Doing Things Differently

Change is essential. Those that don’t change or adapt, don’t survive. So how and why do we change? From a sponsorship marketing perspective this is simple. We need to adapt to new audiences, new mediums and new opportunities.

A brand can be a sponsor of a property or event for decades, but if they do the “same old program” they will see a steady decline in the ROI achieved in that investment. Typically they will blame the rights holder!

So it is up to the property and the sponsor together to talk change and make it happen. Three years ago Instagram was not part of most sponsorship activation and integration programs… today it is! Five years ago FaceBook and Twitter did not play the role today that they do in sponsorship strategic plans. Logos and banners used to be important, but they are no longer the assets of value. Those brands and right holders that fail to adapt lose market share or more importantly… lose money!

And it goes beyond just the activation, the assets and the leveraging… it is about the storytelling and the brand presence and the refreshing of the look as well as the content. We need to be constantly refreshing our images and presentations to be more and more impactful to the targeted audience of our sponsorship investments. Doing the same old thing will yield you the same old results!

At the Partnership Group – Sponsorship Specialists™ we try to follow the idea of change, innovation and refreshing. At the SMCC Western Sponsorship Congress™ we were the innovators as the leading and first Canadian sponsorship conference to introduce and utilize a conference app four years ago; an online gaming program three years ago; a “pitch fest” concept matching rights holders and brands in a “speed dating” concept this past year. It is through such innovation and creativity that the SMCC Western Sponsorship Congress™ continues to be the #1 sponsorship marketing professional development conference in Canada. For 2015 there will be even more exciting innovations and ideas to keep this event exciting, interactive and an opportunity to learn and network like nowhere else.

We also were leading the market in introducing focused sponsorship one day training workshops across Canada. No other sponsorship marketing organization in Canada stepped up to deliver grass roots professional development in markets across Canada at an affordable price and at accessible venues and markets. We then took these four one day workshops and put them into an even more affordable product with even greater ease to access through the launch of Reality Check – Straight Talk about Sponsorship Marketing, Canada’s #1 best seller book on sponsorship marketing.

We were the first sponsorship marketing agency in Canada to launch a weekly commentary (the Tuesday Morning Commentary which you are reading right now) over four years ago and published every single week since its launch. This access to thought, editorial and support for our industry on a weekly basis was innovative and needed in the marketplace. Soon after that we launched “News Update” a timely delivery of top sponsorship stories that are of interest to our subscribers. We lead, others have now followed. But it is that innovation that must happen on an ongoing basis to ensure your role as the industry leader, be that as an agency like ourselves, a packaged goods company, an event, a sport organization or a B2B organization.

We recently made changes to our News Update and Tuesday Morning Commentary. A fresh new look, design and layout for each. Send me an email and let me know your thoughts… good, bad or ‘didn’t even notice’! Email me at

One last change or innovation. I am looking for your input! We have been asked to support and advise on a possible online sponsorship training program similar to the Sponsorship One Day Workshops. The program course would be about 10 hours of online time. It would be 10 modules each of an hour. Each of these modules would have 3-4 chapters of 15 to 20 minutes so that you can do part of the training in 15-20 minute intervals versus a full hour each time. Modules would be such topics as; building a prospect list; getting meetings; discovery sessions; valuing an inventory of assets; building an inventory of assets; proposal development, activation, fulfilment, summits and such. Then each topic would have 3-4 chapters on that subject. The proposers of the project feel this is needed in the marketplace and that the entire course could be offered at $699 or each module (10 of them) could be purchased individually for about $85.

My question to you is twofold. Would you want / use / buy this type of product for professional development program for yourself, your staff or for your? Second, would $85 for a full module of training on a subject like how to build a proposal be the right price point or would you pay more for this type of product online?  Please email to let me know your thoughts on this at Thanks so much for your feedback!

1 Comment

  1. Hi Brent:
    Count me in: I see the tremendous value in your proposed on-line sponsorship training program. The topics, and the option of 15 -20 minute intervals appeal; so does the price point.


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