Aug 27, 2009 at 07:28 PM
written by Michael Munson

Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen?

Today I just saw probably my “dozenth, plus” example of an erstwhile effort to put information about sponsorship opportunities online in the last decade. IEG, Sponsorwise, SponsorPitch, Sponsorium, SponsorDirect, Sponsorhaus, Magnetic Alliance, SponsorAnything, SponsorPark, Plumm, Groupable, Sponsorscape, Crosspartner, Sponsorfolio, and probably a few I can’t remember, have been joined by Sportdriven.

If one were to follow simple economic theory, the fact so many of these enterprises have sprung up, and the fact a few of them have even made a couple bucks, suggests there is a market for these types of Internet services. Could there be more market validation than the above list?

Sure, each of those names above took or are taking their own unique approaches, but the bottom line is, whether they have a corporate focus or a property focus, they all essentially are trying to serve the same function; making the process of getting effective relationships forged between properties and sponsors more efficient, and getting more value from sponsorship investments. This is without question a noble and worthwhile objective, but is the market space being choked off from realizing its potential because there are too many platforms and only so many resources to nurture them?

Think of it this way. We are trying to build a rocket ship. There are 12 organizations competing for resources to build a working vehicle. Each one of them can get a small amount of resources together, but because the competition is so fierce, not a single organization can get a ship built. As a result of the inability of one organization to corner enough resources to get one built, conventional wisdom says rocket ships can’t be built or otherwise won’t work. This is essentially right, as none has ever been given the opportunity to be built out to be a real solution.

Many of you have worked with or seen a number of these different platforms. On an individual basis they have some great pieces, but do they need to do more to be positioned to provide complete solutions? Can the technologies being developed and offered by sites like this become strategic solutions that are essential budget line items rather than tactical band-aids in discretionary budgets?

The existence of more than a dozen online services that serve the sponsorship market suggests there is value to be had. Unfortunately, none have achieved a critical mass to become the standard bearers in the industry. From your perspective, what services would be most valuable to you? What would you want to see offered?

Mike can be reached by email at and on Twitter at @mjmunson. View all of Mike's previous posts.