Websites – What to Expect

Today, everyone has a web site. Even my kid owns a domain name in case she decides to start up a business named the “Purple Cat Company.” The big brands and properties all have agencies and staff to build, rebuild, and manage their sites. Of course, they are good, but what about small properties and companies? What should they do with their web sites? How will they integrate with sponsors, partners, and clients?
The Partnership Group – Sponsorship Specialists™ is over 12 years old. We have had a web site almost since we launched in 2001. It was a pretty basic site to begin with. But the folks at Lexicom, who manage it for us, have worked with us over the years. They are fantastic. We upgraded about six years ago. But it was still a “brochure” site-a place to go for static information that basically never changed. Then in 2010, the site began to have a blog, access to LinkedIn and Twitter, and we entered the world of social and digital media. We even had an audio blog! Then at our corporate retreat in 2012, the message was clear. We needed a new web site! So the process began. We hired an agency to develop the theme, graphics, and culture of the site based on our input. We determined that we wanted a destination web site that would support and assist the industry. It was to be interactive and full of useable content, so that industry professionals from anywhere could access everything they needed in one place.
Wow-what a learning experience! The original plan was to have the site operating by October 2012. So much for plans (it went live last month)! But it is everything we wanted it to be. It hosts all of our Tuesday Morning Commentaries and blogs, as well as all of our audio blogs from the weekly feature on Jungle Jim Hunter’s Sportcology radio show and other interviews on air. Everything is archived and available for easy access and download.
But there is more. We have added a feature calendar. It is the “go to spot” on the web for dates and locations of industry events and professional development. It lists all of the conferences we are aware of across the globe pertaining to sponsorship marketing, activation, and sport marketing, as well as philanthropic fund development. If you know of a conference or professional development event (not fund raisers) that is not there, send it along to us so we can post it, because we are the #1 spot for such information.
However, we wanted to do more than that. We know a lot of companies and properties are just getting started in the industry. And when you are just getting started, quite often you don’t know where to begin. So we developed an interactive “How to Get Started Program.” Users only need to click on it and, whether a brand or a property, large or small, it will ask a series of questions and then calculate the next best direction or steps to move forward with your objectives. It is a great program that has helped a large number of people already.
But that wasn’t enough. We felt that even more content was needed for those who register (it is free) on the site. We have created a “White Paper” section with over 70 different industry white papers. There is content on everything from inventories to measuring the ROI on a sponsorship investment. The content is from speakers at events to material specially written for this web site. It is the “go to” location for people to acquire learning in our industry free of charge.
Like everyone else’s site, ours hosts our services and fees. It also lists who is on our team and who sits on our industry sector advisor board. When you are the industry leading consulting firm in the country, it is important to provide transparency, support, and content. We believe we have achieved that. But we are not the ones to judge the success of our site. You are. Please visit it at and then send your feedback to me or someone on our team. Let us know your thoughts on the “How to Get Started Program,” the blogs, and the white papers section. Tell us how easy (or not) it is to navigate. The more feedback we receive, the better.
A web site is a necessity. I learned that it is a much bigger project than planned. But when it comes to fruition and does what it is supposed to (in our case, supporting the professionals in the industry), it is all worthwhile. Our advisor team is now highlighted and potential clients can see who will be supporting them. Newcomers to the industry as well as veterans are served and have a place to find content. It all operates smoothly. The two lessons I learned going through this process are: 1) double the amount of time you think it will take, and 2) double your projected investment. But now that it’s completed, it was well worth it! At least, I think so. Why don’t you let me know your thoughts?
These are just one person’s thoughts. Yours are welcomed as well. Please add your thoughts or comments to our blog below.  Thank you for reading and your feedback.

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