Sponsorship Activation is too important to Trust to a Free Tool
June 30, 2023
5 min read
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In 2022, the NFL, NBA and MLB reported that their sponsorship portfolios combined are over $4.2B and global sponsorship spending is projected to eclipse $90 billion annually by 2027.
We have seen a “boon” in new sponsorship categories, rising media valuations, streaming opportunities, NIL and NFT opportunities which are ensuring that this number is likely to continue its meteoric rise in the future. With this newfound insurgence of cash comes greater complexity and expectations surrounding each sponsorship investment.
The current sponsorship management infrastructure
for most if not all institutions is not keeping up with demand. Most current sponsorship management processes are loosely tied together via antiquated systems and other technologies that don’t talk to each other or can’t be shared easily across a business enterprise.
These manually-driven systems produce partnerships that don’t work or deliver inferior results that don’t meet expectations. Personnel is buried and staffers are overburdened event-to-event. These systems consistently fail clients, partners and collaborators; oftentimes leading to underutilized marketing partnerships, wasted assets and company resources and ultimately abandonment of sponsorship portfolios altogether.
It is remarkable to hear prospective clients, agencies, brands and rights holders express frustration or even disappointment with the results of their sponsorship portfolio, but are so easily convinced that “next year” will finally be the year that their destiny will change.
These well-intentioned companies, it seems believe that either the sponsorship management status quo, or an existing software license can be leveraged for “FREE” to manage their existing portfolio will somehow change the result.
Companies choose to operate the very same way but are now operating under the auspices that they are doing something that is costing them nothing. Some sponsorship professionals have operated for so long with the status quo that they don’t realize how broken their systems are and are in denial that the grass can be greener – nirvana awaits.
A CRM system alone will not help you solve the problems
they are not designed or implemented well that way. There are companies who offer a free option to extend an existing license that could be leveraged to solve their existing sponsorship management issues.
Historically, these “FREE” add-ons were not designed to manage your sponsorship portfolio, they were not designed or implemented to integrate your partners and collaborators. They were structurally built to do something else for your company and historically have not seamlessly integrated these differing products well together.
Therefore, the buildout and standing up process of this “FREE” add-on takes months or years, if it happens at all. Another consideration is allowing their internal IT department to build something custom for them (again for “FREE” in theory) even though they have never done it nor do they have the full wherewithal or bandwidth to pull it off.
In both cases, we hear horror stories of poor project designs, fire drills, in-fighting amongst departments all the while quality employees get burnt out in the process or even worse, leave the company. These former employees end up taking with them the relationship equity, account management insights and institutional knowledge (all of which leaves with these individuals).
Rather than investing in a proven tool with a track record of enhancing the client and user experience, meeting or exceeding sponsorship expectations and building out a system that puts everyone on the same platform, these companies resort to the status quo. They maintain the mindset of turnover and burn-out being necessary evils. “Go figure it out or we’ll bring in someone else who is ready for the challenge.” This is all NOT FREE, just ask any HR professional or hiring manager.
Time is our most valuable resource
The reality in today’s business environment is that nothing is for FREE unless you opt not to put any value on your time. These free alternatives in fact can cost you money in lost productivity, dissatisfied employees, failed partnerships, and an unsustainable sponsorship model. In today’s day-and-age of results at your fingertips, proof of concept, ROI and ROO expectations, it seems risky to put your career on the line for a free tool that might never get implemented nor that keeps up with the ever-changing landscape of sponsorship.
This “disparate tools” problem is only going to get worse, and the “FREE” sponsorship or project management tools are not going to save you time, save your business and its reputation with partners and staff, nor will they deliver a tremendously favorable ROI.
Trak Software is designed to help marketing professionals manage their marketing partnership portfolio across their entire enterprise. It does not matter whether you are working for an agency (with brands or rights-holders as clients), a brand or a rights-holder. Trak Software introduces the concept of marketing automation to a current workflow and puts you, your clients and collaborators all on the same platform (and singing from the same sheet).
Best of all, Trak can be implemented quickly, while custom-configured to your business and costs pennies on the dollar of the very sponsorship portfolio that you are trying to protect and grow. Additionally, you will be hard-pressed to find another software service consistently scoring nearly a 10 out of 10 in “likelihood to recommend” by clients – in this space or otherwise (Trak Client Surveys 2021).
Digital transformation has firmly arrived in marketing and sponsorship. Trak makes portfolio management easy, allowing the work to progress even while you are on that vacation you finally scheduled. It can benefit those external parties and raise the bar to a whole new level, while making you the hero.