It is Halloween… An evening of goblins and ghosts, witches and werewolves, and of course candy and trick or treating.  Halloween’s origins can be traced back to the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain, which was held on November 1 in contemporary calendars. It was believed that on that day, the souls of the dead returned to their homes, so people dressed in costumes and lit bonfires to ward off spirits. So today we celebrate this eve of All Saints Day.

But come tomorrow, the scary evening will be gone. But unfortunately, our sponsorship industry, in my opinion, has much to be scared about going forward not only for the last two months of 2023 but into 2024 and beyond. We as a sector have several key things to be worried about. I am going to identify the top two and explain a bit on what this fear is  in more detail for me for a couple of them and then just list a few other skeletons in the closets.

  1. Failure to Embrace Technology – Sure we are “digital” and have an online application system for sponsorships and yes, we are using multiple platforms and exploring AI… but in reality, from what we are seeing, it is superficial. It is checking boxes versus truly integrating. Are your activations online, are they gathering the data you need? Is your prospecting being done by anecdotal surmises and guesses or based on empirical data? The technology is there… we need to embrace it, not be scared of it. The investment in it today will pay off greatly down the road!
  1. Failure to build deep relationships with our partners – Still too many organizations are “pitching packages” versus “providing solutions” to their partners. We are more worried about “closing a deal and making budget” than truly understanding our partners needs, goals and objectives to create greater long-term ROI for both you and your partner. I still hear too often “let’s go after the low hanging fruit”… the same easy access apple that was picked by Eve!
  1. Failure to fulfil on agreements fully and provide transparent reporting
  2. Failure to Effectively Activate
  3. Failure to invest in research
  4. Failure to collaborate with other partners and cross pollinate
  5. Failure to collaborate with your partners based on mutual benefit versus self interest only

Let’s face it, not everyone is failing to deliver on all of these areas, but most are being missed by most organizations we are observing. From my experience only about 20%, at best, of organizations are doing what it takes in only 50% of these key scary areas. Ugh, the best of us are only at about 50%!

I am sure as you read above you can think of other failings we are having. Feel free to share those with me!

I hope this week’s TMC did not frighten you too much but be aware. Do something about these scary scenarios and bring your organization to the level that ROI will maximize.

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  1. Don’t be scared, Brent! You have a Jason mask to protect you!
    Do you think market size and/or org size can have an impact with some of these fears?

  2. Josh, great insight. I think that market size and / or org size IS having an impact… but it should NOT be. “Play in your lane” and you will be successful. Those smaller market properties or smaller overall organizations need to understand scale… they are smaller… expect less because you deliver less (in most cases) so stop trying to compare yourself to large orgs and large centres.


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