Even if you can't, you'll have to get used to the new handle. City officials yesterday announced that Wawa Inc. is the new title sponsor of the July Fourth festival, replacing Sunoco Inc., which had been associated with the multi-day event since the mid-1990s.
Congratulations to Welcome America! and Wawa on a new partnership for Philadelphia's 4th of July festivities. You can read all about it at this link.
Take particular note of Sunoco's comments. It's not unusual for corporations to take a different approach with their marketing dollars, especially in times of changing market conditions, which the oil industry has definitely encountered in the last 5+ years. Sunoco's current interests make sense, and I look forward to seeing how they invest those funds.
What concerns me is the confusion around "community resources" and marketing dollars. From what I could see, Welcome America! provided Sunoco with considerable marketing exposure, yet Sunoco seems to have considered these dollars "community resources," subject to new philanthropic direction.
I'm wondering about a few questions. Has Sunoco valued the marketing opportunity it has had? Has Sunoco's marketing team really seized the partnership and integrated it fully throughout its business units?
Why does Sunoco feel that sponsoring one of the country's biggest US birthday bashes is mutually exclusive from its new philanthropic interest? After all, Mayor Nutter has made a commitment to being a green city, and the festival touches a broad base of Philadelphians, who contribute to or benefit from enhanced educational and workforce development efforts.
Corporate support of nonprofits should not remain in one corporate silo. Indeed successful corporate sponsorship execution involves integrating and fully leveraging the sponsorship through multiple business units. (A great example of this McDonald's and their ties to the Olympics.)
To nonprofits and corporations: you co-create your partnership. Think big, collaborate, and incorporate multiple strategic interests.
Shame for Sunoco to give up the opportunity, but based on Wawa's integration in the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure, they "get" sponsorship. At last year's Franklin Forum, a Wawa Marketer presented with the ED of SGKRFTC and talked about how Wawa and its employees have embraced the cause and the event. It will be interesting to see if they continue that partnership and if they do - how they manage to sustain both.
Posted by: Bethbrodovsky | Sunday, February 14, 2010 at 11:09 AM