Jun 22, 2009 at 09:59 PM
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Sponsorship Communications 101

Today SBJ/SBD reports that golf agents are seeing "cautious optimism" that corporate skepticism towards golf sponsorships has waned. The New York Times didn't sound too optimistic last week when they reported a tepid appetite for the U.S. Open's $230k tents.

Turns out they might both be right. Darren Rovell sat down with crisis management consultant Gene Grabowski, who offers a slightly different take than either the NY Times or SBD. Grabowksi sees sponsors doing a much better job of adapting their communications to justify sponsorships both internally and externally. Perhaps sponsors are spending smarter (and talking about it) or not spending at all (empty tents). Oh, and he also says if you can't measure the sponsorship quantitatively and qualitatively, you're going to have a tough time with that justification thingy.

One client Grabowski might soon be able to land is RBS. Royal Bank of Scotland, which was bailed out with £20bn of taxpayers' money last year, is taking heat for spending up to £300,000 on lavish corporate entertaining at Wimbledon, after accepting £20bn in bailout money last year. In response, RBS says they have cut hospitality by 90%.

What's that saying.. "perception is reality especially if you're a public, consumer finance company with your hand in the TARP jar." Is it fair? Maybe not. Does fairness change perception? No. Does perception affect business? You bet. Your take?