Archives For Sponsors

TrojanOne is For Sale

MH3 —  December 19, 2013

No, just kidding. But who can blame any of my agency-owning peers for some wishful thinking of selling our businesses this week after witnessing the IMG sale?

In less than 10 years after being sold for $ 750 million to Forstmann Little by the estate of the late great Mark McCormack, IMG is now being sold for more than three times that…$2.4 billion to William Morris Endeavour. These two transactions reflect the brilliance of two men. Mark McCormack, who founded IMG in 1960, effectively invented the agency business model for sports and sponsorship marketing. The second genius in our saga is Ted Forstmann, who, according to the script written by industry pundits, went from a reviled investment banker criticized for gutting IMG…to a man who clearly knew what he was doing!!!

IMG has incredible assets in the properties they own and the rights they broker. Now we know they aren’t just incredible; they are pretty valuable. Worth billions.

So how much would you give me for TrojanOne? What assets do I have? You probably don’t see media rights to international properties or ownership of fashion shows or marketing relationships with star athletes on my balance sheet. But look a little further.

What I do have is the most dedicated and talented team of people you would ever want to be associated with, who proved to me once again in 2013 that they will do whatever it takes to get our clients promoted. They push the boundaries of creativity with Twitter-activated vending machines, keeping a relentless focus on clients’ business objectives, generating thousands of leads for a Grey Cup sponsor, or ensuring our field staff are motivated and equipped to travel the country and endure the demands of a grueling experiential tour schedule.

I have witnessed my team spend all night rebuilding bike racks at an international sports event; held my breath while they created from scratch, in less than 24 hours, a mobile payment system for an event registration venue that threw us a curve; and tried to support them relentlessly during six emergency conference calls on a weekend when a music property went astray.

Most people in life never get to work in area they love. The passion my people have for their work is amazing and I love them for it. That’s why TrojanOne will be accepting bids today starting at Infinity!

Co-Branding by Tiger & Lindsey

MH3 —  March 21, 2013

I had barely finished my recent issue of Sports Illustrated, where Lindsey Vonn denies any romantic involvement with Tiger Woods, when suddenly the pair conduct simultaneous Facebook announcements confirming the opposite.

Before you get caught up speculating how athletic any offspring they may produce could be and certainly before you wonder as to who earns more endorsement money, today there are some more fundamental issues to deal with.

Category exclusivity.

Nike has Tiger.

Under Armour has Lindsey.

When they pose for a photo in branded gear is this somehow contradicting their duties. Are they inadvertently generating impressions for their sponsor’s competitors?

If Tiger starts wearing Red Bull hats do the marketing folks at Fuse Science lose their wings?

If Lindsey refuses to fly NetJets, will their stock crash? Hey wait a minute, doesn’t Tiger own his own jet? Why does he have a fractional aircraft sponsor?

Consider what we know. The pair released four posed, professional, sunny studio photos, featuring their super human athletic frames, to thwart paparazzi from profiting off disclosing their relationship. These photos spun through the digital universe almost as quickly as the stories of Tiger’s philandering did a few years ago. Did they really need to be on the cover of my daily newspaper. In Canada? Two divorced American megastars with (deservedly?) out-sized egos dominating my daily circular.

Yes it’s that big of a story. Neither leaves anything to chance. So imagine the reaction of their agents when each arrived on the “set” adorned in their sponsor’s logos. The swoosh v. the UA. These are not friendly rivals. Bitter is too subtle.

For the first time in sports marketing history the two logos co-existed in a marketing campaign. Harsh? No. That is what this announcement was. Two control freaks attempting to control our interpretation of their relationship. This is marketing. This communications management. Nothing is left to chance.

So I wish them well. They will have detractors. They will have critics. They will have doubters. But if they want to, they will probably succeed beyond our wildest imagination. They have that type of will power.

What needs to be determined is whether they will have any more co-branded adverts. Me thinks not!

 

 

 

I want to thank you for joining us in Montréal last week.

It was fun.
Thank you for honouring Marc Kielburger with the five-minute standing ovation that he so richly deserved. I know many of you were moved to tears by his presentation about the work that Me to We and Free The Children perform.

Your enthusiasm for all of the speakers was remarkable. Whether it be learning how to reach youth in
Québec through the wisdom of Danick Archambault of Astral TVPlus or how to touch the hearts of consumers through the passion of Nancy Marcus of Kruger Products or understanding how to do more with less via Michelle (sister of Olympian hoopster Kim Smith) and her teammate Louise Della Fortuna of Energizer.

Continue Reading “An Open Letter to All 2012 Canadian Sponsorship Forum Delegates”…

CSLSLessons Learned in 2011: Canadian Sponsorship Landscape Study

For sponsors, sponsees and agencies, the forecast for the upcoming year was that most see a glass half full scenario, with 35.9 per cent of sponsors expecting to spend more, 58.8 per cent of sponsees expecting more revenue and 70.3 per cent of agencies expecting more billing.

While 48.4 per cent of sponsors plan on similar spending to last year, 32.5 per cent of sponsees expect similar revenue and 8.1 per cent of agencies expect similar billing.

Agencies had the most reserved expectations, with 21.6 per cent predicting less billings, whereas 15.6 per cent of sponsors plan to spend less and only 8.8 per cent of sponsees projected less revenue.

Continue Reading “Lesson 13: Forecast for 2012 Varying and Ripe for Rainmakers”…

NHL All-Star Weekend Rocks

MH3 —  February 2, 2012

My apologies to Allstar Weekend for borrowing their URL to entitle my blog! But it was the first title that popped into my mind, and I am too pooped to come up with something else, so I don’t give a poop if they don’t like it. Besides, I have no idea who this band is…

Just kidding!

Nevertheless, NHL All-Star Weekend does rock in countless ways. You may not understand unless you’ve had a chance to be part of more than just the game. The NHL has taken this weekend and elevated it to a major, major, major league marketing extravaganza.

Whether it be the Scotiabank NHL Fan Fair, or the Energizer Lithium Lounge at Saturday night’s party hosted at the Molson Canadian Hockey House, there is something for young and old. Continue Reading “NHL All-Star Weekend Rocks”…

12 Partnerships I Loved in 2011

MH3 —  October 20, 2011

We are pitching on a music program right now, perhaps against some of my loyal readers, and I was asked by my staff to provide a favourite music memory.

Mine was J. Giles Band-inspired. Yes, back in grade 10, some girl named Beth dumped my (then) skinny behind, for my best friend Bill. True story. I then proceeded to play the aforementioned “Love Stinks” on my SEARS brand stereo (yes, true story) about twenty times a day for nearly a month. My poor dad threatened to shut off the power if he heard that same beat one more time during his morning coffee.

Love doesn’t actually stink. But jealousy, in a grade 10 sort of way, certainly does.

Yesterday at the Sponsorship Marketing Council of Canada Breakfast Forum, I talked about some of my current jealousies. Specifically, sponsorship programs that I have seen recently, of which I had NO part in, but wish I did. Continue Reading “12 Partnerships I Loved in 2011″…