||Room for Improvement: What Properties Need to Do Differently
Knowledge of a Prospect's Business, Offering Tailored Packages and Treating Sponsors as Partners Are Key to Beneficial Relationships
What pet peeves do sponsors have when working with properties? What should rightsholders do differently? Where is there room for improvement?
IEG SR recently posed those questions to sponsorship decision-makers at four companies: AT&T Inc.; Chrysler Group LLC; ING U.S.; and Subaru of America, Inc.
Below, their responses:
Sellers that don't do their homework. Nearly every sponsorship decision-maker expressed frustration with properties that don't take the time to properly research a company and fully understand its business model.
"Properties need to make sure there is a clear fit between the opportunity and the sponsor before putting a proposal together," said Marissa Hunter, Chrysler Group's head of advertising for the Ram Truck brand.
Having an understanding of a prospect's business typically requires more research than spending 15 minutes on a company's Web site, she said.
Properties that try to sell as many assets as possible. Mark Wright, AT&T Inc.'s vice president of media services and sponsorships, points to properties that offer sponsorship packages stocked with unnecessary assets.
"Many times packages are loaded up with as many assets as possible to justify their asking price, and they never ask if we need them or not," he said. "If a package doesn't fit our strategy, properties should take a step back and try to understand our business more closely."
Properties that don't treat sponsors as partners. Another irritant for Hunter is properties that don't treat sponsors as business partners. That frequently includes relationships that go beyond financial transactions.
"It's easy for someone to make a phone call looking for check. Brands want to be aligned with partners that are committed to delivering value."
For example, the Academy of Country Music this year gave Chrysler the opportunity to host a ride-and-drive experience at the ACM Awards in Las Vegas. The program gave Chrysler an opportunity to engage more people while enhancing that attendee experience.
"The Academy realized there was value in providing a driving experience. What's better than a ride in a pickup truck followed by great music and a barbecue?
Properties that don't proofread proposals. A major irritant for nearly every sponsor: Proposals addressed to another company.
Case in point: Todd Lawrence, Subaru of America, Inc.'s promotions and sponsorship manager, replies to every proposal except those addressed to a competitor.
"I recently received a proposal addressed to Kia. I didn't reply."
Properties that don't host sponsor summits. ING U.S. CMO Ann Glover would like to see more properties host sponsor summits.
"I love it when properties bring their partners together to discuss what's working and introduce sponsors to each other. For us, that has proved to be very important."
The financial services firm uses the summits to brainstorm cross-promotion and business-building opportunities with other sponsors, she said.
(Source: IEG Sponsorship.com, 04/09/12)