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Monday, May 17, 2010

Sponsorship Twist: Online Sponsors Need Face Time

To appear in two places at once is divine. So said Joseph Campbell, renowned expert on mythology. As the season opens for outdoor festivals, sponsors will seek divine deals that allow their brands to appear in two places at once--live and online. Research we completed back in Fall of 2009 on the best practices of sponsors in the digital culture revealed a common thread. Sponsors were twice as effective when they ran a promotion, contest or content-related social media engagement AND reinforced the message at retail or at live events. If it happens online but doesn't play out in people's lives, it's just more digital detritus.

Take aways:
For sponsors: Make sure your message exists in at least two places--one digital and one where customers can touch, feel, and experience it.

For sponsorship seekers: Interlace your assets--digital, live, influence. Find ways to use what happens online to promote your event, along with the sponsor's message, and figure out how you'll weave it into the live experience. And remember--your event has power. The partnership should influence and enhance the end user's experience. That's what makes 21st century sponsorship magical.

Last year, Pitchfork had peeps vote for the playlist they wanted to hear from bands. I can't remember who sponsored that promotion online. Telling, isn't it, that I have no sponsor recall. People participated, but there was no reference made to the voting anywhere at the event. Result: unmemorable.

Want to make your sponsorship magical? Two places, not one.

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