Sponsorship in times of crisis - challenges and opportunities

Sports, cultural and social life have come to a standstill. Nothing is happening. And the return to a (new) normality is still very uncertain, and no timetable can be estimated.

Sponsorship commitments are partnerships

Sponsorship is a marketing instrument with an agreed-upon service package that must be mutually respected. Rational business with clear rules. However, sponsorship also has a strong partnership component that has been somewhat underestimated in recent years but has once again become a top priority, especially now, in these very difficult times. In this context, partnership means taking an interest in the partner's situation, seeking joint solutions, being flexible and also considering unconventional approaches.

Virtually all organizers, associations, clubs and projects are currently unable to fulfil their obligations to their sponsors. Official regulations make it impossible to provide their services. Indeed, the sponsors also, in part, find themselves in a very difficult situation. Think, for example, of the SMEs that support regional projects and are now fighting for survival. What could solutions look like:

  • Reduction of the 2020 commitment to a base amount that is acceptable to both parties ("freeze status").

  • Extension of the contract period to show solidarity and facilitate continuity.

  • In current contract negotiations, consider an extension of one year in order to gain time and then use the new starting position after the "re-launch" for the strategic realignment.

  • A joint search for quid pro quo which could also be interesting for the sponsor during the "dead time" (e.g. the music world is very creative at the moment) and thus keep the sponsorship "alive."

  • Mutual development of new solutions for the future. Use of the currently free capacities for the development of new solutions and new agreements

Crises are always opportunities as well

One has to be creative now. New activities must be created; new services must be generated. I am convinced that, to a certain extent, it is always possible to create alternative services which offer added value to the sponsors. This includes online activities, new forms of involvement for the ambassadors (e.g. chats with the ambassadors, charity campaigns with ambassadors, fitness blogs and videos of athletes, etc.) It is important not to waste time and to be active rather than waiting and hoping. I would be very happy to support you in this process and share my experience and creativity with you.

Here are some ideas on how you can best manage your sponsorship partnerships in these difficult times. Dialogue, understanding, creativity and cooperation are now in demand.

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