Monday, May 05, 2008

Event branding

The open-air ballpark that’s home to the San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball has had a few names. The park opened in 2000 as Pacific Bell Park, which was changed to SBC Park, which is now AT&T Park. The Mumm 30 class is now called the M 30, and rumors are that it could change again. Then there is the name of the America’s Cup challenger series, the Louis Vuitton Cup. What will that be called now with the departure of the fashionable luggage company.

College students the world over learn about branding pretty early on in their marketing studies, but the world of sponsorship must be adding some chapters to the book. How about the website factor, and the use domain names that incorporate the sponsor’s name? When the sponsor moves on, and the site must be renamed, gone are all the search rankings and links that had been built up? The M 30 class can still be found at Google “Louis Vuitton Cup” and you will get 209,000 listings. Adios, amigo!

The value of sponsorship is another discussion. This one is about branding, and a recent event to join the fray is the Chesapeake Bay Yacht Racing Association's (CBYRA) Junior High Point Regatta Series, a long-time annual summer racing tradition, which has entered the realm of "Cup" racing. Venerable Swiss watch maker CORUM, has partnered with CBYRA, offering a minimum five year sponsorship commitment that includes a perpetual trophy and multiple college scholarships for the Champions in the Laser Radial and 420’s classes, skipper and crew; total valued equaling $2000.00 for each sailor.

For a minimum of five years, The CORUM Cup will be talked about by sailors throughout the Chesapeake. Maybe longer. However, the odds are good that when these junior sailors grow up and talk about the good old day, about the events they did, they will remember the CORUM Cup, and then have no idea what they call it now. While there is no reason to suspect that the new partnership between CORUM and the CBYRA is anything less than a win-win for all concerned, it does make you wonder where tradition fits in.

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At 8:11 PM, Blogger Jos said...

Delta Lloyd Regatta
formerly known as
Breitling Regatta
formerly known as
Holland Regatta
formerly known as
Spa Regatta
formerly known as

At 9:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

just because an event changes sponsorship doesn't mean the tradition/validity of the event changes... and just because they signed a 5 year contract doesn't mean they wont renew it.

At 5:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happend to see part of a stock car race the other day.
Without Winston Cup and Bush Series, I had no idea what was going on.

At 12:55 PM, Anonymous zacheos said...

I was recently hired to create a custom brand for a city-wide community visioning workshop. The idea was to create a custom event brand and use effective marketing strategies to create a sense of “newness” and community buy-in and trust in the event. I have written at length about this experience and branding events to highlight the importance of branding in general and to demonstrate the connection between branding a product and a branding an event.


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