While we don’t want to overstate this issue, it is a sad realization that both event promoters and brands need to take new security threats into account. Promoters and local police forces have been quick to make adjustments in the wake of recent events. We saw that at South by Southwest, where police cars blocked street access near pedestrian areas, and in Europe, where giant (branded) sandbags were set up to prevent vehicles from entering crowded areas.
Sponsorship is the Swiss knife of marketing communication. Great sponsorship programs usually leverage multiple activation channels, which requires broad knowledge. While communication professionals tend to be experts in one channel, sponsorship experts must think across multiple platforms. And yet sponsorship is seldom taught in school, or only in passing, and a lot of people working in the industry landed there largely by accident and had to learn things on the spot.
Just a few years ago, standard, and often rigid, sponsorship structures set most sponsors on the same level. But as brands get better at crafting their own narrative, generic platforms with properties are no longer working to create goodwill. Brands need to find a clear positioning for their sponsorship portfolio as well as within each property.