Jason Bitsoff comes on the podcast during a heavy hearted time for Feld Entertainment, with the announcement that the Ringling Brothers Circus will end after 146 years of traveling shows. Bitsoff discusses the nature of the decision to end the shows, but also the way that Feld framed the conversation for its sponsors and fans. Bitsoff talks about how partnerships with Feld Entertainment's many show lines, including Disney On Ice, work toward ensuring that activation is measured through data, as the company looks to bolster relationships with its sponsors through experiences. Bitsoff also presents his background as an adjunct sports management professor at Georgetown, and what future students need educated on most.
While Jeff Ferguson may be often thought of as a sponsorship guy, his third visit to the podcast is as much about digital live streaming acceptance as it is sponsor activation. Ferguson presents a compelling case for how he has helped Georgia Southern Athletics beat other media to market, using Facebook Live to enhance the digital sponsorship inventory available to Learfield, driving revenue in new ways. Ferguson talks about how social media live streaming pre-game shows don't have to be 2 hours, they can be 10 minutes, and still remain effective, as well as shareable content throughout the week. Twitter: @FergySports
Sports sponsorship activation has changed drastically over the last few years with the advent of digital components, as Michael Hurley sees it, there are few sponsors actually negotiating out what they see in a team's deck. Hurley discusses how some of the old ways of thinking, especially when it comes to product level sponsorships, are no longer relevant and must be done al la carte. Hurley talks about an issue of whether the buyers, some being older, understand new technology enough to invest in it as an advertising medium, as well as some of the demographic problems facing NASCAR down the road with young people. Twitter: @mhurley1
When it comes to corporate sponsorship activation, having a shorthand with sports franchises can be a key asset. Ben Shapiro relates back to his experience at selling The Golden State Warriors, first in the ticket sales office, before rising in the ranks to the executive vice president level overseeing corporate partnership revenue streams. Shapiro discusses where his company, PIVOT, can help organizations transition both the their corporate partnership activation as well as analytical measurements to increase overall ROI for the client. Shapiro talks about some of the projects that PIVOT has been involved in, primarily in the Bay Area. Twitter: @bmshapiro
The Fort Wayne Tin Caps are the essential honor to one of Indiana's greatest legacies: John Chapman, known as "Johnny Appleseed." Apart from the Disney version of Johnny Appleseed, The Tin Caps have incorporated various components of the Chapman's history into their ballpark and brand. David Lorenz, Tin Caps Vice President of Corporate Partnerships, discusses the ways in which The Tin Caps rebranded themselves to fit the family-fun model of Chapman's legend. Lorenz talks about selling B2B in the Fort Wayne area, as well as his ballpark tours, which has yielded further revenue generation benefits. Twitter: @DavidLorenzFWTC
The Tulsa Oilers are one of the ECHL teams owned by a single entity. Oilers Vice President of Corporate Partnerships discusses how that actually helps each of the teams, including his own, reap the rewards of an advantage when selling through the Southwest. Duffy talks about ways to create activation by building up not only a credible fanbase with the public, but also with the business community, reinforcing the passion for the minor league hockey product throughout the Tulsa area. Duffy describes his passion for B2B, as well as some of the experiences that he's had with other teams, including selling premium suites and seats in the NFL, NBA, and NHL prior to the Oilers.
The more that athletes are transforming themselves into brand sponsors, the more that they need to heed the advice of Vickie Saunders, who has consulted with several professional athletes looking to make a transition toward more sponsorship affiliations. Saunders talks about the current marketplace, especially when it comes to the defining category of social media as well as attention of the local public toward what an athlete endorses. Saunders shares her vision of how to further develop an athlete's brand identity, as well as how sponsors have to best protect themselves against the frailties of human nature when athletes endorsing products create national issues of public relations crisis. Twitter: @GetSponsorship
Eric Mastalir has witnessed the digital buying convergence of the public through both the lens of sports and general commerce. Mastalir, who formerly was the Chief Commercial Officer of the Seattle Seahawks and Sounders FC, also served as Vice President of Corporate Partnerships at the San Jose Sharks and Vice President of Strategic Alliances at the Sacramento Kings. Mastalir shares some of his thoughts on corporate sponsorship activation, as well as understanding both engagement from the public and the business development end of the relationship. Mastalir also talks about how Amazon's digital systems may help transform the process of sports sales. Twitter: @emastalir
Jeff Ferguson appeared on the Tao of Sports Podcast back in Ep. 189, and has returned to share his outlook on the last two years of sponsorship sales. This may be a drastic turning point in the industry, Ferguson suggests, as the budgets start to become more open toward sponsorship pitches. Ferguson shares his views on selling sponsorships, as well as understanding the other side of the table, along with their concerns. Ferguson talks about building up a sponsorship sales culture that works, long term, for an organization determined to succeed. Twitter: @FergySports
Blog Post "Creating A Successful Sponsorship Sales Culture"
Ishveen Anand has been working in the sports sponsorship space for over 7 years, helping develop engagement and impact for her clients. Founding her own company, OpenSponsorship, in the summer of 2014, Anand has taken her talents onto a global scale. Anand discusses some of the ways in which international sponsorship have affected sports revenue, as well as the hindrances of American teams to understand that with their regional restrictions developed prior to the Internet and Satellite television. Anand crafts some of the issues around messaging, as well as how each style of the sponsorship must create a significant reaction, including to those on Madison Avenue who may not fully comprehend why it is important to go outside the United States when spending marketing dollars. Twitter: @IshveenAnand