If you’ve worked with me or taken one of my workshops, you know that one of my mantras is that selling sponsorship is all about selling the future.
If that’s the case, it follows that an important activity for you is to keep an eye on the future, at least the near-term future. You’ll want to pay attention to changes and shifts in the marketplace that present opportunities for your organization and sponsors.
These shifts provide you with important information about brands, culture, your audiences, and about the business landscape in general. These patterns can influence new ideas for your sponsorship efforts and value you create.
To get you started, here are three trends I see.
Trend #1: #MeToo Tsunami
Did you see Oprah’s powerful Golden Globes speech, accepting the Cecile B. DeMille Award, and calling in a new day of gender equality?
How about Time magazine which regaled all the women who came forward to uncover decades if not centuries of dominance over women by powerful men. Thousands more around the world also have come forward: #metoo.
So it’s a new day for women to feel empowered, for healing, and hopefully change.
But what’s to come next?
One trend I see is confusion for men as our culture shifts. The continuum is wide-ranging from men who embrace the changes that come from women’s empowerment, to men who feel confused or even clueless, missing social cues, to still others who feel emasculated.
Will the next phase bring a backlash from a once dominant culture? Or can we make the shift as boldly as Oprah’s call to action?
How can your organization work with this shift? What will this shift mean for the types of sponsors you attract?
Trend #2: Are we forgetting about our emotions?
This fall, Stand Up to Cancer (ST2C), Hallmark, and CVS partnered on a line of greeting cards by Hallmark and sold at CVS for friends and family members of individuals with cancer. The proceeds benefitted ST2C.
So far, so good, right?
Here’s what I found curious. Next to the greeting cards for sale was a rack filled with oversized postcards for the purchaser, tip sheets on ways to care for someone battling cancer or how to support someone who lost a loved one to cancer.
Smartphones have made us smart in many ways, but maybe we’re losing our smarts when it comes to our hearts.
How can your organization create new value that expands our emotional intelligence?
Trend #3: Everyone's a celebrity.
Some people have put stock in career advice, even proffered by Steve Jobs and Joseph Campbell, that says to do what you love and the money will follow. (For balance here, at least one person debunks this idea.)
Apparently a little boy named Ryan was born with this knowledge because at 6-years-old, he’s raking in $11 million a year reviewing toys on YouTube.
Today, anyone can be a star.
Celebrities sell — tickets to your events, fundraising success, visibility for your cause or brand. Celebrities can also be competitors for your sponsor dollars.
How are you leveraging the trend? Are you attracting celebrity culture, to whatever degree, to your organization? Are you creating internal celebrities? How are you distinguishing your organization or event from competitors for sponsorship like 6-year-old Ryan?
Keeping your radar on high to detect shifts and patterns in our culture is an important business activity that informs all sorts of decisions within your organization. These are just a handful that impact sponsorship.
More Ideas on Upcoming Sponsorship Webinar
If you’d like to hear more suggestions like these, join me on January 31, 2018, at 11 a.m. for a webinar, entitled An Executive Update: 10 Tips for Your 2018 Sponsorship Success. Click here to register today.