How to Thrive When Things Dive

Some people are thriving in this horrendous market for sponsorship deals. Others are scraping rock bottom. What are the winners doing right? Those who are thriving are helping their sponsors solve larger problems. Take, for example, the automotive category which has an immense sponsorship budget. Right now car companies need to re-stage their entire category. To do so, they need to step up production of hybrids and engines that run on alternative fuel. So then why is NASCAR, which relies on sponsors for 80% of their revenues, ignoring the green crisis and the plight of their most generous sponsors? Because they are hoping it will all blow over and the economy will be back to normal.

It will not. The shift underway is profound.

Now automotive sponsors are dropping out of NASCAR. They’re not happy. The good news is NASCAR’s loss is your gain. It leaves room for more modest deals. For all of you wondering how to reach out and make deals happen with car dealers, I advise you to take a page from Peter Bramante in Providence, Rhode Island. Peter struck a deal with Scott VW to sponsor a new event, the Indie Arts Festival. There were three staging areas for vehicles, on-site test drives and a custom promotion around a facial hair contest held in Burnside Park named for the furry General Burnside the namesake for “side burns.” Winners did a victory lap in VW convertibles. Scott VW told Peter they’d be back as a sponsor, having sold three vehicles as a direct result of the deal. They’re happy.