Saturday, 20 February 2016

Sponsorship selling - What are Sponsors looking for ?

Sponsorship selling has been much in the news of late. 

Beware displeasing your Sponsors.

Sponsors have been withdrawing their support because the alignment of the brand with the sponsored is seen to be damaging to their brand.

In sport, the sponsored player or sports organisation trades their reputation and popularity to  help leverage an increased marketing communications opportunity to the sponsor in terms of exposure to their brand.

However the current news stories have shown that sponsors expect the organisations they sponsor to behave in certain ways and the individuals they support to conduct themselves in a manner commensurate with the values of the sponsor.

If a there is a serious disconnect of these values between the sponsors and sponsored, it can lead to the sponsor to withdraw their investment.

Sportswear manufacturer Nike announced they had withdrawn their eight year sponsorship from the Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao  for his anti-gay views which Nike described as “ abhorrent“.

Similarly Adidas withdrew sponsorship of Sunderland and England soccer star Alan Johnson after his plea of guilty to child sex offences. The winger’s boot deal with Adidas was reported to be £10,000 per season.

Sponsors similarly have withdrawn their support of Organisations.

 Nestle has ended its sponsorship of IAAF Kids Athletics programme, as it fears the doping  and corruption scandals engulfing the world athletics governing body could damage its reputation. The IAAF also lost Adidas’ support last month. Adidas' 11-year sponsorship deal, reportedly worth £23m, was due to run until 2019

The extended shenanigans of FIFA over allegations of corruption at the highest levels have caused Chief executive of Brand Finance David Haigh to comment 

 “Sponsors have partnered with Fifa in order to build their brands, not have their reputations tarnished. The kind of activities that are alleged to have been going on could destroy billions of dollars of brand value. “

Age UK took a knock on its alliance with Eon.
The not for profit and charity sector are increasingly trading the reputation of their work with private sponsorship as public funding has been either capped or reduced or in some cases withdrawn as part of public spending cuts.

Everything charities do hinges on public trust and  the continued support through donating money, sponsoring people, volunteering and getting involved in lots of other ways.

"Whose job is it to regulate the angels" asked the Financial Times when Kids Company, which helped deprived inner-city children, imploded last year. It was one of a number of recent scandals in the charity sector.

It has become clear that none of the regulatory bodies — the government, the Charity Commission or even the trustees — were up to the job.

TRUST is of course, the key to any relationship, whether it's your family, a friend or a commercial transaction. 

Betrayal of trust is bad at any time, and especially if it hits one
 hard in the pocket as well as in the heart.

Most pensioners assume that the advice provided by Age UK would be motivated by what was best for them – and not the charity's bottom line – so the best deals would be the ones it offered.

Over 152,000 signed up for E.ON tariff recommended by Age UK – at an average cost of £1,049 annually – that almost £160m! At £6m, Age UK's “cut” was less than 4 %.

It has transpired that deal was, again on average, £245 more expensive than E.ON's cheapest 2015 tariff!  

A staggering £37m was paid more than necessary by many struggling to keep warm in winter.

Age UK aren't the only large charity after “big business” – the RSPCA, Oxfam and the British Heart Foundation are others recommending financial products.

The right corporate partnership is a mutually beneficial arrangement: for the charity, funding, support and increased visibility; for the sponsor, brand building, good PR and the chance to “make a difference.”

Sponsorship can be anything from funding a one-off event to a long term partnership or project, but with over 180,000 charities in the UK, competition for the most lucrative sponsors can be fierce.

OK  folks enough of the mistakes -  here at fruits of success we want to be part of the solution , not part of the problem.

How do we make a success of selling sponsorship and fund raising ?

What do corporate sponsors look for in their charity partnerships? ( examples quoted from various issues of the Guardian newspaper)

1.  Shared principles 

“When selecting a partner charity, we wanted our support to be more strategic – tackling issues that our staff care about, but making sure our sponsorship has the greatest impact possible,”  Natalie Tickle at RSA Insurance Group.

RSA has been working with The School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) since 2013. The charity’s mission is to help entrepreneurs turn their ideas into sustainable businesses that stimulate positive change in the community.

 “We wanted to support a charity that would be of interest and relevance to our business. The more relevant it is, the more engagement we have from staff at all levels,” 

2. Staff commitment and engagement ( secondment) 

Getting employees on board with the partnership and being passionate about your cause can open a lot of doors. 
Inviting members of the organisation to experience the work that you do first hand is a great way to cement this relationship.

Roisin Murphy, acting head of corporate responsibility at KPMG UK believes that the company’s work with the Living Wage Foundation has been improved by seconding a senior KPMG employee to experience the charity’s work first hand.

As a corporate partner, KPMG uses its network, profile and role as a trusted advisor to business and government to campaign for businesses to become Living Wage Employers. Mike Kelly, KPMG’s head of living wage, was previously seconded to the Living Wage Foundation and provides us with a unique insight into the charity and the philosophy behind the extremely important cause it promotes.”
3.   A inspired project which helps both parties stand out

Corporate sponsorship doesn't have to involve events or branded merchandise: sometimes a more creative approach can really capture the public imagination and raise the profile of both parties.

In 2003 an Innocent marketing manager called Adam had an idea to get the general public to knit little hats for our smoothie bottles. That year Adam worked with Age UK (Age Concern) to knit 15,000 hats,” -Clemmie Nettlefold at Innocent. 
“Now, 11 years on, we launch the Big Knit campaign every year and have popped more than 10.5 million hats on our bottles throughout Europe, helping to raise over £2.65 million to help keep older people warm in winter. The Big Knit has become one of the most recognisable charity corporate partnerships in the UK.”

4. Corporate sponsorship that adds force to core company principles

 “We’re not a business. We are a football club which was born out of community when a group of munitions workers formed a football team in Woolwich in 1886,”  Kate Laurens of Arsenal football club.

Arsenal often focuses its charity work on helping the local community, and sees giving back as a key part of the club’s identity.

The club realised its ability and responsibility to give back and reach people in a way that other organisations were unable to do” 

Early matchday programmes were sold in aid of Working Boys’ Homes and one of the first gestures from the club when Arsenal moved from Woolwich to Highbury was to put an endowment on a bed at the local hospital. Partnerships allow us to continue our tradition of giving and underpin the values of the club.”

5. Impact and enhanced trustworthiness

“Corporate sponsorship allows both parties to enhance the authority, credibility and authenticity of what they are both saying,” says Murphy. “Businesses and charities can achieve more by working together to address social and environmental issues than by working alone.”

A strong, ongoing partnership also has the power to make a sustainable, long term impact.

“Through our partnership with SSE, we are supporting the growth of social enterprises that address social needs in our communities and we are able to amplify the effect of our community investment programme,” -Natalie Tickle at RSA.

“Instead of making a one-off corporate charitable donation, we are investing in the leaders of these social enterprises, helping them achieve and sustain positive impact year on year.”

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