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  • Writer's pictureSmart Sponsorship

SMART SPONSORSHIP EVOLUTION

Updated: Apr 3

seek to square the circle in difficult times...without successive repetitions


What advice can we give in these difficult times to brands that had contracted sponsorships on one or several properties, as part of their marketing and communication strategies?I clarify, I agree that nothing replaces a game or a live concert. We are passionate about the emotion of being present, it is something innate in all of us, we enjoy it, it stirs our hearts and we become protagonists of that moment, just like players or musicians or singers.But there are unprecedented moments, like the ones we are going through today, when sports and live music came to a complete halt; experience that most of us have not had, and, therefore, do not have the expertise to act quickly and reasonably to protect our brands and our consumers from the sudden interruption of their fun and emotions and interaction with their idols. However, consider that this is something fortuitous and global, where we are all suffering and assimilating it in the best possible way, and the fans understand it. The essential thing for them is not to lose contact with their idols and not feel that their heroes have abandoned them, because fans would never abandon their teams or their favorite musicians because of a pandemic. In marketing and commercial communication it is the same. You can't neglect your customers.

WHAT WE SHOULD NOT DO: In this environment, the sponsoring brand cannot disappear like a bear in winter and return when everything has passed and expect things to be where we left them. It does not work like that. The relationships that brands have managed to create with fans, with so much effort, will be seriously weakened if they disappear. The memory and association of the brand will be weakened, the much achieved by being part (daily) of the fans' passions will be weakened; This “disappearance” will also erode the social environment that has been created between fans/events/sponsors/communication, what we call “goodwill towards the brand.”

To prevent this from happening, what we can do is think and devise how to maintain communication with fans daily, or as frequently as possible, always seeking to give value and new experiences to fans, in a creative way. This communication can be through various communication channels and in close coordination with the property owners. They will provide creative content for brands to use on social networks, their own and/or property, and in campaigns, for example, social responsibility about the current situation, etc. These contents will also reinforce communication via other media with the use of players and talents in campaigns and promotions or a creative campaign of the brand referring to its team or players to be shown on television. Let's now take advantage of the use of “influencers” which is something well received by fans. Likewise, joint activations between brand, property and retail, being creative and interesting, usually have great impact. The above must be carried out even if the games are played without an audience or the concerts are done through a streaming service. With these options, well executed, most of the contracted and streaming impacts are recovered, surely the number will be higher than that of a live concert.The goal is for sponsors to continue engaging with fans, staying top of mind and demonstrating a commitment to the sports or music they have been associated with.


RETURNING TO THE NEGOTIATION BETWEEN BRANDS AND PROPERTIES Nothing prevents the contracts with the properties from being reviewed and redefining and adjusting the agreed rights and responsibilities and renegotiating the costs and benefits with each contracted sponsorship.

Despite the immense economic losses suffered by the properties and due to the impossibility of delivering to their sponsors some of the benefits promised in the contracts, due to the cancellation of events, the owners of the rights are aware of the need and urgency to negotiate. to find a solution that mitigates the loss on both sides. They also sense that the unexpected drop in sales of many brands has decreased the income and profits of companies like never before, which is why both parties must seek a “new” agreement that is acceptable and fair for both.A logical way to proceed would be to start by analyzing how many benefits (impacts or other) have accrued to date? How many were permanently canceled and not recoverable? How many can be replaced via other new benefits, like some mentioned above? At SMART we think that something good will come out of this crisis and it is precisely the need to maintain a strict numerical and periodic analysis of the performance of sponsorships contracted by brands. At SMART we do not stop doing it for the sponsors of some of the largest and most important properties in sports and music. The worst thing is to reach a moment of crisis and not have accurate information to support the decisions that have to be made.

Of course, these are difficult and unforeseen times for commercial communication and for brand marketing and sponsorships; Suddenly millions of fans around the world stopped interacting with their favorite teams and/or their most passionate musicians. But believe me, this interaction will return quickly and “relouded”. The connection that humans have with sports and music is forever; Sports and music will be part of our lives forever and will always be powerful marketing assets for brands.


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