||The Key to Sponsor Servicing: Post-Event Fulfillment Reports
Increased Frequency, Timely Delivery and Third-Party Research Are Critical to Post-Event Recap Reports
Do you provide post-event fulfillment reports? If you do offer them, do you include relevant information and deliver them in a timely manner?
If not, it's time to get with the program.
Post-event recap reports consistently rank at the top of sponsor lists in terms of the most valuable property-provided services. According to the 2012 IEG/Performance Research Sponsorship Decision-Makers Survey, fulfillment reports tied audience research as the most important property-provided service.
Post-event reports benefit properties in the following ways:
"Post-event reports are absolutely necessary. Partnerships are harder to put together nowadays, and proof of performance is no different than when I buy media to promote my events. I want to get what I pay for, and something more," said Kevin Camper, senior vice president of sales and marketing with Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
- Help sponsors justify their investments
- Build internal support at sponsoring companies
- Demonstrate how rightsholders have gone beyond terms of a contract
- Set the stage for renewal discussions
The documents helped LVMS renew Lowe's Companies, Inc. and Boyd Gaming Corp. Lowe's titles LVMS's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on behalf of Kobalt Tools, while Boyd titles the track's NASCAR Nationwide Series race on behalf of Sam's Town casino.
"Recap reports are not the be-all, end-all in in getting a renewal, but they definitely help set the stage," said Camper.
Other properties have found similar success, albeit on a smaller scale. Dick's Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon credits recap reports with helping to renew its naming rights partner. Recaps also helped expand another relationship from $2,500 to $25,000.
"Recap reports have been incredibly valuable when negotiating renewals," said Patrice Matamoros, the marathon's executive director.
The documents also give properties another major benefit: The opportunity to highlight over-delivery.
"We have become good at documenting a partnership outside the guardrails of a current agreement. If a sponsor needs something, you can say 'hey guys, this is what we did for you.'"
Where possible, reports should be tailored to the marketing objectives and hot buttons for each sponsor.
"What is it that a partner is trying to get out of the program? If it's all about TV exposure, we won't delve into how many people were in the grandstand," said Camper.
In addition to media exposure and other traditional assets, properties should also include data on social media and other digital extensions. "Recaps on social media metrics like second-screen activity is helpful," said Pam Hollander, senior director of integrated marketing with Allstate Insurance Co.
In terms of delivery, properties should provide recaps within 30 days after an event to ensure the sponsorship is top of mind with sponsors.
Hollander points to late delivery as a pet peeve. "We want to see post-event reports as close to the actual event as possible so that we can start planning for the next event."
Roughly 75 percent of properties sponsored by Allstate provide post-event reports, she said.
Best Practices: Recap Reports:
Dedicate staff resources. Identify internal stakeholders who will be responsible for collecting data.
Make it an ongoing process. Properties should collect information before, during and after an event or season.
Customize for each partner. Recap reports should be tailored to the marketing objectives of each sponsor.
Keep reports succinct. Sponsors don't have time to wade through lengthy reports.
Consider the different audiences. Reports should include information relevant to CEOs, CFOs and other stakeholders that may not be familiar with the sponsorship.
Deliver in a timely fashion. Properties should deliver reports within two months after an event.
Consider mid-season updates. Year-round properties should consider quarterly and mid-season recaps.
Below, three trends in post-event reports:
Increased Frequency. A growing number of properties are increasing the frequency of recap reports to keep sponsors updated on the relationship.
The Professional Bull Riders provide reports halfway through the season to ensure sponsors have enough time to make any changes in the partnership, said Terry Bassett, PBR's executive vice president of sales and partnerships.
"Mid-season reports give sponsors enough time to make any corrections."
Other properties take a similar route. The MLS Chicago Fire last year began providing quarterly and biannual reports to complement year-end reports. The team also provides recaps after major activation programs such as sponsorship of a game.
"The reports provide information in a timely manner that sponsors can share with their key stakeholders," said Jessica Worley, the Fire's senior director of corporate partnerships.
Third-party Research. Continuing a trend seen over the past few years, a growing number of rightsholders are augmenting recap reports with third-party research.
That research ranges from the value of media exposure to audience research.
For example, the Dick's Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon shares audience research on sponsor recall and purchasing data.
The marathon tailors the data to each sponsor's objectives. For example, the organization conducted research to determine how its partnership with NuGo helped support the company's objectives of driving sales among runners. NuGo markets nutritional bars and other products.
The research paid off: 45 percent of runners recognized NuGo as a sponsor and purchased the company's products over the prior three months.
"It was rewarding to see sponsorship changing behavior and creating new consumers," said Matamoros.
New Technology. A growing number of properties are replacing print documents with electronic formats.
"In the old days, it used to be about asking the marketing guy to take a big three-ring binder to the CFO. Now we can put the document on a memory stick and show the document to them on a tablet computer," said Camper.
Properties also can use software form Sportsdigita, 3D Issue and other technology companies to compile post-event fulfillment reports.
(Source: IEG Sponsorship Blog, 04/15/13)
What's In It For You:
I just returned from the IEG Sponsorship Conference, and the subject of "Measurement" is top-of-mind for every sponsor brand and company. And while they are not all looking for the same kind of measurement (some want increased sales, others want brand equity, still others talked about increasing conversations), the willingness of properties to have the measurement conversation before the sale and to show justification via results for the sponsor's investment after the campaign was essential in every presentation and conversation. One tip: Don't wait until after the campaign to put together the re-cap. Start putting it together as you go along. Capture publicity and social marketing exchanges as they happen, create on-site video, get attendee quotes and sound bites, and then just wrap it all up and put it together at the end.
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