Every two years we (the National Sports Forum) conduct and present one of the most extensive surveys within the sponsorship industry -- The NSF Corporate & Industry Survey in conjunction with the Sports Business school at Ohio University. Under the direction of OU's Sports Management program's Executive Director, Jim Kahler – we interview fifty (50) of the industry's biggest sports sponsors and advertisers seeking their insights, advice and opinions.
As you might imagine, we get all kinds of input from our "Nifty 50" – some of it pretty involved, but most of it pretty basic.
Right now Jim 'n company are in the process of conducting our Nifty 50 interviews for the 2010 NSF Corporate & Industry Survey – which will be presented at the 2010 National Sports Forum coming up in Baltimore next February.
And as I think of the great input Jim's going to be getting in the months to come, I can't help but recall one of the best pieces of advice we received in putting together the last Corporate & Industry Survey. One of our "interview-ees" – a gentleman who works for one of the largest sports sponsors worldwide, said this: "You know what I wish sponsorship sales people would do? I wish, every now and then, they'd pick up the phone and call me! Not when they wanted something … not when they were trying to sell me something … but every now and then when they had no other agenda other than to say "hello".
Wow. That's pretty telling, don't you think? And you know what…? I'm guilty of that. I'm guilty of being caught up in my own little world and only reaching out to my sponsors when I wanted something.
One of the things that makes sponsorship so unique is that it's a "relationship" business. It's about connecting the dots -- connecting companies with your clients. But here we all-too-often get so busy that we forget to connect up with our sponsors themselves! So take a lesson from one of our "Nifty 50" … don't do that. After all -- it takes so little. Carve five minutes out of your day today, pick up the phone and give one of your sponsors a ring. Talk about their new ad campaign that you saw on TV, or the new product launch they're undertaking … or this weekend's big football game … or their kids entering Elementary School … just connect.
Call when you don't need anything – and then … when you do, you'll probably see a big difference in your relationship. Friends like doing business with friends. So be a friend!
Ron Seaver, president of Seaver Marketing Group and The National Sports Forum, and author of "Brought to you By... - The Ultimate Sponsorship Sales System" has over twenty-five years of experience in the field of marketing and sponsorship. View all of Ron's posts here
photo credit via flickr:rbrwr