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DRIVING SPONSOR COLLABORATION THROUGH CSR, IS THIS THE FUTURE FOR PARTNERSHIPS?

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By Edward James, Front Row

SponsorshipCSR
 

When rights holders are seeking sponsors there is a crucial model that requires careful planning and consideration – exclusivity. We hear this word being banded around on a daily basis and it is something that rights holders have capitalised on to stretch their commercial rights as far as possible. The last thing Coca Cola would want, having paid the top tier of sponsorship for the Olympics is Pepsi sweeping in and stealing their thunder as a sponsor. This is the simplest form of exclusivity within sponsorship and rightly so, the entire commerciality of the sponsorship industry relies on it.

However, does this model have to exist when it comes to brands who want to tap into the CSR opportunities that rights holders can offer their partners? For most brands demonstrating that they are corporately sound, doing good and giving back as a sponsor is a must-have in their marketing plans. The normal model here is that a single sponsor takes exclusive rights to partner with the CSR offering of the rights holder in question, not if you’re Cricket South Africa.

Uniting all of its commercial sponsors, Cricket South Africa (CSA) offered a platform to join the team’s campaign for World Cancer Day, on the 12th February, held at the Johannesburg’s Wanderers Stadium. CSA and every single one of their sponsors joined the fight against cancer for the Pink One Day International against England.
As well as the team donning pink cricket kits, colouring the stadium itself pink and promoting pink merchandise, sponsors Momentum, Uber, Castle Lager and New Balance all activated this great cause through their commercial association and marketing channels.

New Balance produced the players pink kits for the day and ran promotions to win the exclusive new Pink Team kit for fans. The official beer, Castle Lager took over branding within the stadium, turning seats and beer holders pink as well as offering donations to the charity for every 6 caught in the crowd. Lastly sponsor Uber discounted all trips taken by fans to and from the stadium by 50% with the discount being donated to World Cancer Day.

This model creates the opportunity for brands to work together to extend the fan engagement beyond cricket and ticks the big social responsibility box. It also throws up an interesting example of how brands can collaborate to maximise their rights, rather than be restricted by exclusivity clauses. It will be instructive to see if this way of working can be stretched beyond CSR and lead to greater brand to brand co-operation on shared assets.

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Written by The Wolf
The Wolf

February 26th, 2016 at 6:10 pm