With the economy in the toilet, I was happy to see that companies still want to sponsor events. In today’s Wall Street Journal there is an article about LG sponsoring tomorrows London New Years fireworks show.
The article discusses how LG has looked outside the box this past year when it comes to marketing. Now you might think that sponsoring a fireworks show might be a waste of money. How is the brand going to get the right exposure for a 10 minute show? While the fireworks show is not going to shoot the logo into the sky, they are going to start the show with the LG branded colors. All event signs leading to the event along with signs at the event will have the LG logo. There will be people giving out thousands of LG branded New Year’s hats. LG can also beam the logo on the side of a large building at the event. The event is going to be broadcasted live on the BBC. They have strict policies about advertisers on the network and will not mention LG. The agency for LG is going to tape the fireworks event and post it all over the web on January 1st. They are also going to send the footage to media outlets all over the world.
The London fireworks event has never had a sponsor before. They did not want to make the sponsorship into a “free for all”. They set rules that would keep the event image and reputation that was expected. LG wanted to sponsor a big event but did not want to look “crude or crass” as the article mentioned. This is a win-win for both groups. That is what sponsorship is all about. This is why I don’t like to call it sponsorship. I call it partnership. All of us in the event and entertainment business need to stop looking at sponsorship as “how much money can I get” and make it true business partnership. With corporate marketing budgets under the knife, we need to put together opportunities that make sense to a potential partner and makes sense for the event.