The Blatant Misuse of Sponsorships

Over the weekend, I was catching up on some TV time (I was a bit “fatigued” from the late night the night before) and decided to watch the finals of the Sony Ericcson (Tennis) Open.

At the end of the match (won by Nikolay Davydenko over Rafael Nadal in a bit of an upset) they awarded the trophies to the finalists.  Just as the do in any other awards ceremony for a tennis or golf tournament, they let the head dude of the presenting sponsor speak for a minute and congratulate the participants.  Being that Sony was the sponsor, the head dude in this case was from Japan and gave a speech that absolutely no one could understand and added zero value to the ceremony or brand.

Why would Sony even bother with this?  I totally get that it’s nice to make the people who write the check feel important and the CEO needs his ego fed every once in a while.  But as the sponsor, you need to know what parts of the sponsorship package to take and which parts to respectfully decline. Same with banners.  Just because the event lets you plaster the venue with banners doesn’t mean you need to.

To me, it’s pretty simple: if the component of the sponsorship package doesn’t meet your objectives, don’t do it.  Save the CEO ego feeding for the golf course.