Nov 16, 2009 at 05:12 PM
written by Gail Bower

Goin' Rogue

Late last week, on my way to a 9 a.m. meeting, I encountered two rogue sponsorship programs, one by Clear and one by Chase.

Clear, a brand I'd never heard of but which evidently really likes green, had taken over a park, locally known as Love Park, that Philadelphians both love and hate. We love it because it's pretty, has a great fountain, but we're wary because of its past – the City cracked down on the homeless people who called the park home and on the skateboarders who found infinite challenge here. Consequently the park has a more steady stream of visitors, but there are way better, more popular parks. Photobucket

Nearby, Chase Bank representatives on segues and foot were chasing down morning commuters, handing out Zagat restaurant information.

The sudden barrage of information (and color) by these two companies struck me as odd. Were Clear and Chase so turned off by other Philadelphia sponsorship opportunities that they believed they had to create their own programs? What exactly could their strategies be? Who are they trying to reach with this haphazard approach? What are the demographics of the people on the corners and in the park where these companies set up? How could this approach be smarter than partnering with an event or nonprofit or sports/cultural/music venue that clearly understands its audiences?

I'm sure Clear had a good turn out for their activities. But I'm not clear that they're going to get the kind of results they could get by working with the right partner. As for Chase, I'm unclear.

What do you think?

Gail Bower is President of Bower & Co. Consulting LLC, a firm that assists nonprofit organizations and event/festival producers with dramatically raising their visibility, revenue, and impact. Gail Bower is a professional consultant, writer, and speaker, with nearly 25 years of experience managing some of the country’s most important events, festivals, and sponsorships and implementing marketing programs for clients. Her blog is and you can see all of Gail's past posts here. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily represent those of the publisher, SponsorPitch, LLC.