We talk to all our clients about the importance of having full team “buy-in” around their sponsorship program. When folks have no “stake in the game,” they tend not to care. We all know that sponsorship programs are not silos in a department—they are organization wide!
When sponsorship at a brand works in a silo, inconsistent messages result. Marketing dollars spent to drive web traffic through Google ads and social buys won’t align with the PR or IR campaign, or the sales department’s objectives, and the sponsorship program may be conflicting with itself. A great sponsorship program engages the entire communication portfolio to bring together and delivers a cohesive and on-target message. Failure to have all departments buy into the importance and role of sponsorship can create chaos, confusion, and internal rivalry/competition that is no good for anyone.
Likewise on the rights holder side, when sponsorship is at odds with ticketing, food and beverage operations, or the M&C department, sponsorship fails. Sponsors get caught in the middle and rarely receive the projected ROI, because someone failed to deliver an important component of the campaign. And yes, we see these scenarios all the time!
Let me draw an analogy or two. When people own a condo or house, they take care of it as their own. When they rent, they don’t care as much. There is more breakage and damage because of the “it’s not my house” syndrome. Think about it—who the heck ever washes a rental car? No one. Why? It’s not theirs. And car renters tend to drive over speed bumps faster, take off from green lights and accelerate faster, and ride the brakes longer. Why? It’s not their car—it’s a rental!”
The same goes for departments outside sponsorship. They have no stake in the game, so they really don’t care—not intentionally, but unintentionally like the rental apartment or car. So you need to get everyone to buy-in and have a stake in the sponsorship programs you design and deliver. Take them on discovery calls. Have them in on the front end as part of the program design and planning—not just at execution time!
Engage internally. Don’t let the rest of your organization be renters. Let them own the sponsorship program. You will see a much better program just like a clean well-kept home or sparkly shiny car!
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