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Ken Magill

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Best. Sponsorship Duo. Ever

By Ken Magill
As anyone in marketing and advertising knows, sponsorships can be tricky things.
They have to be a fit for both parties. Sometimes the answer to whether or not a brand manager wants to be associated with an event is obvious. Do I want to sponsor that cock fight? Uh, no.
Sometimes the call can be harder to make.
As some readers may be aware, my wife is a media buyer for a large agency in New York.
Recently, she was presented an opportunity to sponsor on behalf of a client an Insane Inflatables 5k race scheduled to take place at the Dutchess County Fair in New York’s Hudson Valley in August.
“The Insane-Inflatable 5K is a new dynamic and extreme inflatable obstacle race and the first national inflatable obstacle course tour,” says promotional copy in the PowerPoint selling the sponsorships. 
“Our goal is for all participants to have some crazy, challenging fun. So whether you’re a sponsor, a skilled obstacle course competitor, a group of friends looking for something cool to do or a spectator this event will maximize your fun meter and ‘blow’ your mind!”
The wife’s client’s target demographic is families with young children so she approached the client with the opportunity.
On the surface the Insane-Inflatables race seemed like a fit. It’s certainly family friendly enough and there is s high likelihood of the wife’s client’s target demographic having a significant presence there.
But after some thought, the client balked. The reason: Every time the client thought of the event, she envisioned someone going airborne off one of the inflatable obstacles and breaking a bone right in front of her logo.
So for this particular client, the Insane-Inflatables sponsorship was a non-starter.
So who decided it was a fit?
A few days after the wife turned down the Insane-Inflatables sponsorship opportunity, she was in our Honda Pilot listening to the Hudson Valley’s WRRV radio station. A spot for the Insane-Inflatables race came on.
Its sponsors: Budweiser and the Mid Hudson Valley Regional Hospital.
Drink a bunch of one sponsor’s beer. Start running. Get turned into a projectile by a giant inflatable obstacle. Break a leg. Get taken to another sponsor’s hospital.
Now that’s a sponsorship fit.

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