Sponsorship Tango Part 2: Top 10 Things that Frustrate me as a Sponsorship Buyer

Following up on my last post – Sponsorship Tango Part 1: Top 10 Things that Frustrate me as a Sponsorship Seller, I wanted to share the candid feedback from the other side of the table.    Spending most of my career on the property side of the business, although my first job was a sponsorship consultant at RBC Royal Bank (fancy word for Intern), this was of particular interest and couldn’t wait to get the feedback from the industry.    Buyers (marketers) are typically polite for the most part, but are sometimes evasive about why exactly they are declining your proposal, refusing to meet or outright just ignoring you… perhaps there’s some great insight.   Here you go:

Things that frustrate me as a Sponsorship Buyer

Top Ten Things that frustrate me as a Sponsorship BUYER

  1. Lack of research and understanding – assuming you know my business.
  2. Relying on just our website for company information, sponsorship strategy etc.
  3. Showing up to the first meeting with a proposal
  4. Over promise, under deliver.
  5. The “Olympic Proposal” – gold, silver and bronze packages.
  6. Inappropriate valuation
  7. “Filler” – don’t fill the page with meaningless information or assets.
  8. Can’t take “no” for an answer…we aren’t at the bar.
  9. Quick sell – no early investment in building a relationship or disappearing once deal is done
  10. Hollow threats – your competitor is waiting in the weeds…

A few quotes from the industry:

“A sponsorship seller that does not spend time up front to understand my background – do some research at what else I have sponsored or done in  my past.  The tango is also a big personal commitment so get to understand me as a person.  That way you can be efficient with my time and build a good rapport.  I recently had someone try to sell me on (X)  – they just had to research that I was formerly with (a sponsor) and signed the (title deal of that property) to realize I already knew all that so don’t waste my time on what I already know” – Vice President Marketing

“I find it frustrating when a property agrees to terms and then tacitly makes you feel like you’ve robbed them!  If you don’t want to do the deal then don’t do the deal!” – Director, Marketing

“While the cost of many deals are based on what the market will bear, it is frustrating to receive proposals where the dollar ask is not justified or explained. Often it seems to be based on a ‘shoot for the stars and land on the moon’ approach but it’s annoying to have to do the dance just to get back to a reasonable number that we both know is fair. I know there is pressure to drive revenue but this approach can be a derailing experience… -Director of Marketing

“I had this one experience where my budget was yanked at the last minute and I couldn’t pursue the deal I was working on with a property…their response was so embarrassing – it was like a horrible breakup – “you lead me to believe this was happening, I’m shocked, I’ll have to speak to your superior about this”.. It made me never want to do business with them again.  And this industry is way too tight to make such a fatal mistake – word gets around.“ – Director, Sponsorship Strategy

“It’s incredibly frustrating when you deal with a sales agent who is all over you until the deal is signed and then disappear when it’s time to fulfill the contract“ – Director, Marketing Assets ”Agree totally that many deals are being shopped and I never would go into a deal because X or Y are looking at – I don’t give a (bleep) about that. It is either right for me or not. I won’t do a deal to just block a competitor out unless there is a strong business reason” -Vice President Marketing

In Part 3 of the Sponsorship Tango, we’ll talk Dance Steps …Dancing with the Sponsorship Stars, perhaps?   I know, kind of cheesy, but it makes a lot of sense…stay tuned…

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