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Can a Monster Yacht Really Drive a Sponsorship Return?

Yes, the answer is yes!

I’m talking about the brilliantly outlandish brand play by G.H. Mumm at this week’s Emirates Melbourne Cup Birdcage.

Turning the premium dial to nine and with a little help from a 250-tonne crane, Managing Director of Pernod Ricard, Bryan Fry, and his team, literally lifted and shifted a luxury motor cruiser into their VIP Birdcage marquee.

I mean, what kind of French coastal themed party would it be without Waterford crystal and a lavish yacht as the crowning centrepiece? It’s like going to Wimbledon and getting just the strawberries sans cream.

G.H Mumm certainly made a splash at this years Emirates Melbourne Cup! Image via The Australian

As corporate Australia seems to be taking its foot off the pedal, with only 28 marquees in the ‘Cage this year, down from 53 in 2007, is there any method behind this, seemingly, luxury-fuelled madness?

The simple answer is, if done right, yes there is!

Too often marketers and commercial development managers can misinterpret, or be distracted, by the glitz of sponsorship and pigeonhole it as a silver bullet. If we are going to invest a sizeable chunk of change into a horse race, footy match, world cup, art exhibition or Olympic games it has to do EVERYTHING!

By everything, I mean sell product, drive PR, support CSR, grow fan affinity, strengthen brand loyalty, increase social engagement, acquire data and provide a unique and elevated B2B platform.

Like all good marketing mixes, however, each ingredient should be judged on how it plays its role, not if it does ‘everything’. Yes, the bigger investments like Mumm’s boat party in the birdcage will have a broader scope and be tasked with covering a lot more water than, say, a banner ad.

But that same Dan Murphy’s placed Mumm banner ad, targeted at Jenny who has a propensity to fill her online cart to the top with French bubbles, is a lot further down the consumer conversion funnel and its sole purpose is to capitalise on the brand’s equity and drive direct sales.

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5 Key Learnings from SXSW & MIT Sloan Sports Analytic Conference.

Having recently returned home from completing my first SXSW experience and attending the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, I’ve written this blog to share the key sports marketing and sponsorship insights garnered from a fortnight spent listening to, and meeting with, leading brands and rights holders in the States. Here we go…