Some industries struggle more than others when the economy takes a hit. When the goverment gives bailouts to large companies, the marketing budget comes under question by every taxpayer in the country.
When times are good, the marketing department is just second guessed by other employees, the board, the shareholders, the customers, the bloggers… but when a company receives bailout money, it sometimes seems like every taxpayer who ever paid sales tax, income tax, property tax, etc feels entitled to second guess every move a company makes, especially with the marketing budget. That can cause more stress to a branding program than a 5 car pile up at a NASCAR race.
One of my readers emailed me last week:
…sports sponsorships are getting frowned on, especially if you are a bank or auto manufacturer. We constantly repositioning ourselves to overcome objections.
So how can marketers justify sports sponsorships when under such scrutiny?
NASCAR has been hit pretty hard lately. A recent article in Forbes: NASCAR’s Trouble at the Tracks points to other problems as well, but it’s the negative attitudes toward sports sponsorships that really has marketers on their toes.
Good communication helps, but it’s difficult (if not impossible) to educate a taxpayer and convince them of the ROI of a sports sponsorship over other means of marketing.
So what can restart the engines of Sports Sponsorships?
What key measurement or tracking report can provide the justification for spending? When the taxpayer becomes stakeholder, how does a marketer defend (and should they?) their budget choices to the masses? Is there a whole marketing campaign needed to protect marketing campaigns?
I’m interested in your opinion.
Photos courtesy of Mobile Marketing Solutions.