TicketManager | Single-Product Vs. Multi-Brand Sponsorships: The Rights Holder Perspective

When approaching partnership prospects, properties often have a choice to make on whether to pitch their opportunity to an individual product or brand or go for a “family plan” approach and attempt to involve multiple brands or lines of business as part of a sponsorship.

Which is the smarter play will depend on myriad factors, but outside of those elements that are specific to any given situation, rights holders should consider the following, as well:

Multi-Brand

The knee-jerk response to the question of whether to go for a single brand sponsor or tap into numerous sources within a company is to seek as much as you can from as many potential places as possible. There is reason behind that approach, but the thought process shouldn’t stop there.

Pros: It’s logical to assume that more participants means the ability to tap into multiple budgets and also carries the possibility of including additional categories, which can increase the total dollar value of the deal.

Having more than one unit of a company involved can also increase the amount of activation the company will put behind the sponsorship. While some promotional programs may be shared among a brand family, as Procter & Gamble does with many of its Olympic activations, in many cases individual brands will strike out on their own to maximize impact, as with the just-released Paris Games ad spots for Tide from P&G featuring Noah Lyles and Carl Lewis.

Cons: More players can come with more complications. Multiple lines of business participating means more stakeholders that need to be in the loop and kept happy. Even though they are under the same corporate umbrella, that doesn’t mean those decision-makers will all agree on direction and execution, with property liaisons often finding themselves in the role of peacemaker helping those colleagues reach consensus.

More brands can also mean more objectives that need to be achieved and multiple performance evaluation plans to address, all of which raises the stakes on the partnership to deliver return on investment.

Additionally, properties may need to ratchet up their level of flexibility, as corporate partners may want to shuffle brands in and out of certain assets.

Single-Product

Pros: Flip the cons for multi-brand partnerships and you make the case for individual brand involvement, primarily the ease and efficiency of working with one set of decision-makers and objectives, as well as execution and measurement plans.

An additional benefit is that a brand on its own does not have to compete for the attention of the target audience, enhancing its ability to forge a connection and achieve its desired results in a less cluttered environment.

Cons: Beyond the likelihood that the property will receive fewer dollars and less activation support, there is the considerable issue of having all of its eggs in one basket. A change in strategy or leadership can mean a quick end to a deal without the insulation of other businesses wanting to maintain the relationship.

While both options clearly have their advantages and disadvantages, either can lead to success for both sponsor and property if the brand marketer understands the fundamentals of sponsorship and has the necessary resources in place to execute properly. Determining whether those conditions exist is the much more important question that sponsorship sellers should answer.