January 23, 2013
Sponsors pull out - Promoters cry for more help
Davina Henry, Staff Reporter
More support needed from corporate sponsors! That is the cry of some promoters who say they are struggling to make ends meets for their events.
The promoters lament that sponsors have been pulling out of their events and they are worried that stage shows are dying because of this.
According to promoter GT Taylor, some sponsors are pulling out of events because some brand managers do not have their ear to the ground.
"Some young brand managers do not know the events. They are sponsoring other events that do not have the credibility of some of the more established events. My event has been running for years and has been incident free, and it attracts thousands of people from overseas, and sponsors are saying they can't be a part of my event. Out of 27 yearly events, only four are still standing and are struggling to make it," he told THE STAR.
He went on to lament that without main sponsors, he has to dip into his own pocket to keep the show going.
"When you think of the production costs to put on an event and then you have to go in pocket to fund it, it is hard for the promoter to stand up to the production costs, and when you step up the admission costs you lose patrons," he said.
Promoter of Sting, Isaiah Laing, told THE STAR that he faces a similar fate with his event as it relates to sponsorship.
"Sponsors are what make this type of show happen. The magnitude of the production of Sting is not an easy feat. Some are saying that the economy is not growing fast enough so they have no funds. Some sponsors who have been faithful to us for many years were not on board with us last year. Others said that they spent their money on the Jamaica 50 London activities. I really hope they come back on board this year because we really need them," he said.
Sponsors, on the other hand, say that while they understand the struggles of the promoters, they have to be selective in the types of events that they are willing to sponsor.
According to marketing consultant Tara Playfair-Scott, the main reason sponsors pull out of events is that it does not benefit their bottom line.
"Some stage shows, artistes, productions and the turnout of patrons are unpredictable. It's a very risky investment which could be better spent and used more effectively to the consumers that you are targeting.
"Ten years ago you used to have three to four key stage shows but that is no longer the case. Stage shows are happening much more frequently with the same artistes each time. Sponsors have to be very strategic in a time when money is not readily available as it was," she said.
Carla Hollingsworth, brand manager of Pepsi, shared a similar sentiment. She stated that shows must align with and maintain the good values of the brand.
"We would like to sponsor as many events as possible but the reality is that you have to choose wisely and see where your target market is. Some of these events are unpredictable, and for an international brand like Pepsi, you have to be careful and ensure that the event upholds the high standards, high quality of the brand while providing wholesome entertainment," she said
Smirnoff Brand Manager Marsha Lumley told THE STAR that the company receives hundreds of sponsorship proposals, but that sponsorship is just one of the avenues used by the company to increase consumers.
"Smirnoff has about five events that we consistently sponsor. We have a finite budget so sometimes there is not enough money to sponsor other events. Sponsorship is just one of the things we do to increase consumers; we also spend money to advertise," she said.
Lumley also says there are several factors that are considered when sponsoring an event.
"We have been sponsoring an event like Osmosis for the past seven years, so we would not choose a new event over Osmosis that we have invested in for so many years. We do take into consideration how much money we have to spend and allocate to these events, and we also have to consider how the event will connect with our brand," she said.