The Sinek Qua Non of sponsorship

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 meaning of everything – it’s […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 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 psychology of sponsorship

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 of sponsorship has evolved significantly. […]

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 […]


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 […]