If you are in sponsorship sales you want people to say ‘you can sell Ice to Eskimos’ – it is that personal achievement, the moment the salesperson becomes a Spartan.
Through time and experience you learn that selling ice to an Eskimo is relatively easy – they know it, they understand it, and even though they might have way too much of it, it is still easy to show they need it. The Spartan hits his stride, and sales keep flowing in.
Such is the state of traditional sponsorship. Picture an Eskimo in front of his igloo with the most picturesque icy background you can imagine – blank canvas – get to work, what do you sell?
Leading up to this point the typical sponsorship sales person would categorise the premium located igloo building blocks as worth more than the lessor prestigious placed foundation blocks. The possibility of a flag with a logo, the kit he is wearing, some added hoarding, banner flags and a big screen streaming videos and twitter feeds – #nICE to feel like you are really getting integrated. Taking it further, let’s throw in backdrops and lanyards for the VIP’s; and of course, don’t forget the car they arrive in. Ticketing, collateral, post event photos and highlights reels can be used to extend the memory of this great moment and really maximise exposure.
Done, this is Sparta!
Unfortunately that is also the problem. This is just selling ice to Eskimos. It is what the sponsorship industry has done for so many years, it’s traditional and predictable. Furthermore, Eskimos now have gadgets, gizmos and can travel – making ice potentially less valuable to them then what it once was.
As with Eskimos, brands are also failing to realise the value of a logo and badging. This is compounded by rights-holders increasing the cost of their sponsorship rights to sustain their growth (rather than increasing the value), whilst brands are reducing their spend to sustain the same.
It is clear there is need for a shift in the sponsorship approach.
Unlike Zerksis, the brave 300 shouldn’t be your stumbling blocks, rather the number of ways you should look at your proposition to really unlock true potential. Traditional sponsorship is a good start; however this should only be that, the start. To really maximise the potential of both rights-holders and brands, we all need to work harder at uncover rights beyond the straightforward ‘ice assets’ our industry keeps flogging.