Today's Philadelphia Inquirer reports that PNC Bank will no longer sponsor the Philadelphia International Flower Show, a decision they'd made and informed the Flower Show of two years ago. The bank is looking to sponsor other opportunities, and new leadership at the Flower Show is positive about its ideas to partner with the corporate sector in 2012 and beyond, according to the article.
These will be tough shoes to fill, for both sides. From outward appearances, PNC Bank was a great partner, growing with the event, committed in all the right ways, and taking full advantage of the opportunity. A true partner.
The PA Horticulture Society, producer of the Flower Show, too, are a terrific partner. Its approach to meeting sponsor objectives, by bringing its partners' businesses to life artfully within the context of the event, never losing sight of its mission, set a high standard for future partners. I can imagine through this 20-year partnership, the two organizations learned a great deal about the sponsorship medium and about its own and each other's strengths.
Future corporate partners of the event will benefit from that accumulated knowledge. Rise to the occasion. Be bold. Explore all the possibilities that one of Philadelphia's best events has to offer you. One of the greatest failings I see corporations make is investing in sponsorship and not fully leveraging that investment. It's like paying for TV advertising and not giving the stations the TV spot. Take advantage of the full value of sponsorship.
And to future partners of PNC Bank, you have a sophisticated client. Deepen your understanding and creativity with sponsorship so that you meet the bank's needs and your organization, too, benefits fully.
It's spring, time of renewal, new beginnings, and I, for one, am eager to see what's ahead for both organizations. At the same time, I'm always fascinated by businesses' decisions to end long-term sponsorship, forgoing the brand equity invested over time.
I'd love to hear your thoughts. Have you experienced this type of parting? Corporate readers, have you made these decisions? Please share your thinking and strategizing.