Want to ensure that your sponsorship of an event or cause really delivers the ROI you intend? That requires one step.
Be an active sponsor.
Don't just send a check and a logo and sit back and wait for the results to tally. Instead make a deep organizational commitment and investment so that the check and logo you do send off are in service to the results you're trying to achieve.
Let me show you what I mean. Today is the first day of one of the best sponsored events in Philadelphia –– the Philadelphia International Flower Show –– and it also happens to be one of the most renowned flower shows in the country, this year celebrating Hawaii. (I'm heading there tomorrow so check back later in the week for photos and more on what I experience.) Here's a sneak peek.
I decided to check out what a handful of the sponsors are doing to activate their sponsorship investments outside of the event. Prognosis: inactive sponsors not fully taking advantage of an enormous opportunity.
Of the five sponsor web sites I surfed (yes, that's a tribute to the Hawaii theme), only one, SugarHouse Casino, mentions the sponsorship on its home page, linking to a page describing transportation services the casino is offering. Park at its giant lot and ride for free, which is a great service. Driving, much less parking, is tough around the event site.
While I did not expect to see the event on Subaru's national site, since this is a regional event, I was surprised it wasn't listed on any of the regional dealers' sites, especially since Subaru is celebrating spring in a promotion.
Visit our store at the @PhilaFlowerShow March 4-11 to sample wines & spirits from around the world (21+). For more info ow.ly/9qRKf
PA's first to have new @Bethenny @SkinnygirlCKTL #wines, #spirits. Try them at free on-site tastings (21+) next week @PhilaFlowerShow!
While I was glad to see to see this social media tie, it did seem strange to me that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, which runs the retail outlets here for wine and liquor, is actively promoting liquor sampling.
Further disappointment was Acme, to which I gave "Best of Show" two years ago for their lovely display and cause marketing effort. Proceeds from an official bouquet benefited the Pennsylvania Horticulture Society, producers of the Flower Show. I couldn't wait to see what they were doing in store.
However, if you walked into this Acme, less than two miles from the show, you'd never know they were a sponsor. There are no signs, banners, end aisle displays, mentions, references –– nothing. I expected to see the official bouquets on display, signs or banners when I entered –– something that would reference and honor the partnership.
When I headed to the check out line, I expected to see promotion at the cash register. They have Acme TV, but again, nothing about the sponsorship or the fact that you could purchase tickets at the store. I asked the cashier about the tickets, and he wasn't too sure, but thought I could buy them at the customer service counter, which I did.
The in-store fun they could have had! And an opportunity missed. Don't waste your dollars sponsoring an event if you're not going to take full advantage of it. No wonder some corporations question the value of sponsorship or say "it doesn't work" (yes, I've actually been told this). You have to sieze the opportunity. And be active.