Archives For sponsorship

Fan-tastic

MH3 —  October 30, 2013

Over the past couple of years, the industry volunteers who drive the Sponsorship Marketing Council of Canada have been working their fannies off to build an organization that is more relevant, valuable, and attractive to the marketing community. This morning proved they have achieved their lofty ambitions.

Every couple of months the SMCC holds breakfast forums in Toronto. In past years they have been hit and miss. Some have had great content, with poor attendance. Others have been attended en masse, only to showcase disappointing content. Finally the light went on and made enough people at the SMCC executive table realize that poorly orchestrated events were more than bad events. They were actually reflecting poorly on the entire sponsorship marketing industry. How can you sell the C-suite on the ROI of sponsorship marketing when our own industry events have zero ROI?

Flash forward to 2013 and you now have all-star panels such as this morning’s featuring my pal Don Mayo of IMI, Jacquie Ryan of Scotia, Nathalie Cook from TSN, Iain Chalmers of Diageo, Alan Dark of CBC and Kyle McMann from the NHL. Today’s 8:00 AM seminar was held in Real Sports, which was great except I had never seen the place sober before. (Bummed that none of the usual waitresses were working either, but I did recognize a couple of their moms serving coffee.)

The topic of conversation was “The Elusive Fan,” with the NHL and its partner programs utilized to illustrate the theory that Fan Value is the key for sponsorship ROI for all parties: sponsor, property, and media rights holder. It’s a sound theory that extends beyond the NHL case study, although hockey is a perfect lesson for us all.

More important than the topic is the effort of the SMCC execs and the commitment of the speakers to ensure that the sponsorship marketing industry in Canada grows, flourishes, and is duly recognized for its impact on business success. That’s ROI for all of us!

Hey SMCC, you have won over this elusive fan.

Building Community

MH3 —  April 25, 2013

Yes this blog title matches the theme of the 2013 Canadian Sponsorship Forum. But no, this isn’t an advertisement to attend. Not today anyway.

Today these two words summarize for me some reflections I am having.

The first reflection is of Jane Knox and Eamonn O’Loghlin. This week at the 2013 Sponsorship Marketing Council of Canada Conference we are honouring Jane and Eamonn. Both were people I did business with. Both attended numerous Canadian Sponsorship Forum events. Both became friends of mine, I hope. Both were community builders. Both departed us much too early in the past two years.

Jane was a stalwart in the sponsorship community through her work at CBCF and Sick Kids. She was active as a marketer, volunteer, and champion. Eamonn led sponsorship at the CNE for years, all the while championing all causes Irish in Canada.

We invited their families to the conference this week, so our industry could say thanks. Both individuals make me realize why I love the Canadian sponsorship community.

The second reflection is from Coca-Cola’s presentation at the conference. While the presentation focused on their partnership with WWF Canada, the key for me was their rationale for this type of activity. The Coke presenter eloquently stated that when you Build Community you Build Business.

Building Community isn’t just about building business. Take Paralympic Champion Michelle Stillwell, who has decided to trade her Team Canada uniform for a campaign outfit as she runs for the Liberals in Parksville on Vancouver Island. I don’t really know Michelle, but she partnered with one of our clients last year. What struck me about her was that she was so genuine in determining whether she would work with our client. The money they offered didn’t matter. The exposure they offered also didn’t matter. What mattered was how our client was contributing to society.

Makes me believe that as a politician she will be truly more interested in her riding, in her community, than her potential personal rise to the top. If I was eligible to vote for Michelle, I would. Twice!

Leading from the Front

MH3 —  April 11, 2013

How do I summarize a week where it seemed every waking moment was filled with inspiration kicking me in the butt?

Some of the motivation was formally delivered. I witnessed a riveting speech delivered by General Rick Hillier at the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance Sport Events Congress. His central message about inspiring others and inspiring yourself revealed that his approach to motivating troops abroad was grounded in ensuring they stayed connected to being Canadian – a sip of Tim Horton’s coffee, a Christmas dinner made by a CO, a visit from the Stanley Cup.

Some of it arrived unexpectedly but in formal settings. In a meeting at Rideau Hall, I was enraptured to hear Bernard Shinder talk about how the event we now call Canada Day was created in the 1970’s by a group of well-connected Ottawa business leaders. Canada Day in Ottawa is a must do event for every Canadian, but in its early days was held away from the shadow of Parliament Hill, as the government feared it may flop!

Some out of the blue. An impromptu offer for a ride from the above Rideau Hall confab, found me being chauffeured by none other than General Walter Natynczyk and hearing about his three children, all proudly serving in our armed forces around the world. How energizing the words of a proud father were, discussing the love his offspring have for serving their country.

Some grew organically. Specifically from Charmaine Crooks, Debbi Wilkes, and Loreen Barnett participating in a Women of Influence panel, moderated by the non-influential male known as MH3, also at the CSTA event. Their voices combined to form a chorus of motivation and insights for women pursuing a career in sports marketing. To quote Debbi Wilkes, “Don’t let anybody else write the script for YOUR life!”

Some were ensnared in the jaws of defeat. Unfortunately at the hands of the US Women’s hockey team who upended Team Canada, in the gold medal world championship game, with their superior skills and sizzling skating. But defeat can be a powerful motivator and all of us should emotionally team up with our women for revenge in Sochi.

I misled you. This wasn’t even an entire week. It was actually only three days. And it wasn’t a butt kicking. No – it was more of a motivational stampede to catch up to those leading from the front!

 

 

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!

 

 

 

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”…

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Title IX.

I highly doubt when the United States Congress brought the act into legislation in 1972 that it expected to be responsible for helping build the female sport system in Canada. But it has.

The original premise of Title IX was to ensure that women had the same access to competitive sports as men in terms of access to leagues, coaches, facilities, instruction, etc. That would be my technical interpretation of the bill. But the emotional interpretation would be to allow girls to play sports, just like boys.

Continue Reading “Entitled: Levelling the Playing Field for Canada’s Female Athletes”…

One of the time-honoured secrets of speech making is to start with a joke.
Easier said than done.

Not that there is a shortage of material in this world. You can borrow a joke from a speaker you’ve heard in the past. Tread dangerously with an inappropriate line you picked up from the drunken MC at your cousin’s wedding. Search the “www” and commit larceny by using someone else’s material. If you’ve been drinking you may think it wise for some reason to try to write your own. Or if you’re a bonehead, you can always pick someone to make fun of.

I’ve tried all of the above and more. Unfortunately, I think I’ve used the “pick on the innocent” option much too frequently. It’s the chicken’s way out, but it’s far too easy.

But being truly funny. Wow. That’s an art. A craft. A science. Is it a gift? I would say to a point. But it’s a gift that needs the preparation, practice and refinement of an Olympic ski jumper.

I have been thinking about “being funny” in preparation for chairing the 2012 Canadian Sponsorship Forum. I’ve told my team that we need to be funny. Not silly. But funny. Forum is loaded with great information, research and inspiration. Serious stuff. Continue Reading “Ha Ha Ha: Being Funny in a Speech is No Laughing Matter”…

This Business of Love

MH3 —  March 22, 2012

I don’t know if I have ever told you I’m afraid of flying.

Probably an odd thing for me to type on my iPad while winging over Lake Michigan on my way home from the 2012 IEG Conference. This aversion could be the result of a virtual Bermuda triangle of angst. Afraid of heights. Germaphobe. Claustrophobic. What are the technical terms for fear of flying and a fear of heights?

Fear.

It can paralyze individuals, families and societies. Ditto for employees, leaders and corporations.

I once read a simple quote that declared: LOVE, is the absence of fear. Perhaps that should have been the title of Hublot’s Jean-Claude Biver’s rapturing keynote speech on Tuesday. It wasn’t a speech about sponsorship. It was a speech about SHARING, FORGIVING and RESPECTING. Continue Reading “This Business of Love”…

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”…

Ha ha ha

MH3 —  August 4, 2011

Being funny isn’t easy. In fact, trying to be funny can often backfire. Witness my opening at this year’s Canadian Sponsorship Forum? When I promised some insights on how to Rev up your ROI, and my opening slide was entitled “Kick the Bucket” and featured a picture of Michael Jackson,

Continue Reading...