The Love of Sponsorship

The Love of Sponsorship

Happy Valentine’s Day! It is a day of love. I hope you have already ordered flowers for your partner, chocolates for your parents, and of course, some sort of recognition for your staff and sponsorship partners. OK—so most of you probably don’t equate Valentine’s Day with your sponsorship programs—but I do. There are two reasons for the alignment.

1. We always talk about differentiating ourselves. I would wager that you most likely sent out some sort of Christmas/holiday greeting around eight to ten weeks ago. Perhaps it was a real card sent by Canada Post, an email greeting, or a posting on your Facebook page about how you have forgone Christmas cards to give to a charity, etc. Wow—talk about getting clumped in with the clutter! You know that your logo slopped into a barrage of other logos at the bottom of a banner or on a web page is basically worthless. You know it is “logo soup” and no one recognizes you there, or remembers seeing you there. But heck, when it comes to December, you follow all the lemmings and send greetings that most people don’t read, let alone remember. You are just part of the pack and clumped in with the others.

Why not use Valentine’s Day for a great promotion or experiential sponsored event for your audience? What’s more, why not send a card to all your sponsors or properties to wish them a Happy Valentine’s Day and tell them how much you love partnering with them? Why not send their office chocolates? You can be sure that you WILL be remembered—unlike that Christmas card you sent! And then there is your staff—your own team. Why not send an email with a gift certificate or a big Valentine’s edible arrangement. Let them know how much you love them and that your relationship with them (as with the audience and the partners) is important to you! Sponsorship is all about relationships. What better time than Valentine’ Days to celebrate relationships!

2. The second reason I equate Valentine’s Day with sponsorship is because both involve relationships as noted above. As we all know, relationships are key in the sponsorship world. It is about a relationship between the property and the sponsor, the property and the audience, the audience and the sponsor. I often compare the process of sponsorship development for a rights holder to dating. The first several meetings are to learn about the potential partner. Then it gets more serious and you learn more and more about them. And then, when you think the time is right, and if you have done all the right steps, you pop the question and the answer is yes. So if sponsorship is so much like a dating relationship and marriage, why wouldn’t you want to thank your partners and make them feel loved on Valentine’s Day?

Have an amazing Valentine’s Day! May love and warmth be with you all day and throughout the year—and may your sponsorship programs growth through positive relationship development.

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  1. Brent, while your article is thought provoking to make one think of interesting ways to stand out from the crowd, I won’t be following your advice. As a woman working in a male-dominated field, I must always be very careful to not send the wrong message. No matter how innocuous and professional a Valentine’s Day message might be, in my experience, it is inevitable that someone out there will misinterpret it as carrying a (hidden) personal message. It’s a Valentine’s Day card, after all, with all the connotations of love and romance. No, personally, I will be avoiding that potential minefield of awkwardness. LOL

    As always, I *love* your Tuesday commentary. And Happy Valentine’s Day! <3

    • Dee Ann,
      Really good point! To differentiate there are other options… Canada Day, St Patrick’s Day, Family Day, Heritage Day… there are lots of opportunities to differentiate form the “Christmas Card” situation… Valentines just works for me.

      Thanks also for reading and the kind words! And Happy Belated Valentines!


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