Can sponsorship deliver attentive reach?

There’s probably no better time to talking about sponsorship and attentive reach than in the days after a World Cup Final. But first kudos and appreciation to Tim Cairns, who recently directed us to the term attentive reach – a term which has been growing slowly in currency over the last three years. What does […]

The role of emotion in sponsorship

The Psychology of Sponsorship #5 The 5th in our series of posts on the psychology of sponsorship looks at the role of emotion in sponsorship. All these posts have largely revolved around the momentous realisation over the laast 20 years that decisions and judgements are more ruled by emotion than rationality. Pioneers in neuroscience and […]

Sponsorship perception : Coca-Cola & COP

The genie is out the bottle We weren’t alone in calling out the negative implications of Shell’s sponsorship of British Cycling last month – although perhaps in a small minority for taking a purely sponsorship lens to the issue. One reason for our focus on this story was our belief that public perception of sponsorship […]

The practical guide to sponsorship ambush

Here’s our essential guide to sponsorship ambush. From the outside, it’s a scary subject. The large rights-holders talk a good game on sponsorship ambush and rights protection. Sponsors demand it. Because at every Olympics and every World Cup, there are a host of irritating minor infractions : brands taking advantage of the timing of a […]

Sponsorship ambush : the bottom line

(For most businesses, self-ambush is the greater risk) The FIFA World Cup in Qatar is rapidly approaching and as always conversation turns to ambush, as we eagerly anticipate Nielsen’s media release on how adidas and Coca-Cola were bumped down the sponsor recall list by the sponsorship ambush of Nike and Pepsi. And Etihad of course. […]

Binet and Field and Sponsorship Marketing

Back in August, and not for the first time, Byron Sharp chose to  undermine two voices which threaten his dominance in the field of marketing effectiveness –  Les Binet and Peter Field. Our post, highlighting the ways in which sponsorship aligns with Byron Sharp’s new model for marketing, was well received – so we’re doing something […]

British Cycling’s shell game

British Cycling and Shell’s announcement of their eight year sponsorship hasn’t landed well.  According to the PR, British Cycling and Shell will share a commitment to ‘supporting Great Britain’s cyclists and para-cyclists through the sharing of world-class innovation and expertise; accelerating British Cycling’s path to net zero; and helping more – and wider groups of […]

Sponsorship’s transition to net zero

2022 was heralded as the year of action in our collective journey to net zero. Enough talking, time for action. And it’s true that we’re beginning to see larger actions from governments and corporates than in previous years, such as Biden’s landmark Inflation Reduction Act. But what will sponsorship’s transition to net zero look like? […]

A simple masterclass in B2B sponsorship

About a month ago, we came across what is truly a straightforward masterclass in B2B sponsorship. The podcast, Renegade Marketers Unite, is highly recommended – energetically hosted by  Drew Neisser. The interviewee is Cognizant CMO Gaurav Chand. Gaurav talks fluently, copiously and pragmatically about Cognizant’s sponsorship of F1 and the PGA. Gaurava comes across as human, […]

Getting your sponsorship to net zero

So, just to dispense with the pun, this isn’t about netting zero revenue. Net zero for sponsorship is a fairly simple ambition to describe for rightsholders: no sponsors who are major polluters, zero pollution through activation and ideally, positive environmental impact. This post is a simple kickstart to planning to minimise the carbon impact of […]

A bold vision for club activism

Allen Herschowitz, founder and president of the Green Sports Alliance, was early in identifying the potential of sport to play a leading role in addressing climate change. The ambition conjures up the image of fans across the world adopting more sustainable behaviours with the encouragement and support of their heroes. But is fan action the […]

Procurement and Sponsorship : Survey

Marketing Procurement continues to move beyond cost savings and avoidance, to adding value to internal clients. According to WBR Insights 2018, priority KPIs were improvements in marketing ROI, agency performance, brand consistency and innovation ahead of cost savings.  Meanwhile, while investment in sponsorship continues to grow, governance of sponsorship continues to challenge. WBR 2017 Marketing […]

Sponsorship strategy hacks

There’s no substitute for doing sponsorship strategy properly – and our post Eight steps to great sponsorship strategy is about the best online guide there is. But as sponsorship consultants, we know there are a few hacks that take you very close, very quickly. We rarely shortcut our own process, but we do use these […]

Sponsorship strategy and brand fit

The Psychology of Sponsorship #4 The 4th post in our series on the psychology of sponsorship looks at sponsorship strategy and brand fit – and specifically to answer four questions. What is brand fit? How is congruence relevant to sponsorship strategy? What influences our sense of brand fit? How can I improve my sponsorship brand […]

The Sinek Qua Non of sponsorship

The Psychology of Sponsorship #3 The third post in our theme of the Psychology of Sponsorship explores how sponsorship narrative can be strengthened by understanding the nature of psychological attribution.   Simon Sinek’s ‘Why?’ framing of business purpose reminds us nicely of a simple psychological truth : we all seek meaning, we’re meaning-makers. We make […]

#101 What is sponsorship?

This is the first of Sponsorship 101  – a series of posts intended to provide an excellent foundation for anyone interested in, or starting off in sponsorship. We’re all exposed to sponsorship, pretty much every day of the year, but the sponsorship 101 question is : what is sponsorship? My first conscious exposure was age […]

Google search: sponsorship evaluation

We ran a Google search : sponsorship evaluation the other day – to see what’s new. How brands evaluate is fascinating and in a sea of sameness there is some stand-out practice – it also reflects trends in technology and brand focus. The results were illuminating – largely for the wrong reasons. The sponsorship industry […]

5 Principles of Sponsorship Evaluation

Evaluation drives analysis and reflection - which drives improvement

Here are our five principles of sponsorship evaluation –  the product of over 20 years of client work. Businesses offer many weak excuses for not conducting sponsorship evaluation, but perhaps the most annoying is the belief that proper evaluation’s impossible – or at the very least in the too difficult box.  This belief is based […]

Why sponsorship?

Why sponsorship as your marketing strategy? As we wrote in our post Great Sponsorship Strategy in 8 Steps, the first step towards great sponsorship is to define your strategic challenge. But this exercise in itself links to a fundamental question: why sponsorship as your marketing strategy? To ask this question is perhaps a discriminator for […]

Would you buy this?

Although our soon-to-be-published survey into the relationship between Procurement Teams and Sponsorship Practice suggests that Procurement is not heavily involved with sponsorship measurement, this post is aimed primarily at marketing procurement. The biggest con in sponsorship evaluation Despite the pandemic, many sponsorship research agencies are still doing a roaring trade in nonsense. For many years, […]

Adding value to fans

Adding value to the fan is a mantra of sponsorship nowadays. A mantra that emerged in response to sponsors who viewed sponsorship only as an opportunity for brand exposure. But those times, the times of ‘badging’, have largely gone. So why revisit? Because mantras outlive their purpose. And because we collectively now have a deeper […]

Partnership with Purpose

This post, Partnership with Purpose, explores the implications for sponsorship and partnership practice in a landscape in which social and environmental action, and business contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals are increasingly important. A bit of historic context We’re so used to the concept of shareholder primacy that it’s strange to remember that the idea […]

The psychology of sponsorship engagement

The Psychology of Sponsorship #2 So a second post on the theme of the psychology of sponsorship, this time looking at the factors which influence sponsorship engagement, and how we build relationship with an audience. And once again it’s a question of marrying academic research and theory with the experience of sponsorship practice and an overlay […]

Great sponsorship strategy in 8 steps

There’s certainly no shortage of posts out there on the web talking about sponsorship strategy. In fact, in the context of sponsorship, the word strategy is used pretty indiscriminately in general, and even here by HBR, as a sophisticated-sounding way of saying ‘this is how to go about sponsorship’: a primer, in other words. The question […]

Byron Sharp and Sponsorship

Amazingly, the relationship between Byron Sharp and sponsorship has not had much airtime, despite the fact that How Brands Grow has preoccupied the world of marketing for over a decade now. Despite resistance from the marketing community to the provocative rubbishing of many core marketing concepts, its message – a reappraisal of marketing 101 – […]

FIFA’s new sponsorship : all structure, no strategy

The latest changes to FIFA’s sponsorship strategy are eminently sensible. The growth in popularity and commercial value of both the women’s game and gaming represent untapped potential for FIFA, who have been struggling for a number of years to grow the quantity and quality of their sponsors. The new commercial structure aggregates the verticals of […]

Legacy Sport

It’s curious that the term sponsorship legacy can either mean a meaningful contribution to the world that outlives a sponsorship – or a sponsorship that’s outlived its purpose. Legacy’s a funny word – both good and bad. A meaningful leave-behind or meaningless and left behind! Legacy Sport, which I’ve just read, refers to the first, […]

Sponsorship Assessment

One part of a recent RFP focused on sponsorship assessment: how would Redmandarin create an assessment framework to compare two properties? It was a thorough RFP and a pleasure to respond but the framing of the brief contained a few assumptions worth unpacking if you’re really looking to understand assessment. The first assumption was that […]

Why you should sponsor FinLit – with MAIA

(Especially if you’re in FS) In 2015, we received an amazing brief from a UK High Street bank. It was to find or develop a platform capable of delivering social impact and building community engagement. With reach, relevance and salience. For a retail bank, that means community with a small c, ie communities the length […]

Sponsorship, impact and ESG

Sponsorship, impact and ESG used to be very remote companions – but now there’s a large role for sponsorship in both communicating and delivering impact. Humans are creatures of habit. As a rule, we avoid change, anything which destabilises our existence – until the need becomes overwhelming. Burning platforms can be financial, existential, psychological but […]

Sponsorship rights valuation – and cabbage

Many years ago now we wrote a blog post called Media. Value. Cabbage – on the subject of post event sponsorship valuation. (We use the term valuation to refer to the commercial value assigned to a sponsorship contract – and evaluation to refer to measurement of a sponsorship’s success). The tone of the title reflected […]

Do I need a specialist sponsorship consultancy?

As a specialist sponsorship consultancy, we’re in a narrow competitive set. While there are plenty of individuals with experience to spare and share, there are few organisations established purely to solve sponsorship challenges. There are many large agencies which offer consulting services, but the consulting for these businesses is generally considered a loss leader, to […]

So your sponsorship evaluation budget is tiny…

Why are sponsorship evaluation budgets so tight? There’s not an agency that doesn’t subscribe in principle to the importance of sponsorship evaluation – but relatively few brands that set sponsorship evaluation budgets commensurate with investment. Of the brands which evaluate, the majority rely either on syndicated rightsholder research or run moronic surveys of the kind […]

The two tropes of sponsorship measurement

Sponsorship measurement has always been a strangely mute discussion area within the world of sponsorship – which has been largely dominated by two tropes. It’s not helped of course that the larger agencies productize their services into standard formats – syndicated reports, global panels and dashboards such as Nielsen Fan Insights – because their business […]

What is sponsorship?

The following article first appeared as the conclusion to the Redmandarin publication ‘Defining Sponsorship‘. It provides a clear analysis of the roots of what sponsorship and sound sponsorship strategy is all about and is helpful both for students and practitioners. So where to start? The only definition that’s readily available is from the European Sponsorship […]

Sponsorship measurement and logic models

We won’t pretend : this article on sponsorship measurement and logic models fails every element of originality except one. It’s 99% based on a great article from Financier Worldwide by Paula Papp, Laura Petschnig and Kalina Kasprzyk from Frontier Economics on measuring innovation. The parallels are overwhelming so we’ve wholeheartedly plagiarised their article, with great […]

Sponsorship portfolio strategy

This article springboards off a great article by Francis Dumais, who identified six major variations of sponsorship portfolio strategy.  Francis took the term sponsorship strategy and applied it very legitimately to the strategic choice facing brands around how they choose to structure their sponsorship investment, across portfolios or single properties.  Each of these alternatives represents […]

Learnings from Olympic sponsorship consultancy

We chose to specialise in Olympic sponsorship consultancy because the scale of the undertaking ensures that the partnership has the full attention of the business – and sponsorship has the fullest application across the business. We published Working the Olympics in 2012 – based on our experience with ten Olympic partners and interviews with a […]

‘The biggest mistake was to call it sponsorship’

Michael Payne has been at the forefront of the sports marketing industry for over thirty years – having lead the global marketing effort for the Olympic Movement for more than two decades as the IOC’s first Marketing and Broadcast Rights Director, generating more than US$15 billion in broadcast and marketing revenues. On leaving the IOC, […]

The psychology of sponsorship

The Psychology of Sponsorship #1 Most books on sponsorship make large assumptions about the psychology of sponsorship. Back in the day, the phrase ‘brand value transfer’ was thrown around liberally to explain how sponsorship works, with no little authority, of course! But in the last 10 years in particular, our understanding of the emotional processes […]

The majority of sponsorship doesn’t work

The following text is from an interview with Martin Lindstrom for the book ‘Defining Sponsorship‘. Martin is a ‘brand futurist’, the CEO and Chairman of LINDSTROM company, and Chairman of BUYOLOGY INC, advising companies including Nokia and McDonald’s. His brand-building shows attract 800,000 people across the world. He has written many books, including ‘Buyology‘. ‘The […]

Sponsorship as ‘social object’

Mark is a recovering adperson who now writes and talks and works independently under the banner of HERD Consulting, helping people and organisations and their collaborators come to terms with our social or HERD nature. Prior to HERD Mark held senior positions at Ogilvy Group Worldwide and the radical creative co-operative St Luke’s. This interview […]

Sponsorship Strategy : Building Competitive Edge

We were reviewing our search performance over Christmas (as you do) and were shocked to rank low against the term sponsorship strategy. Which is criminal as Redmandarin was the sponsorship industry’s first strategy consultancy – and even now is one of a handful (or fewer) of agencies globally which specialise in strategy. But there’s no […]

We ❤️ sponsorship storytelling

Sponsorship storytelling was originally published in December 2015. Making sense of Father Christmas It’s that time of year again – and the question: is Father Christmas real? It’s not my question of course but my son’s. And although my wife – who’s from a country which doesn’t believe in the first place – wants to […]


The IOC’s new TOP deal, which brings together The Coca-Cola Company and Chinese dairy giant Mengniu in a new joint category, has been launched with the fanfare of a US$3bn total investment in the partnership, including a commitment to unprecedented online promotional spend. The values represented by the IOC are canonical, which perhaps explains why […]

Just do it

‘How to murder your wife’ was released in 1965. It tells the story of cartoonist Stanley Ford, played by Jack Lemmon, who stands wrongly accused of murdering his wife. Lemmon’s character uses the defence of justifiable homicide. The pivotal scene takes place in the courtroom. Ford conducts his own defence, and with his best friend […]

A Christmas story

Jack Daniels’ Christmas advert shows a 26’ Christmas tree made entirely of whiskey barrels, covered with Christmas lights, surrounded by people. It’s the first time they’ve done it, according to the ad copy. The lead line: It’s not what’s under the tree that matters, it’s what’s around it. The tree is in the main square […]

Corporate identity

It’s funny how corporate identity as a phrase is associated with just about the most rigid of branding questions: making sure a logo always looks the same. Because identity in a psychotherapeutic sense is anything but rigid. In fact, current thinking views identity more as a fluid process rather than a rigid structure: we never […]

Purpose-led sponsorship

Purpose-led sponsorship is a recurring theme on this blog, and reading Trinity Mirror’s new study on consumer trust last week reminded us our blog on purpose in 2014. The study reports the unsurprising figure of 43% of consumers claiming to mistrust brands and 69% claiming to distrust advertising.  There’s nothing particularly noteworthy there but more interestingly, the research […]

The challenges facing Partners of Tokyo 2020

Organising Committees famously misrepresent the value of Olympic Partnership. ‘The country needs you to step up.’ ‘It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.’ ‘The Prime Minister needs your help on this one.’ And the favourite: ‘It will be so good for your business.’ In London, LOCOG employed McKinsey to develop an elegantly simple model to […]

Campaign Architecture

Following on from my last article regarding business case valuations I wanted to look at what for us is an earlier step in the process, the development of the ideal campaign architecture and subsequent platform selection. Crucially, all of the assets that will be required are identified before contacting any rightsholders. It’s in many ways […]

Alfred Kelly’s big decision

McDonald’s exit from sponsorship at the TOP echelon of Olympic partnership created a media opening for anti-IOC narrative. But the sponsorship issue that McDonald’s exit raises is not about the travails of the IOC, it’s about whether or not the sponsorship of both the FIFA World Cup and the Olympic Games can be justified – […]

Making the business case

Developing a business case for sponsorship is hard, especially if sponsorship is not currently a part of your marketing mix. How to create sufficient internal confidence to justify the shift? And the larger the proposed investment, the higher the risk…. The sales proposition for most sponsorships is premised on three things: media exposure, hospitality and […]

McDonalds and the IOC: fake news from the FT

McDonald’s departure from the IOC TOP programme has provoked much commentary. Of course, big sponsorship news always attracts its fair share of clichéd reflection and the departure of McDonald’s from TOP is very big news in the sponsorship industry. But it’s been particularly interesting to observe, especially in the context of fake news. The worst […]

The danger of being dazzled by the latest

I imagine the entire marketing industry is now considering the impact of Proctor and Gamble’s Chief Marketing Officer, Marc Pritchard’s, groundbreaking presentation at the recent IAB Annual Leadership meeting on the issues around digital marketing. Marc’s speech was refreshingly open and Mark Ritson in his recent Marketing Week piece describes it as the “biggest marketing speech for 20 […]

The gold standard

The debate about standard evaluation metrics has crawled around for years. Conference organisers probably have shrines devoted to it – it always helps them off to such a good start. I can just hear the guys at Haymarket: ‘So what are we going to talk about this year, it’s the same discussion year in year […]

CR Campaign-ability

The Body Shop remains the paradigm buster. Its campaign, Stop violence in the home, originating in Canada, wasn’t based on the usual passion drivers. Instead, it addressed the taboo of domestic violence, a subject which at the time even western governments would barely acknowledge. And from that counter-intuitive platform, it launched a campaign which by […]

Good business?

The role for business, on the Cabinet Office flier on the Big Society, is modest and relatively feasible: protect the environment, improve skills and create jobs, support your community, improve quality of life and support small businesses… – no mention of sponsorship, very wisely. There’s also no mention of public private partnerships either, a concept […]

Conjoined twins?

Sponsorship and philanthropy – conjoined twins? There’s an industry mantra dating back to the 80s, that sponsorship is a commercial means to a commercial end. In the 80s, of course, it was a useful line to avoid approaches being routed to ‘community giving’; nowadays, it’s the logical defence against accusations of profligacy. But like any […]

In search of community

Community as a marketing term really started buzzing back in the 90s. It was .com days, the world was alight with online content propositions and ‘building community’ was all anyone had to do. Building community was a great phrase for that era, because it had an optimistic ring and easy promise which ‘building a customer-base’ […]

If a leaf falls in the forest … will the IOC hear it?

If you work in the sponsorship industry for any length of time you will know that there are three hardy perennial media questions. These are: Francisco Goya has won the World Championship: what does that do to his sponsorship value? Francisco Goya has been accused of adultery on an unprecedented scale: what does this do […]

The Olympic Baby

We were a little surprised when we saw the IOC was planning on reforming its Rule 40. Rule 40 currently imposes commercial purdah on Olympians for nearly a month around the Games, preventing any use of name or likeness in association with non-Games partners. Penalties for contravention include disqualification and stripping of medals (although the reality […]

For your consideration

Return of engagement’s a seductive little phrase, isn’t it? It holds the promise of customers and public alike interacting with – and caring about – your brand. As such, it’s far more engaging in itself than classic terms like consideration or preference.   The first time we heard it used was by Saatchi & Saatchi […]

Brand purpose and sponsorship

There’s a close relationship between brand purpose and sponsorship, but…. Whatever happened to vision? It used to be a fundamental part of how businesses described themselves. I grew up with it…. Nowadays though, business vision is really hard to find. It’s been well and truly eclipsed by brand purpose. How a CEO responds to the […]

I instantly recognised Haribo

This is extracted from an interview with Professor Simon Chadwick, for our publication ‘Defining Sponsorship’. Simon Chadwick was Chair at the time of Sport Business Strategy and Marketing at Coventry University, where he was also Director of CIBS. At Leeds University, S gained a PhD in sponsorship in football. He is now the world’s first […]

Timo Lumme from Working the Olympics

The following interview was first published in Working the Olympics. It gives an excellent overview of the value of the IOC for major corporates and offers, typically of Timo, a very insightful and pragmatic assessment of the challenges of Olympic marketing. Timo is the Managing Director of IOC Television & Marketing Services – the broadcast-rights marketing […]

Ubiquity is the real elephant in the room

The new Lib-Con government is talking a big game on the topic of binge drinking. How this impulse manifests itself remains to be seen, but we are right to be twitchy about the recommendations contained in the Health Committee First Report on Alcohol (HC151) and the prospect of alcohol sponsors being told – you’re barred. […]

Some thoughts on platform

Platform really is a great name for this magazine, great because it leads away from sponsorship and into marketing. One of the discussions we manage, in trying to help brands understand exactly how much freedom they have to interpret the concept of sponsorship, is around platform, precisely because sponsorship is just one of many. For […]

Projection and brand theory

In our research for ‘Working the Olympics’, we came across a fascinating insight into the Olympic brand. Terrence Burns, formerly of the IOC and up to recently President of Helios Partners, was sharing his experience of running the IOC’s first brand audit: ‘At the time we did the un-prompted word association research, there was only […]

LOCOG’s sponsorship mistake

The Greenwash Gold campaign, which seized on Dow Jones and lumped together BP and Rio Tinto to create a rogue’s gallery of London 2012, signally failed to attract consumer support. While LOCOG played the British card of staunch support extremely well, and the campaign has left barely a reputational scuff, one element though, Redmandarin would […]

Spinning the TOPs

The IOC’s TOP programme is clearly in rude good health. With seven out of 11 partners confirmed until 2020, the IOC can congratulate itself on having established itself clearly as the premier global property. The presence of businesses such as GE, P&G and Dow Chemical in the TOP programme further testifies to a value which […]

The Olympic story

Brand storytelling is back – bigger than ever. First time around for me was business author, Tom Peters. His original pitch was about corporate myth-making: the conscious creation of those symbolic stories which so effortlessly epitomise an attitude or a principle: Lou Gerstner forcing the IBM Board to abandon the powerpoint in favour of the […]

Sponsorship as organisational change driver

For Redmandarin, a full 90% of client briefs relate to deepening brand engagement. This might be expressed as repositioning, shift of audience focus, reappraisal, building NPS or advocacy, but, ultimately, it comes down to people feeling warmer about the brand But there’s another objective which surfaces much more rarely – organisational change. And sponsorship’s potential […]

Sponsorship : self-ambush is the greatest risk

Extract from Working the Olympics, 2012 Rights protection is a critical issue for Partners – but more so for the IOC and OCOG: when your primary sales asset is a logo – you need to take good care of it. As a consequence, the domestic brand protection teams are virtually the first in operation and […]

working the Olympics

Redmandarin believe the Olympics represent a transformational business opportunity, but most businesses, faced with a proposal to partner an Olympic Games, don’t have a clue where to start. Why would they? Most businesses’ understanding of sponsorship is a combination of logo exposure and hospitality. But the Olympics – broadcast globally, without media exposure for the […]

8 insights into Olympic partnership

We’ve spent the last two years researching a book on Olympic partnership and how to ensure it can be transformational. The research draws on direct experience with six Olympic clients, desk research (a very smart desk) and extended interviews with the programme directors of 30 Olympic partners. Here are eight insights. 1 No logo is a […]

The Paralympics come of age

The IOC’s signature on the landmark agreement with the IPC in Sydney 2001, linking the hosting of the Paralympic Games and the Olympics, was both hugely generous and characteristically far-sighted. In exchange for abnegating their sponsorship rights and accepting a flat capped contribution from each Games, the IPC gained the guarantee of association with the […]

Changing the game

Jean Noel Kapferer, in his comprehensive tome Strategic Brand Management, talks of brand as a conditional asset, and it’s one of his most helpful phrasings, suggesting as it does, that the value of the brand asset depends largely on what businesses do with it. The same is of course true of sponsorship: it’s a very […]

Sponsorship zen

It tickles us at Redmandarin that the IOC now has 11 TOP partners. Brands and rights-holders often perpetuate a false correlation between sponsor numbers and clutter, and talk about sponsor clutter as though it’s an issue – and yet the IOC’s elegant solution is simply zen: de-clutter. Certainly, there is a limit to the number […]

 Cunning linguist

Naming rights are the perfect IP. They cost nothing to create, they need minimal servicing and there’s no benchmark for pricing. No wonder rightsholders love ’em – they’re like a real pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. And the rainbow ends in your backyard. Or stadium. Arsenal is the inspiration for the […]

Own goal?

I think historians will look back and pinpoint Sydney 2000 as the event which truly marked the beginning of sport as a dominant global belief system. I’m not talking about global appeal or commercial value, I’m talking about sport as a predominant metaphor for living. Not disregarding the scepticism that preceded the Games, what was […]

The fuzzy space of Olympic ambush marketing

Where is the boundary between communal and rightsholder IP? This interview was first published in ‘Working the Olympics’. This interview tracks Jim’s experience of Scotia Bank sponsorship through Vancouver 2010. Ambush marketing was not his intention : rather, to explore the boundaries of rightsholder and communal IP. Jim Tobin, now retired, was Director and Head […]

The fate of the sponsorship industry?

The current model of the sponsorship industry was spawned by media sales, driven by the entrepreneurial realisation that the aggregated exposure available through major events had sizeable commercial value. Everything else is post-rationalisation. I say this so clearly because of the huge absence of vision and any clear articulation by the sponsorship industry of what […]

Bribery Act – behold a beam

The UK Bribery Act 2010 finally came into force last week, against a backdrop of industry angst – here in the UK. Everyone feels pretty comfortable to condemn the nefarious activities of nameless international sports federations, but – what the hell is this going to do to hospitality? We’re not interested in re-hashing the various […]

Our definition of sponsorship

 Nobody scrolling down Interbrand’s list of the world’s top 100 brands can fail to be struck by the huge and obvious role sponsorship plays in building brand equity. And yet the world of marketing has always struggled to find an acceptable definition of sponsorship. Most definitions lean heavily on the definition ratified by the International Chamber of […]

Sponsorship heresy

I have to admit – I’ve never had much time for sponsorship. Is this my very own Ratner moment? I hope not. It doesn’t make much sense for the CEO of a strategic sponsorship consultancy to own up to such distaste. It’s not blanket, but a dislike for the lack of honesty which, for me, […]

Governing whims

Our CEO likes F1 ‘Grübel was planning to get in with Sauber[1]’ was how impeccable veteran F1 journalist Roger Benoit broke the news that UBS Group CEO Oswald Grübel had been planning once again to sponsor Sauber F1 in Swiss magazine Blick. Following a few days after the announcement of UBS sponsorship of Formula 1, […]

Media. Value. Cabbage

I recently received (anonymously) a ‘sponsorship valuation’ commissioned from a specialist agency by a brand: the sender was a little incredulous at what he’d been persuaded to pay for. Arguably sponsorship ‘valuation’ has a role to play in instilling rights-holders with a greater sense of confidence in the commercial value of their sponsorship offering – […]

‘just the guy who ponied up the money’

First published in Defining Sponsorship, Tony Ponturo’s interview was seismic in the powerful way it articulated the change in consumer attitudes – expressed with Tony’s trademark candour. Tony Ponturo is the founder and CEO of Ponturo Management Group, LLC; a consulting, management and investment company in media, sports and entertainment. Previously he was President and […]

Bang to rights

Ever since Patrick Nally corralled the global TV and stadia signage rights together on Coke’s behalf for the 1974 FIFA World Cup, sponsorhip has been dominated by rights. And, with the IOC’s bullishly announcing it expects to reach the mythical figure of US$1 billion for its TOP programme, rights certainly aren’t going away. Ultimately, the […]