Far from being experts on the coronavirus, we would urge all to listen to community health officials, take proper precautions and act in the public interest. However, as sponsorship community members, we want to share insights on our industry in this time of crisis.
The sponsorship industry will be seriously affected by event cancellations and postponements. In the short term, the impact will be massive. While the duration of this disruption is unknown, we’re confident the wave will pass, and sponsored events will resume.
We strongly believe that the brands, properties and their agencies need to focus on today’s challenge, the quiet period that will follow, and how we come out the other side.
Focusing on the ever-changing challenges of today, we offer the following perspective concerning steps taken by properties and brands in past crises.
- Establish the internal and external communication strategy for the next 30-90 days. The event cancellation/postponement is the first communication, not the last.
- Create a clear line of communication between brand and properties on sponsorship status.
- If time allows, properties should partner with their sponsors to help with any cancellation/postponement messaging and promote unified messaging. This is especially important in the case of a title sponsor, whose name is synonymous with the event.
- Keep the line of communications open with support agencies as well. When events are postponed, the natural immediate concern centers on customers and fans. However, it is important to keep all the members of your sponsorship family informed as to the latest developments.
As the industry moves forward, we will continue to provide insights from past crises to help all of us make the best use of this challenging period in time and come out prepared for what’s next.