Which brands should get into sport sponsorship?

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This is a post from PRISM’s Social Army – regular briefings on topics aligned to our business or close to our hearts. Today’s entry is from Oli Bridge from PRISM London

Which brands are right for sports sponsorship… Can I say every brand?! As a sports marketeer I believe the values sport inspires and promotes, particularly the health benefits, mean you should be able to find synergy with virtually any brand that’s trying to make a positive contribution.

However, I’ve chosen two below in a quick snapshot to serve as examples of sectors that are not typically active in the sport sponsorship space but should be.

Uber
We live in a world where the largest hotel company doesn’t own a single property and the largest taxi company doesn’t own a fleet of cars. Companies like Airbnb and Uber are prime examples of digital services that are taking over the world from the palm of a user’s hand.

Uber’s reach is incredibly wide. It has the logistical power to activate on a large scale and has an incredibly valuable customer database to engage with. Additionally, the fact that the vast majority of its staff are not full-time employees means Uber relies on part-time drivers to remain active and motivated. Access to sport through sponsorship is one of the best ways to incentivise staff.

Football and F1 are where Uber should play. The sponsorship of a club would allow Uber to leverage player appearances and tickets at the core of cool activation ideas. With Formula One, while Uber doesn’t have a performance aspect, the awareness and activations that could be rolled out allow for massive creativity.

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Uber has already created bespoke, one-off activations with events such as the Super Bowl and with Chelsea FC. Currently, they have a business partnership with Paris St. Germain’s stadium, however it’s a fully committed sponsorship that could provide them with an always-on marketing solution.

Sweaty Betty
The other sector yet to fully embrace its potential in sports sponsorship is female-focussed activewear. The female sports market has never seen more opportunity. The global drive in female empowerment is everywhere and a hugely powerful movement.

Yes, Nike and Adidas are heavily involved in sport and own the market share in female activewear, however their attention is overwhelmingly focussed on the male aspect of their sponsorship properties. There is a room for a challenger brand to get involved and reap the benefits. Who could that be?

What about Sweaty Betty – a renowned brand in the female activewear space and the go-to for a broad demographic of women? Currently Sweaty Betty is the official sponsor of Breast Cancer Care’s sporting events but doesn’t have any ties with professional sport.

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Its mantra speaks so proudly and inspiringly about keeping fit and active that a partnership on some level with a running property such as the Great Run Series or the Women’s Super League would give them huge scope for growing its customer-base.

Using ambassadors, the appeal and credibility of the brand within the exercise space would strengthen. Professional sportswomen only spend a relatively short amount of their career in elite match kit. The rest of the time they are likely to be training, exercising or relaxing in the type of activewear products that Sweaty Betty’s business is founded on.

 

Oli Bridge 

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Three things to remember for a successful content shoot

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This is a post from PRISM’s Social Army – regular briefings on topics aligned to our business or close to our hearts. Today’s entry is from Ivan Castro, Creative Lead at the Ford Asia-Pacific Content Factory.

More and more agencies are being asked by their clients to create content to fill social media channels. Depending on client objectives, content in late 2016 is done in many formats, applying many techniques, and using different styles. Leaving format and creative approach for another day, here are 3 things to remember when shooting ‘Capital C Content’.

1. Platform
Platforms dictate what the content needs to look like and how the viewer experiences the work. Before any shoot, it’s important to define a clear platform strategy. Ask the relevant questions: Is this square, 16:9 horizontal or vertical? Are we using sound to tell the story, or do we need captions for autoplay-without-sound platforms like Instagram and Facebook? Does the platform have infrastructure for backend captions – especially useful if the content will be used in multiple markets – or will you need to add hard subtitles to each output? Does it need to be shot in HD? What formats can it be? If a gif, will it loop on the platform? Are there file-size limitations?

The list goes on and on. The takeaway: think about exactly where and how your content will be used before picking up a camera.

2. Light.
Every professional content creator has their own approach to creative and planning, but there is one thing that is important across all styles and formats: lighting.

Start by asking: Will I control the light or not?

If you are in a studio or in a set with a large crew, professional teams will handle lighting set up – so all you need to do is work closely with them to make sure they are executing your creative vision accurately.

If you’re not shooting in a controlled environment, you need to stack the deck in your favor in any way you can. Can you use natural light? Bright sun is bad, but dark days are difficult to work with as well. The ideal – for most shoots, though not all – is a cloudy, bright day. But there are key moments worth taking advantage of in any condition, including golden hour before sunset and blue hour at sunrise, that offer the best chance of great natural light.

You have to use a lighting rig? Make sure you have enough. Always bring some back-up lighting kit as most locations don’t have enough natural light or will have the bane of office workers worldwide: horrible fluorescent lights. Also key is consistency throughout – avoid mixing yellow lights with white LEDs, for example.

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3. Expect the unexpected.
Branded content will always have to find its place amongst conversations already happening – not to mention cat videos – and will go head-to-head against the everyday, immediately relatable content from your friends, colleagues and family members. When shooting, keep your eyes open and your creativity sharp; sometimes people might be more interested in your experience than the finished product. Real user-generated content is always good for the brand, and being on set is a great chance to capture epic cool content that can be used later. Take Gimbal Ninja, for example – some would argue that the behind the scenes cut of this bona fide gimal ninja at work outshone the Nike commercial it produced.

 Ivan Castro 

If you’d like to contribute a post to PRISM’s social channels, email ntaylor@prismteam.com 

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How to interview a promising recruit

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This is a post from PRISM’s Social Army – regular briefings on topics aligned to our business or close to our hearts. Today’s entry is from PRISM’s Global HR Director, Jackie Madincea.  

I often get asked what our standard interview methods are for potential PRISMatics and I never can answer that question. The truth is that every interview is unique and a good interview should seem more like a good conversation and not like a grilling.

Obviously there is key information you want to ask based upon a CV but after 20 years of doing this, I now know it is much more important to look for what is not on the CV versus what is, and you only discover this from having a good conversation. I can’t count the number of times I have seen the “perfect” CV, only to discover that everything about that person is on one sheet of paper and that is it. It is a much more interesting interview to find the candidate who has an average CV but comes into an interview prepared, knowledgeable, multi-dimensional  and full of enthusiasm.

At PRISM, we rarely hire anyone without at least two interviews. It is a time-consuming process but it is amazing how often interviewers disagree on candidates. I consider that a good thing as everyone has a different dynamic with each candidate and the more consensus you have on a particular person, the better chance that he or she is going to be a great hire.

Our methods of interviewing are always varied and evolving. For more senior candidates, they are often presented with a current PRISM business challenge and tasked to address the challenge and formally present to members of the leadership team. We have had many candidates stumble at this hurdle but it gives us a perspective on how well they understand the challenges we face and how well they can present their thoughts to their peers.

But don’t think that we make it easy for the younger members of our team. Our last class of Young Lions, PRISM’s internship programme, had to endure a recruitment day that included a group exercise and presentation with fellow candidates and a “speed interview” where they had five-minute interviews with a team of PRISM members. The best just rose to the top by the end of the day making our selection so much easier.

Culture-fit will always be important at PRISM. However, it is not about finding 50 people that are all alike. It is about identifying that unique skill that someone can bring to the team that no one else in our current team has, or identifying young talent that can grow quickly with the team. I often compare it to putting a piece of puzzle into a jigsaw. Not only do you fill a blank space but it makes all of the other pieces around it stronger and united and the picture becomes clearer!

As Global HR Director, ultimately that is the most important thing I can do for the company.

Jackie Madincea 

 

If you’d like to contribute a post to PRISM’s social channels, email ntaylor@prismteam.com 

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Six ways to ensure your stories get media traction

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This is a post from PRISM’s Social Army – regular briefings on topics aligned to our business or close to our hearts. Today’s entry is from PRISM Santa Monica’s Tom Foy. 

You could be the best media strategist, the most creative thinker or have a ground-breaking PR story on your hands, but if your media pitching skills fall flat then your hard work goes out of the window when you’re faced with an empty coverage book and a client demanding answers.

In today’s super-competitive multi-media environment, getting cut-through is tougher than ever before and, while social media success relies on great content, media relations requires a human touch. I have come across many PR people over the years who can plan and execute an idea brilliantly, but then fail at the final hurdle when it comes to pitching the story out effectively and ultimately getting traction. At PRISM we take a lot of pride in our ability to pitch the right stories at the right time to generate major media coverage for our clients. Here are six guiding principles to ensure your PR pitch wins the right coverage:

1) Assess the story: Before you even think about speaking to the media, take an honest, objective view of your proposed story and ask yourself the tough questions: Is this newsworthy? Is it even interesting? Journalists get hundreds of press releases a day – most of them generic non-stories about product launches – how does yours differ and is there a genuine news hook? If the answer is not a resounding YES then you need to rethink your angle. If you don’t believe your PR hype then there is no way a journalist will.

2) Do your homework: The next most important task it to ensure you’re speaking to the right people at the right media outlets. Nothing irritates journalists more than PR people calling them pitching stories that are irrelevant to them. Follow journalists on Twitter to know what they’re interested in and do your research to keep up to date on what the publication is doing. Calling a weekly magazine in December to pitch a Christmas story might sound like a great idea, until you discover they’ve recently gone monthly and are already working on the March issue…

3) Time to perfection: Understand the processes journalists work to and pick a time you know they are going to be the most receptive. In the case of daily newspapers, pitch early in the morning before they go into editorial planning meetings so your story is in the mix for consideration. Conversely, pitching to a weekly title on press day as they are going to print will result in your story being brushed to the side – that’s if they pick up at all.

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4) Pitch brilliantly: A phone call is always the best initial approach, but keep it short, sharp and to the point. If you’re cold calling you have about 20 seconds to get your story across – don’t waste that time going into detailed product info or fluffy PR messages – just get to the angle that is going to resonate most. At all times be friendly and courteous, and follow it up with a concise email that summarizes the story and any accompanying materials.

5) Negotiate: There may not be any money changing hands, but effective media relations is also a negotiation. If the outlet is interested in your story then push for more in the article – branded imagery, another namecheck, distribution across their social media channels – anything that is going to increase your brand’s visibility. This approach is particularly relevant when you have an asset (e.g. a talent interview or some kind of special access to something) that you can use as leverage. Remember not to push too hard though, and be realistic on the amount of branding possible – this is editorial, after all.

6) Follow up: If they ran your story, always follow up to thank them for the coverage. If they didn’t run the story then drop them a short note to acknowledge it and thank them for their consideration. Sooner or later you will be coming back to them with something else, so leave the doors open for next time – they could be the key to your next coverage win.

Tom Foy

 

If you’d like to contribute a post to PRISM’s social channels, email ntaylor@prismteam.com 

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My hero, sporting or otherwise…

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This is a post from PRISM’s Social Army – regular short briefings on topics aligned to our business or close to our hearts. Today’s entry is from PRISM London’s Mohssine Sabek. 

An iconic player who I enjoyed watching growing up… Hmmm, got to be Brazilian superstar Roberto Carlos. The quality he produced for club and national team was insane.

I remember getting goosebumps watching Roberto back in 1997 as his free-kick against France curved so sharply that it left goalkeeper Fabian Barthez standing still and looking puzzled.

It’s a goal that’s made it into the history books of football and will never be forgotten. To sum him up in one word, he’s a MASTER.

Mohssine Sabek

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Humour, as a tool in communication

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This is a post from PRISM’s Social Army – regular short briefings on topics aligned to our business or close to our hearts. Today’s entry is from PRISM Amsterdam’s Jelle Hofman. 

“Soccer is simple, but it is difficult to play simple.” We all remember Johan Cruyff as a legend in soccer not only on, but also off the field. His humorous quotes made him stand out from the crowd but always contained a nugget of truth.

Research has revealed that a Dutch citizen is shown 377 communication messages from brands every day. So how is it possible to stand out and keep your message at the top of a consumer’s mind? Many brands of course use humour.

Humour not only opens up new ways to deliver your brand’s message but, if you do it right and genuinely make people laugh, that’s something they’ll share with their friends either in person, stood around the water cooler, or digitally, via their timelines.

But it’s got to be more than just funny. You’ve also got to deliver your brand’s message, otherwise you’ll end up with an entertaining, “funny” brand that doesn’t sell anything or meet its business objectives. Remember Louis van Gaal’s time as coach of Manchester United? Was he a good coach or a funny one?

So, be original and inject your content and communications with humour where that can help deliver a brand’s message – but those messages and the brand’s values have to be reflected in the humour.

Check out the bench in the image above. It’s a simple, funny, impactful piece of visual humour from Nike, but it perfectly captures the brand’s core proposition – get up, get active, train, no excuses… just do it. That’s humour used perfectly to amplify the brand.

Jelle Hofman

If you’d like to contribute a post to PRISM’s social channels, email ntaylor@prismteam.com 

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I would like to open a PRISM office in…

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This is a post from PRISM’s Social Army – regular short briefings on topics aligned to our business or close to our hearts. Today’s entry is from PRISM London’s Laura Garriga 

PRISM has offices from Shanghai to Santa Monica, but if I was handed the chance to open a new office anywhere, I’d pick New York, the land of opportunity.

Manhattan, the small island with a big reputation, is home to the headquarters of the NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB and MLS, a perfect example why this city still is and, in my opinion, always will be a trend setter in the sport industry.

After living in New York for five months in the summer of 2010, I fell in love with its competitive nature and opportunity-seeking environment. The city reminds you of sports everywhere you look, whether it be Madison Square Garden or a basketball court in Queens, people are constantly reminded that New Yorkers love sports and will continue to do so in the future.

With names like the New York Giants, Nets, Yankees, Mets, Knicks, Rangers and Liberty, I would love to see PRISM take a nice bite of this big apple and tap into the endless New York sport spirit.

Laura Garriga

If you’d like to contribute a post to PRISM’s social channels, email ntaylor@prismteam.com 

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PRISM LinkedIn: http://linkd.in/1kdjyrg
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PR, Sports Marketing

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