Sponsorship Monday

Welcome to Sponsorship Monday! This is a new feature of this blog. We created it to respond to the growing need among people in cultural industries to innovate within the discipline of sponsorship in ways that enrich the culture.

Even in a changed economy, the industries that create the culture can be competitive. In part, this is because more executives are waking up to the following realities:

1. Television is losing audience. TV is still a component of the marketing mix to drive awareness, but it is not the future. Many of the costly sports-marketing deals are tied to big television packages. While sports marketing will always speak to a certain kind of consumer, it’s no longer a universal slam dunk.

2. Innovation is the new mantra. When I spoke to a gathering of CEO’s at MIT last week, I was astonished at how open they were to the RenGen message. Why? Because they are seeing it play out in their own businesses. Lots of questions and second-step conversations resulted. I think this positions cultural marketing as the authentic, uncluttered landscape where innovation can occur.

3. Make meaning or die. Savvy marketing executives I talk with grasp that their sponsorship investments, along with their philanthropic activities can give their brands a point of view. This is critical. In a world that cries out for major renovation, being part of a larger solution, making a difference, and letting the consumer know where you stand on issues is priceless! What used to be a frill, is becoming an essential part of the mix.

We find this situation bracing, not daunting, and loaded with potential! That’s why the Culture Scouts and I now dedicate Mondays to the discussion of cultural marketing, arts and entertainment sponsorships, marketing innovations where companies and sponsees co-create, and cause marketing aimed at the cultural consumer.

Next week, we’ll take an inside look at what’s happening in Detroit, and how you can design a strategy that taps a surprising new approach from the big automakers.

As always, we welcome your comments and ideas.