||Discount Providers Flock To Sponsorship; Take Different Approaches
Properties Should Look for Who is Active in Their Markets; Consider Extending Daily Deal Benefits to Media Partners
Is a "daily deal" your next deal?
Providers of group buying services offering discounts at local businesses not only are popping up seemingly everywhere consumers look, but they are continuing to appear as sponsors and partners with a growing number of properties.
Although category leader Groupon may have gotten the sponsorship party started, followed by a big-time national deal from Gilt City, subsequent partnerships are coming from a wider variety of discount providers with different spins and different sponsorship strategies.
Case in point: Ten-month-old Sharing Spree, LLC recently earned presenting status of the June 11 Kidney Walk in Portland, Ore. through a fundraising/promotional partnership with the local office of the National Kidney Foundation, and is looking for other such relationships with nonprofits in markets where it offers its group-buying service.
Sharing Spree's business model includes donating 10 to 15 percent of each member purchase to a nonprofit or foundation the customer selects from a current list of roughly 60 organizations. The company offers local nonprofits the opportunity to be a beneficiary in exchange for promoting the service to their donors, volunteers, members, etc.
"We want to help causes raise money and turn their supporters into loyal customers," said Tim Moorehead, vice president of marketing.
Sharing Spree also seeks sponsorship benefits at events hosted by the nonprofit organizations. The company does not pay an additional fee for those benefits. "We typically receive the partnership due to our support of the nonprofit," Moorehead said.
Sharing Spree typically involves its merchant partners in activating event benefits. For example, the company will leverage Portland's Kidney Walk by hosting a kick-off event at the Pacific Northwest Wine Club, one if its merchants. It also will conduct a sweepstakes offering a stay at the Hacienda Cerritos resort in Mexico and other prizes from businesses featured on SharingSpree.com.
Sharing Spree has raised roughly $81,000 for nonprofits since launching the service in June 2010. Among its beneficiaries are Alice's Lemonade Stand Foundation, Children's Miracle Network and Blood: Water Mission, a Nashville-based nonprofit that raises funds to fight the water and HIV crises in Africa.
Sharing Spree currently operates in Portland and Nashville. It plans to roll out its service to Birmingham, Ala. by the end of May and Memphis by mid-summer. The company also plans to enter a number of other markets including Chicago, New York City, Orlando, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Austin, Texas.
Newspapers' Sponsor To Promote Daily Deals
In addition to "pure-play" group-buying services, media companies -- especially newspaper publishers -- are getting into the daily discount space, and some of them are availing themselves of sponsorship to promote their services.
With many media outlets either teaming with existing group buying services or using their own sales teams to develop branded daily deal offers, rightsholders should be prepared to add or include the right to promote and offer group-buying discounts to existing or potential media partnerships.
That is what the QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning in association with PNC did this year in conjunction with print media partner Gannett Co.
The publisher now has the right to offer advanced tickets as a daily deal through four of its central New Jersey papers and their Web sites: Asbury Park Press; Courier News; Daily Record and Home News Tribune.
From April 22 to 24, the papers sold tickets at 50 percent off the gate price for the July 29-31 event. The discounted adult tickets will be $15 and children's tickets will cost $7.50.
Howard Freeman, the festival's executive producer, pointed to four primary benefits from the deal:
Freeman noted that most of the event's attendees purchase tickets within five days of the event.
- Free sales venue for advance ticket sales
- Free advertising in the four newspapers and their Web sites
- Ability to provide added-value to media partner by helping the newspapers monetize the partnership
- Generating ticket sales three months in advance and decreasing dependency on the weather
The festival and Gannett will split revenue from ticket sales, he said.
(Source: IEG Sponsorship Report, 04/18/11)
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