Municipal Sponsorships Today

Municipal Sponsorships Today

Are you engaged in municipal sponsorship? Perhaps you are a brand trying to reach a soccer mom demographic, mom and tot swim audience, or a local arts audience. Perhaps you are a property and find you are competing against the city for dollars. Or maybe you are just a local citizen using parks, golf courses, trails, or other facilities and hoping your taxes don’t go up. Reality Check—we are all engaged with municipal sponsorship.

According to the Centre for Excellence for Public Sector Marketing research and the CSR (Consumer Sponsorship Rankings®), municipal sponsorship is strong and growing in each of our communities. Here are some specific stats from these studies and other sources.

  • 66% of Canadian municipalities are involved in some form of corporate engagement.
  • 92% of these municipalities are actively marketing their assets and 62% already have deals in place.
  • 82% of these municipalities have a sponsorship policy in place.
  • 85% of Canadians believe companies should be able to sponsor public places such as hockey rinks, recreation centres, and ball parks.
  • Large metropolitan centres are generating between $10 million to $30 million per year in sponsorship revenue; mid-sized communities (100,000 to 300,000 people) are generating $1 million to $2 million per year; and small communities (under 25,000 people) are generating anywhere from $50,000 to $250,000 a year.

Over the past five years, we have worked with more than 30 municipalities on large projects such as city-wide IAV (Inventory Asset Valuation) projects with strategy, mentoring, and policy built into the plan to just providing strategy development, policy updates, training sessions, or one-on-one mentoring and advisory work. Municipality work accounts for over 35% of our clients and it continues to grow. A decade ago, we did no municipal business. Our competitors are also very busy in this sector. This truly shows the continuous growth and vitality of this sector within the sponsorship marketing world.

From all of this, here are some quick take-aways.

  • If you are a brand or sponsor, don’t miss out on these properties. If the city or town has done its process right, it can custom design a sponsorship program to deliver any market sector to you whether it be at a festival, arena, or utility bill.
  • If you are a municipality, be sure to attend the WSC Ontario – Toronto Forum half-day workshop dedicated to municipal sponsorship.
  • If you are in Western Canada, be sure to check out the WSC Alberta Forum in Edmonton at West Edmonton Mall.
  • If you are working in sponsorship in a municipality and want to connect through a closed telephone forum hosted by Jennifer Bishop that is free and has topic discussions and presenters on a regular basis, just email me and I will connect you with Jennifer. This is an amazing closed discussion group that shares everything from policies to concepts to valuations! It’s a great group.
  • Municipalities are the “sleeping giant” in our industry. Make sure you are ready when it wakes up and don’t get caught off guard!

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  1. What do you mean by “Policy Update”?

    • Josh,

      Hey thanks so much for all the feedback and comments. I really appreciate your reading and being committed to it… wow… my own folder!

      I agree, you are right. The “fire sale” approach just devalues your assets. I see sport organizations do it all the time. Team is not performing so they give away tickets. Then when the team is doing well those folks have come to expect free tickets and won’t pay for them. The cell phone companies used to do it as well. in the late 90’s no one with any brains ever bought a new phone… you waited until Q4 and between October and December 31 every year, phones were free with a new plan. Hence their sales were in Q4 and no other time of the year.

      The reference to policy updates just refers to having your existing policy reviewed and making sure it is still applicable and appropriate. For instance does it reference cannabis? Is it aligned with your other policies? Times change, your policy needs to adapt.

      Thanks again. Brent


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