Secrets to Successful Sponsorships


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Frisk is back! And this month, we present you with our Sponsorship special.

Sponsorships have been at the forefront of public consciousness as of late, even more so than usual thanks to the World Cup. Our Arc sponsorship team has been rather busy with it all, so we thought the time was right to share some of their pearls with you; within this round-up you’ll find our insights into the evolving relationship between McDonald’s and The FA, gritty observations about ambush marketing, a look behind the scenes at the World Cup in Rio, our clever Brandtasy League, and various viewpoints from our egghead Planning department.

Lots to enjoy there, then. So set aside a little time, mark out a segment of your diary as ‘really important meeting, do not disturb, seriously’ and have a flick through. Don’t worry, there are plenty of pictures in here too. Stops it being too much like hard work, eh?

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Secrets to Successful Sponsorships

  1. 1. Frisk Special: SPONSORSHIP August 2014
  2. 2. Frisk Special: SPONSORSHIP August 2014
  3. 3. Frisk Special: SPONSORSHIP August 2014 Hi there. Welcome to the latest Frisk special. These newsletters get lovingly baked in the LB LDN info-kitchen once a month, with a multitude of eager Planners and information suppliers tossing in handfuls of seeds and making wry observations about rye, flinging their yeast about and whatnot. Frisk has been running for some time as a weekly internal newsletter, with the first edition of each month centring around a particular theme; we share these special editions with you because, well, why not? Recent themes have included WOMEN, LUXURY, NOT-FOR-PROFIT, TRAVEL, the amusingly thorny BRANDS TO WATCH OUT FOR, POPULARITY… and this time it’s all about SPONSORSHIP. Sponsorship has been much in the public consciousness of late – more so than usual, that is – thanks to the World Cup, among other massive events. Our Arc sponsorship team has been rather busy with it all, so we thought the time was right to share some of their pearls with you; within this round-up you’ll find our insights into the evolving relationship between McDonald’s and The FA, gritty observations about ambush marketing, a look behind the scenes at the World Cup in Rio, our clever Brandtasy League, and various viewpoints from our egghead Planning department. Lots to enjoy there, then. So set aside a little time, mark out a segment of your diary as ‘really important meeting, do not disturb, seriously’ and have a flick through. Don’t worry, there are plenty of pictures in here too. Stops it being too much like hard work, eh? I do hope that you enjoy what you read. If so – or indeed, if not – be sure to fire some feedback into the Twittersphere: the handle’s @LeoBurnettLDN. See you next month for more of this broad-spread thinkery. Daniel Bevis Senior Knowledge Editor Leo Burnett London
  4. 4. Frisk Special: SPONSORSHIP August 2014 Our Arc sponsorship team talks about evolving the relationship of one of the UK’s biggest brands and most powerful rights holders: McDonald’s and The FA. U N B E L I E V A B L E T E K K E R S starting off with a bang On Sunday 10th August, Arsenal played Manchester City in the big match that kicked off the new football season: the FA Community Shield, supported by McDonald’s. It’s a time when fans are full of hope and excitement; new managers untested, recent signings untried. There’s a spring in the step as everything feels shiny and new. In this year’s case the game really is brand spanking new. Managed by Arc’s Sponsorship team, it’s the first activation of the recently renewed McDonald’s partnership with The FA, and not only does it launch the revised programme, it’s also the launch of a new jointly developed creative platform. In addition to the FA Community Shield match, the partnership spans two fundamental aspects of community football: supporting community clubs, and rewarding thousands of volunteers who work tirelessly to make grassroots football happen. It’s a partnership that Arc has been managing since its inception twelve years ago, and one that has seen significant growth and development, mirroring the evolution of sponsorships as a whole. a new way of working The days of a sponsor simply badging a property are widely acknowledged to be long gone. Now brand marketers, mindful of justifying their investment, are looking for sponsorships to work harder and are using properties to engage with fans and ultimately say something about the brand. Savvy rights holders are up for the challenge. A happy sponsor is a safe sponsor, and working together to ensure your partner is getting the most out of the relationship is simply good business. Whereas conversations would once be tied down to audience numbers and media metrics, we’re now just as likely to talk together about brand metrics and audience analyses. There’s no denying that, more often than not, increased sales will be the ultimate goal – however, they’re now achieved through the more circuitous routes of increased trust, affinity and engagement in many cases. Whatever the goal, the key thing is for both parties to embrace it from the outset and work together to achieve it. Great partnerships evolve to a symbiotic relationship where each partner is working to support the objectives of the other. A shining example of this is the evolution of the McDonald’s / FA partnership – and this can be seen in the FA Community Shield delivery. challenging the status quo It could be easy to dismiss this with the comment that ‘after thirteen matches as the presenting partner,
  5. 5. Frisk Special: SPONSORSHIP August 2014 you’d hope that both partners had got it right by now’. But this would do the partnership a great disservice and overlook the amount of work that’s required to achieve and maintain strategic alignment. Time can drive over-familiarity and complacency, and with a thirteen-year history there’s always the temptation to deliver more of the same. However, the occasion of a sponsorship renewal and the intense introspection that accompanies that process created the opportunity for an honest dialogue to establish what each party really wanted, and how we could deliver added value to our collective audience. In this case it was a sponsorship asset that didn’t stand alone. The curtain-raiser for the football season wasn’t a natural bedfellow for the grassroots support that comprises the remainder of the programme: what McDonald’s wanted was a platform: a stage from which both The FA and McDonald’s could communicate elements from the remainder of the programme, tying these up in one cohesive message. What this meant in a practical sense was developing a shared language and a look-and-feel that was sympathetic yet distinct enough to get the nuances from each party across. a winning campaign Led by the FA Community Shield branding, a creative platform was developed which would position the match comfortably alongside other high-profile properties, but also allow the flexibility to successfully incorporate grassroots messages. As a suite of messages: - Jointly branded FA Community Shield match messaging credibly placed McDonald’s at the heart of football - Jointly branded community football messages focused on the ‘what and how’. Programme elements were identified and context given to the support - McDonald’s own messages told the story ‘why’ Combined, the full impact was a rich sponsorship story clearly demonstrating the depth of the thirteen- year partnership - one which is sure to cut through with the collective target audiences. So how is this going to pay back? It’s too early to tell what immediate impact this has had on consumers, but working together to a shared goal from the outset will undoubtedly pay back in the long term. What’s clear is that there are exciting things to come from the new four-year deal.
  6. 6. Frisk Special: SPONSORSHIP August 2014 An insight from our Arc sponsorship team McDonald’s has been a supporter of football at both global and grassroots levels for more than twenty-five years, and became a Global Sponsor of the FIFA World Cup™ in 1994. Their sponsorship includes programmes such as McDonald’s Player Escorts, McDonald’s FIFA World Cup™ Fantasy Football, McDonald’s Ultimate Fans, as well as many special, engaging promotions in local McDonald’s restaurants around the world. Our Arc sponsorship team have been activation partners across McDonald’s Football sponsorship for the past nineteen years. Four members of our team were at the FIFA World Cup™ in Brazil and spent the best part of four weeks working in Rio to support McDonald’s with these programmes. how did they get on? here’s a brief behind-the-scenes look… Despite various protests and construction delays leading up to the World Cup, Brazil did not experience unfinished stadia or widespread demonstrations during the event. The football was great, the atmosphere was suitably carnival-like, and the people were welcoming and passionate. And everywhere was yellow and green! However, exciting as it might sound, we didn’t go from match to match just to enjoy the football, or hang out with the fans at FIFA Fan Fest on Copacabana beach – we were working and supporting McDonald’s on a number of their FIFA World Cup projects: McDonald’s Player Escorts, Crew World Cup, Ultimate Fan, and Benchmarking for Euro 2016 & 2018 FIFA World Cup. A 24/7 responsibility where you forget about sleep, weekends and lie-ins, and completely lose touch with what else is going on in the world or back home… mcdonald’s player escorts: McDonald’s recruit children from all over the world - 70 countries participated in 2014 - to walk out onto the pitch with the players; 1,408 lucky children aged from 6-10 years (and accompanying parents). A truly once-in-a-lifetime experience for these families. We followed 32 of the European children and parents over five Rio and Sao Paulo matches during each of their four-day experiences, filming, interviewing and editing real-time social media content overnight for each of the participating twenty-one European countries. We had worked with McDonald’s teams in each of these countries beforehand, so we could deliver specifically to all of their briefs; some needed daily video reports, others required an overall video summary at the end of the adventure, while some wanted both, with variations. But each needed engaging, ready-to-use, emotional and unique content. So, to give you a flavour of the process… we met the children and parents on arrival at the hotel, sometimes before sunrise; we travelled with them on their journey to a Sao Paulo match at 4.30am, and would arrive back from a day’s filming at 1am, to then work through the night editing all of the collected footage in order to have rich video content delivered to each Player Escort country by 7am. Then it was time to grab some sleep, before moving on to the next group of excited, eager and enthusiastic children. All of our efforts - and lack of sleep paid off – every country used the content provided straight away, posted on their Facebook pages and YouTube channels, shared and used by newspapers and TV stations as well as online news reports. It was immediate, newsworthy, and engaging. And let’s not forget the many happy parents: BEHIND THE SCENES WORKING AT THE WORLD CUP IN RIO
  7. 7. Frisk Special: SPONSORSHIP August 2014 “The video diary is amazing! I cried when I saw all the great emotions Janis experiences in Rio. It allowed the whole of Switzerland to “participate” in this great adventure of my son.” Angela Egli – Swiss Player Escort parent of Janis
  8. 8. Frisk Special: SPONSORSHIP August 2014 All the while we were also making a movie. Watch the emotional journey of one winning McDonald’s Russian crew player – which culminated in a trip to Rio at the Crew World Cup. the mcdonald’s crew world cup:We also provided full Tournament Day operations for the McDonald’s Crew World Cup (an internal crew and staff engagement programme) at the famous Fluminense FC. Apart from all of the club pre-meetings once we arrived in Rio, there was the sourcing of equipment, goals, first aid/ambulance, water, sun-cream, sound system, footballs… not to mention negotiating and managing a surprise visit and kickabout with Brazilian football legend Cafu and the McDonald’s teams on the day! There was another early 5am start on McDonald’s Crew Tournament day itself - marking out pitches, setting up branding, arranging the sound system and checks, transferring water and drinks to the cold bins, laying out medals and trophies, briefing the officials, ball boys & teams, and of course managing Cafu’s attendance – all before a 10.00am kick-off! We then juggled full tournament operations, filming and photography, guests and spectators, and prize-giving, before finally dismantling and returning everything to its original place.
  9. 9. Frisk Special: SPONSORSHIP August 2014 mcdonald’s ultimate fans: In addition to these programmes, we were out and about creating and delivering yet more immediate social media content from a large number of the excited McDonald’s Ultimate Fans from around the world. We shadowed these consumer prize-winners, capturing and filming their emotions and special World Cup moments in Rio during the World Cup – including a photo with the World Cup trophy and exclusive Maracanã pitch access. Full-on, non-stop surveillance and video editing to be shared with participating markets: benchmarking for future football tournaments: McDonald’s Russian and French Management and Franchisees flew into Rio, to benchmark and experience McDonald’s World Cup operations in advance of UEFA EURO 2016™ and 2018 FIFA World Cup™ in their countries. We arranged, supervised and hosted a week-long detailed programme of presentations, McDonald’s local restaurant tours and dedicated McCafé visits at the International Broadcast Centre, Player Escort management and stadium rehearsals, endless coach journeys, early mornings, late nights and English/French translations. At all times ensuring not to lose anyone, confuse anyone or get stuck in the hotel lift! And finally… we continued the lack-of-sleep theme with the middle-of-the-night and early-morning co- ordinated approval process for McDonald’s real-time Facebook campaign #FryFutbol, where iconic moments of each day’s World Cup matches were recreated using McDonald’s fries and packaging as the players and props. These videos were then immediately shared around the world each morning on Facebook & YouTube with the hashtag #FryFutbol. Thirty charming, amusing and engaging videos were painstakingly modelled and produced: and so it all finally came to an end... after all the national anthems, happy children, England team frustrations, flag-waving, thunderstorms, laughter and traffic jams, we all eventually made it back home - to airport security, long-awaited sleep, laundry, friends and family, and the British weather - but with many great memories, and stories from Brazil to reflect upon. Only two more years until we go through it all again at UEFA EURO 2016…”
  10. 10. Frisk Special: SPONSORSHIP August 2014 Nike ambush adidas. Pepsi ambush Coke. Kodak ambush Fuji. So what is ambush marketing? Well, it’s when a company intends to exploit an official event without paying fees to the owners of the rights, that weaken—or ambush—a competitor’s official sponsorship by engaging in promotions and advertising. Whilst ambush marketing isn’t illegal, it is deemed by some as unethical. But is that not just the view from official sponsors? Surely when brands negotiate a sponsorship contract, they need to push the rights holder harder to agree stringent restrictions that will prevent competitors trumping their well laid out campaign. After all, only a fraction of the money competitors are saving on sponsorship needs to be invested in smart guerrilla tactics that sees them getting attention, at times, over and above the official sponsors. But right holders too have an obligation to protect the sponsor’s investment with legal limitations that ensure exclusivity. Ambush marketing is at its most prominent in sport, when the stakes are at their highest. Events such as the World Cup and the Olympics command huge investment because they are watched by billions, so whether competitive sport is your thing or not, patriotic camaraderie never fails to pull people in. But ambush marketing isn’t simple. It needs to be disruptive, inspiring and engaging at a time when the event or attraction is already being talked about by everyone. But most importantly it needs to be creative within the legal parameters set by the rights holders. According to law firm Lewis Silkin, there are three different forms of ambushing. AMBUSHING AN OPPONENT Storebites is a regular in-house roundup of tangy titbits relating to shopper marketing and the goings-on in the retail environment. Here, Sarah Leccacorvi gives us a valuable insight into the world of ambush marketing… By association Associating oneself with the event (or a participating team or player) without authorisation, could mislead the public into thinking that the ambusher is somehow connected with the event/team/player. At the 2010 FIFA World Cup; Walkers, Pepsi and KitKat all indirectly made associations with the 2010 FIFA World Cup in their adverts with Walkers’ World Cup of Flavours, Pepsi’s ‘Oh Africa’ and KitKat’s ‘Cross your fingers’. By intrusion Here an ‘intruding’ ambusher will seek to gain prominent brand exposure at the event, targeting the audience in the stadia and in broadcast media. In the 2010 World Cup, Bavaria beer used beautiful Dutch models dressed in orange at The Netherlands match. The models entered the match disguised as Dutch fans, only to reveal their promotional intent once the game began. This led to the South African authorities making arrests, as well as the sacking of the TV pundit Robbie Earle, who had apparently supplied the tickets to the girls. Likewise Beats, the electronics manufacturer, handed out free headphones to athletes at the London 2012 Olympics and subsequently photographs of the athletes wearing the headphones flooded the press. By real-time opportunism ‘Opportunistic’ advertising is one that reacts and refers to topical events that is done in a humorous or tongue-in-cheek manner. It is less likely to be misleading about the brand’s connection to the event, but it undoubtedly takes advantage of the public interest in it. The well documented case of Oreo is an example here. For those that don’t know it, at the Super Bowl XLVII, the Oreo tactic was unplanned, reactive and real-time. During a Super Bowl match when the stadium lights failed unintentionally, Oreo posted a timely three methods of attack
  11. 11. Frisk Special: SPONSORSHIP August 2014 It could be argued that social media is levelling out the playing field between official sponsors and ambush marketers. Utilising platforms like YouTube, Twitter and Facebook ahead of and during the games generates buzz and places a brand in the forefront of a consumer’s mind. Back at the 2012 London Olympics, the official sponsor adidas had fewer tweets and pulled in less new Facebook fans when compared to Nike, a non-sponsor whose campaign celebrated everyday athletes. Using #findgreatness there were more than 16,000 tweets associating Nike with the word Olympic between 27th July and 2nd August compared to 9,295 for adidas, whose campaign featured Team GB athletes and used #takethestage. Equally data showed that Nike achieved a 6% growth in its number of Facebook fans and a 77% boost in engagement on its Facebook page, compared to 2% and 59% respectively for adidas. an ambusher’s ally ad on Twitter stating ‘you can still dunk in the dark’. With 23 million comments on Twitter during the Super Bowl blackout, they became part of that conversation and achieved over 10,000 retweets in the first hour alone, capturing much more attention than any of the official sponsors. As lawyers and governing bodies work together to define the legal measures that keep ambushers at bay, the emergence of social media is proving harder to govern.
  12. 12. Frisk Special: SPONSORSHIP August 2014 Nike sponsor teams or individuals and generally avoid sponsoring events. At the 1996 Olympics, Reebok was the official shoe sponsor, but Nike had already provided shoes for most of the prominent athletes including Michael Johnson, who wore distinctive gold Nike running shoes. Johnson presented the shoes to his parents in tribute after his world record and this created a media frenzy that captured close-ups of Johnson’s gold Nikes over the next 24 hours. nike just do it Then at the 1998 World Cup, Nike bought worldwide ad spots during the breaks in between games that featured the Brazilian team. Alongside this, they built a football village near the World Cup’s main stadium and paraded the Brazil team to become a major attraction of the village. In 2002, Nike continued to stick by the Brazilian team and fitted them out entirely in Nike gear. Then at the 2012 London Olympics, when Nike’s TV ad showcased everyday athletes, it was broadcast to coincide with the opening ceremony. In all instances, Nike had official commercial rights to high profile players and teams whose presence at the event meant they outshone official sponsors, without having to pay huge sums for the rights. So whether it is deemed as unethical or just using assets in a smart way, Nike has time and time again stolen the show. In a similar vein, Beats by Dre again captured the world’s attention at the 2014 Wold Cup, with a five-minute clip entitled “The Game Before the Game” highlighting footballers’ pre-match routines. The spot featured Brazil’s Neymar along with other well-known players and celebrities, and reaped the benefits of going viral with over 11.5 million views on YouTube, and 27,000+ likes and over 1,000 shares on Beats’ Facebook. There is notably one brand that is consistently stratospheric when it comes to ambushing its competitors. Nike reigns as king ambusher having trumped official sponsors Converse in Los Angeles in 1984, Reebok in Atlanta in 1996 and adidas since 1998.
  13. 13. Frisk Special: SPONSORSHIP August 2014 Sarah Leccacorvi Client Service Director As much as ambushers look to unsettle official sponsors, the sponsors too are finding smarter ways to combat parasitic behaviour through activating their ‘official’ status and playing on their authenticity. At the 2014 World Cup it was adidas that prevailed, having secured kit deals with the two finalists and created the Brazuca ball that was arguably the greatest creative element of the event. So whilst Nike continue to reign as king ambusher, it seems that adidas outsmarted Nike for once. retribution
  14. 14. Frisk Special: SPONSORSHIP August 2014 A Look at Missed Opportunities in World Cup Sponsorship, by John Atmore, Planning Director, Arc Once again, a global sporting event held us in thrall, the five weeks of the World Cup gripped our attention right till the last second of extra time in the final game. But, while the football was dramatic and exciting, brands’ efforts to engage us fell short – demonstrated throughout the tournament in Arc’s ‘Brandtasy League’ ( which monitored the performance of several brands, including major sponsors, throughout the tournament. The Brandtasy League table was formed by two waves of quantitative shopper, social media and sponsorship research, some of which was even conducted during live matches. The research and ‘match reports’ showed live brand research at the dedicated microsite. The brands that had strong integrated plans in place fared well. All the major sponsors (including Nike, who sponsor individuals, rather than the World Cup itself) with strong attribution and awareness of their links to football, all filled the top places in our League, outscoring immediate competitors. Budweiser had a real presence on air and in-aisle throughout the tournament, with strong signage and price deals and our research picked up a fair amount of switching into the brand. But these were exceptions. Overall, compared to the Olympics and previous World Cups, brands didn’t seem to have committed to the tournament and performance was broadly lacklustre and arguably ‘safe’. Was this failure to capitalise on the World Cup a conscious decision or simply a missed opportunity? BRANDTASY LEAGUE Brands may have been wary about marketing investment during the World Cup for a number of reasons: England was the only home nation to qualify and were unlikely to have a long run, leading to concern that interest would decline dramatically after their exit. The political landscape was also an issue, with favelas being cleared, looming street protests and the breaking story about FIFA and alleged malpractice. Against this backdrop, linking too closely to the World Cup exposed brands’ reputations to risk. But we can’t ignore the fact that 15 million of us tuned in to watch the Final – the failure of brands to
  15. 15. Frisk Special: SPONSORSHIP August 2014 get involved and take advantage of all the positive emotion was surely a missed opportunity? We believe that there has been too much reliance on tactical activation this World Cup and too little on properly planned integrated campaigns. The Brandtasy League’s monitoring of social media and in-store performance showed that retail (and Retailer) activation was very low key; Indeed, The World Cup seemed to last just two weeks in many Retailers – Festival of Football themes morphing very quickly into Celebrations of Summer, with Pimm’s, strawberries and Wimbledon ubiquitous even before the group stage had finished. Whilst a few tactical opportunities arose, to generate some content (The ‘bite’, and the ‘free kick foam’ spring to mind) too often these were one-offs and didn’t really benefit the brands that got involved. Of course, brands have to be reactive, as there will always be something that captures the public’s imagination, but these should be add-ons to campaigns, rather than instead-ofs. We’ve learned that a bit of content here and a bit of social media there is simply not enough. In future it is only by planning a full campaign, showing full commitment and staying the distance that brands will be able to access and exploit the fun, the excitement and the passion that global sports events possess. (Originally an article by Arc’s John Atmore that ran in The Guardian online on 24th July.)
  16. 16. Frisk Special: SPONSORSHIP August 2014 What came first - the sport or the sponsorship? Well, in the case of the world’s largest annual sporting event, the Tour de France, it was the sponsorship. The annual 2,500km-odd trip around France was actually invented to help sell newspapers. In 1903 Henri Desgrange came up with the idea of a multiple stage race around France as a marketing ploy to support the declining sales of L’Auto newspaper. Each day the results of this great feat would be published in the paper, giving readers something additional to look forward to and a reason to buy the paper. The idea caught the French public’s imagination, largely because it gave a very regional population, who were thirsty for knowledge about their own country, something to read and learn about as the race passed through France’s various departments. Although today nothing beats the buzz of watching at the roadside as the pro-peloton flies pass at speeds approaching 50km/h, cycling is really a sport that’s best viewed on TV. To get a view of what’s happening over 200km of road is impossible unless you see the whole thing and being in the race isn’t an option for most of us. It’s no surprise that the UK’s major pro team is sponsored by Sky. The Tour de France is for me one of the best sponsorship ideas of the last hundred years that’s still going strong today. PETER BATCHELOR SAYS... LB LDN’s Planning department buzzes with ideas like some kind of colossal hornet. This month we asked them to give us a viewpoint on sponsorship – their responses were varied and intriguing…PLANNERS Sponsorship can sometimes be used to gain borrowed interest from a more interesting or engaging content provider that has already captured their target audience. Instead of thinking about what a brand can get out of a sponsorship, it is more fruitful to consider what both parties can gain from a relationship. This takes you from sponsorship to partnership – and this mind-set helps brands to unlock great work ADRIAN HINDS SAYS...
  17. 17. Frisk Special: SPONSORSHIP August 2014 Perhaps I don’t watch enough sport, or enough TV, or pay enough attention when I’m walking down the street, but when asked to think of examples of great sponsorship partnerships I really struggled. There’s McDonald’s and London’s Olympic Games, of course. An unexpected and initially uncomfortable match that managed to find common ground and, later, by the time the Games were in full flight, made perfect sense together. (A masterstroke of planning from a brilliant agency, I’m sure you’ll agree.) Robinsons and Wimbledon. Are they still a team? Not sure. But it’s a pairing that’s stuck; both being quintessentially British and summery and spirited. But the first coupling that sprang to mind was Cadbury’s and Coronation Street. Cadbury’s were the first brand to really get to grips with programme sponsorship, and the Cadbury-Coronation Street partnership remains a masterclass in how to do it. Despite no obvious link between Coronation Street and the brand, Cadbury’s made it work with delicious little vignettes rendered in chocolate, sweetly scripted, completely compelling and totally in-keeping with the character of the programme. And Cadbury’s remained committed to Coronation Street for twelve years, embedding themselves in the psyche of a whole generation of viewers. Sadly, that relationship ended back in 2006, but in my mind they’re still together; like the inseparable couple at FRANCES GIBBS SAYS... Most commercial sponsorships are, frankly, pretty parasitic. Bolting your brand or company name on to an event in the hope that some of the passion of fans or the lustre of the event will rub off on you is, well, not exactly cheap, but, well, cheap. This is something of a reversal of the meaning of the verb ‘to sponsor’. It used to mean to vouch for, endorse, take responsibility for. The risk was on the part of the sponsor, the benefit on the part of the sponsored. Sponsorship enhanced, enriched, gave stature to an event. Modern event sponsorship is all too often the reverse. Not always though. There are glorious exceptions and in most cases the difference is that the ‘sponsor’ actually creates the event. Red Bull did not ‘sponsor’ Felix Baumgartner’s incredible jump – they made it happen. They took a risk. They endorsed and enhanced the event (and of course benefitted in turn). Contrast this with the ‘Barclays Premier League’. How is Barclays adding to the stature of the league? In what sense are they endorsing it? How is it better, or even different, in any way as a result of Barclays’ involvement? It isn’t. It’s parasitic. It jars every time a commentator is forced to add the word ‘Barclays’ to the title as they say it. Don’t be a parasite. Don’t just look for an event that has some attribute you want to leech into your brand. JUSTIN CLOUDER SAYS... college who – in your thoughts – can never exist as individuals but are evoked as one forever more. such as the McDonald’s Olympic Games work, or the Hemoba Foundation and Brazilian football club E.C.Vitória’s blood donation campaign. In the latter the club’s traditional red and black striped shirts were drained of the red colour; it was restored gradually as fans and the wider public agreed to donate blood.
  18. 18. Frisk Special: SPONSORSHIP August 2014 Build your own. Endorse, enrich. Take responsibility. Be a sponsor, not merely a sponsor. REBECCA FLEMING SAYS... JOHN ATMORE SAYS... Sponsors pay for fabulous sporting events and amazing art exhibitions, programmes on TV and other stuff that I really like, which probably wouldn’t happen without their support. So for me, the idea of sponsorship is a good thing. But doing sponsorship well is quite tricky. For it to be I love watching the Tour de France and, as with most sporting events, everything from the jerseys to the water bottles are plastered with sponsor logos. Skoda has been le Tour’s main sponsor for ten years, which at first seems a bit odd (cycling being somewhat of an anti-car thing). However, Skoda’s founders produced bicycles, and still do today, so there’s a nice link with the brand heritage. Like it or not, le Tour couldn’t go ahead without this huge fleet of cars (or indeed without the costly support from the sponsorship). The cars carry food and drink supplies, maintenance gear, spare bikes and the cyclist’s trainer teams, while the brand puts out a large-scale integrated marketing campaign with the message ‘The team behind the teams’. Considering what all this conveys to consumers, no Skoda car in the Tour’s fleet has ever broken down – supporting perceptions of reliability and quality. The cars are showcased across different landscapes, manoeuvring between huge crowds of spectators on tightly winding roads and accelerating quickly, all the while keeping the passengers safe and comfy. Meanwhile, the Skoda brand is associated with high performance, support of fitness and agility, and the world’s most demanding sporting event. Sounds good to me.
  19. 19. Frisk Special: SPONSORSHIP August 2014 truly successful it really needs to be ‘deep’. Depth comes from a number of elements. Firstly a strong natural fit between brand (and product) and event is key. (I never really understood why a cheese manufacturer supported detective stories on ITV, but I still remember Mars sponsoring the London Marathon). Secondly, event values - or individual values, if you are sponsoring an individual - and brand values need to match. In our social age, with heightened scrutiny of events and brands it is easy to get this wrong; Adidas having to pull ads showing Luis Suarez after the World Cup ‘bite’, for example. Longevity is the third component of depth: the longer that a sponsor sticks with a property, the better the association and the better the payback for the brand. This leads neatly onto the fourth criterion of depth; appropriately tapping into the emotion generated by the event. What price the benefit to Puma shoes of this shot of Usain Bolt’s 100m world record? The fifth and final element that adds depth to a sponsorship’s success is commitment. There’s an old saying that you need to spend as much on activation as you do on the sponsorship itself. Activation not only amplifies the message but can also bolster exactly how the brand fits with the property - think of O2’s priority ticket programme. In a nutshell, if you are going to sponsor something, do it well. Have clear objectives, spend a lot of time deciding on what you are going to sponsor, understand how to tap into the passion generated by the event and commit – both in the amount of time you are going to stick with the property and also the level of investment you will make in amplification.
  20. 20. Frisk Special: SPONSORSHIP August 2014 AMANDA JONES SAYS... For a branded sponsorship to be appreciated, even merely remembered, the brand must have a credible reason to be there. Merely plonking your branding on something isn’t enough - think how quickly London’s Barclays Bikes became known as Boris Bikes; handy alliteration wasn’t the only factor at play. To be memorable a brand needs to act on their sponsorship so the experience is made even better by their involvement. Knowing how people behave and participate can help identify a killer way for the brand to do this. For example Heineken, the sponsor of the UEFA Champions League, know that most people watch the games alone at home on their sofa with their mobile in hand. So for the past four years Heineken have been using real-time social media to bring extra excitement to these sofa sitters; from asking fans to predict play outcomes in real-time to connecting them with former Champions League superstars over Twitter during matches. Cleverly focusing their social efforts on one key insight has made Heineken’s activation ideas stronger and more relevant. It’s also led to increased brand association and purchase intent.
  21. 21. Frisk Special: SPONSORSHIP August 2014