Michelle Branco – Head of Marketing Vodacom: It’s all about the brand. The bottom line is that the proposal needs to show that the sponsorship either creates or adds a meaningful and measurable value to the brand. It also needs to show the sponsor not only the value that the sponsorship can deliver but also why it is better than the next property in terms of target market reach and strategic brand fit. Other important elements that the proposal must detail include: guarantees on the audience numbers, hospitality opportunities, broadcast coverage and exposure, licensing, merchandising opportunities, leveraging tactics recommendations, and exclusivity rights.
Nozipho Japhta – Head of McDonald’s SA’s 2010 Fifa World Cup involvement: It’s about return on investment. When you sponsor an event or an athlete, you are associating your brand with that specific event. It is not just about putting your logo. Traditionally, brand exposure and the development of brand equity has been the main measure, but more recently, sponsors are looking at the hard-cash returns. Both of the aforementioned are linked to the publicity that is going to be generated around the event, by means of various media platforms, especially television and radio. So if a sponsorship proposal cannot demonstrate this tangible increase in business for the sponsor, it is not going to pass.
Tanya Fourie – Women’s World Cup of Golf: It’s about honesty and being able to deliver the rights that you give to them. For a sponsorship deal to be successful it needs to be new and unique, as people are tired of the same old stuff, for instance always having the only option of eating a hot dog at a rugby game. What makes Women’s Golf so successful is that the people don’t just get to see the athletes, but also great fashion.
What has been the worst sponsorship you’ve have ever worked on or heard of and why?
Branco: It has to be the Pepsi return to South Africa that was to be launched by the Whitney Houston tour. Pepsi never did their homework and it turned out that Coke had two years prior already secured exclusive pouring rights in the three major stadiums where the concerts were to be held. The entire sponsorship was a waste. What made it even more laughable was the press who couldn’t resist talking about Whitney’s “post nasal drip” and Coke’s one up on Pepsi. The pun was undoubtedly intended.
Japhta: There have been many bad sponsorships, too numerous to mention. Suffice it to say that a sponsorship is bad when there is no match between what the sponsorship delivers (if it delivers at all) and the corporate strategy of the sponsor. In my experience, this is often due to personal preferences getting in the way of good business sense even if there is no tangible return. In my previous job, we once sponsored a music event which was hosted in Durban. Everything about that event was a disaster. The event was not well marketed, event logistics were badly managed, and artists had to perform in front of 300 people at a venue that catered for 45 000 people.
Fourie: I have only worked on the Women’s Golf, but I would think sponsoring women’s rugby must be the worst one to work on, or rather I would not find it easy to work on that, as it doesn’t showcase ladies in a good way.