deal is as big as reported - they are by far the most dominant club in terms of international support, but is their star waning? Remember, these are fans who have jumped on the glory wagon, who have never seen the club play and, for the most part, have never contributed a penny into the club's coffers. Will they be so pleased to be wearing the shirt if the club starts to fall down the pecking order? Whoever bags the Man U deal is almost certain to want a few incentive clauses included in the contract.
Fiona, I agree entirely. A sponsorship arrangement with a sports club, provides a commercial platform from which to engage and (hopefully) prosper. It does not include automatic entry into the dressing room. However, during an association with a high profile 'brand' a corporate partner should always seek to maximise the position and I'm sure Zoopla will be delighted that their genuine moral stance has afforded them far greater publicity than any forthcoming announcement of an end to the partnership...