Sponsorship management doesn’t always come naturally. For some it may be instinctual, but for others, there’s probably going to be a few bumps along the way.
In anticipation of his talk at the Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo in Melbourne on Wednesday, entrepreneur Warwick Merry has shared with B&T three common pitfalls brands face when it comes to sponsorship management.
1. The sponsor is not given value
As Merry has also mentioned to B&T, companies can’t just whack on a sponsor’s logo on a bag or banner or thing at the event.
“It’s not enough,” says Merry. “There has to be true value given and also proven.”
2. The sponsor needs education
“They need to be trained how to maximise the opportunities the event gives,” says Merry. “If you just leave it up to the sponsor, they don’t know.”
If you say to the sponsor, do these five things leading up to and during the event, what both the sponsor and the consumer get out of the event is suddenly heightened.
However, Merry says there are many organisations who will put big dollars on the table and then not do the work to ensure that it’s maximised, often because they just don’t know how.
“And they’ll put it under the worst excuse I’ve ever heard, ‘Oh it’s a good branding exercise’,” gripes Merry.
“I’ve had some issues with one of the big four banks who is a platinum sponsor at an event and they’ve rocked up and had this massive booth that was really boring,” he says as an example. “They hadn’t got into the theme of the event, they hadn’t thought it through.”
However, when he challenged them on why their booth sucked, they replied that marketing says you can’t prove whether this is worthwhile or not.
“You’ve just wasted a massive amount of money.”
3. The relationship has to be managed
This should probably go without saying, but there are still some brands out there who sign-up a sponsor, grab their money and then they’re done with them.
“It’s not just a ‘yay, we’ve got your money, sign here, thanks very much, we’ll see you at the party’,” says Merry. “There has to be ongoing communication.”
Communication is also crucial during the actual event. It’s not good enough to have great management up until the day and then leave the sponsor hanging at the end.