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

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.

Where in the consumer journey does your activity sit, and is it fulfilling its purpose?

Where in the consumer journey does your activity sit, and is it fulfilling its purpose?

However, without the 100-tonne boat - commandeered by celebrities like Usain Bolt and Shanina Shaik - doing the heavy lifting at the top of the consumer funnel and driving brand awareness, consideration and preference, the conversion rate of that plucky banner would ultimately diminish.

Therein lies the star power of sponsorship, and how having a clear and quantifiable ROO strategy and measuring those outcomes accordingly is the real key.

Yes, sponsorship can drive marketing outcomes all the way down the consumer conversion funnel, just look at the amount of Hyundai’s sold each year by the Carlton Football Club, but those specific sales assets need to be identified, created, activated and measured accordingly.

 

Feature Image via The Australian