The Millennium kids may not know when or where one (or two) events will be most years until the season is underway but they know what they want in sponsorship cheese and we're not talking wedges or sampler packs either--strictly wheels o' cheese and the larger the better.
But first, where are my manners? Here's hoping you all enjoyed a happy thanksgiving with family and friends. I went to visit my Dad for the holiday and came down with a mysterious strain of the turkey flu which is apparently not contagious and can only be caught when consuming excessive amounts of, who woulda guessed, turkey. (The big dumb bird for those who weren't sure.) By now y'all ought to know my middle name is wretched excess--it used to be danger but I had it legally changed--so I was a prime if unwitting candidate. But never again. I have sworn off turkey for the next 364 days.
So during the holiday what should come over the transom than the 2010 Millennium sponsorship kit and its quite an impressive package. VFTD covered the 09 version last year here and here. (These are actually only related posts. I couldn't find the ones I was looking for. Again. And, you know this story all too well, I got bored and quit looking.) Given that this year's pack is chocked full of Millennium goodness I'm going to try and limit my comments to some of the highlights. Up first is a list of Millennium firsts and highlights that bears a resemblance to reality. That's followed by an incomplete schedule for 2010 though it does include dates and countries this year so that's a plus. Next comes the justification for asking for wheels of cheese as the MS proudly announces the massive media blitz that will accompany this season's events and how that translates into buckets full of exposure for prospective sponsors. And just so you're clear on how massive that media blitz will be the MS goes into great detail on 2009's media blitz. And the list is impressive. Except it's unclear to me how some of the numbers correspond to promotion of sponsors and others are highly questionable. For example there's the generic reach numbers of the TV network but no actual viewer numbers from last season. There's a list of magazines MS reporting or ads appeared in for a total number of MS-related pages in print (and discounting the mags no longer printing and the always inflated claims mags make over readership) the question remains how does that translate into a benefit to the sponsor(s)? Same for the list of other media coverage as well as the exclusive list of internet media outlets covering the Millennium. (And apparently one of us--me or the MS--doesn't understand the meaning of "exclusive.") Then there's the MS website claims. 90K hits a day. Every day of the year. 2.7 million a month and approx. 32.5 million a year. Of course a hit isn't a unique visitor or a page view or a click through on a sponsor's link even so even if the claim is legit (and it isn't) what does it really amount to? But everyone expects the MS (or anybody else) to put the happiest possible face on stuff like this so it isn't a big deal even if it isn't clear what real benefit it provides league sponsors.
The fun news though is the new sponsorship options; the title sponsor or the kryptonite sponsor--take that Superman. (No, I have no idea why they called it a kryptonite sponsorship.) For a mere 150K Euros one lucky sponsor can make this year's series the One Lucky Sponsor Millennium Series in all official publicity. In addition the title sponsor gets all the benefits of the kryptonite sponsorship (100K) including prop colors and logos on the central field and lots of assorted banners, logos and links as well as priority placement in the vendor village blah blah blah. (The kryptonite sponsorship is only available if there is no title sponsor.) My logo is bigger than yours. Now this is actually an interesting idea and pretty common in real sports. How it will translate to the MS is something else again.
Another interesting change is a trader's ghetto for the non-sponsor and one time vendor. The catch is that the trader's products for sale must be covered by a seasonal sponsor and also be vetted by that sponsor in order to have permission to pay through the nose for a spot in the ghetto. For example, Bob's Gun Emporium can only sell markers made by a seasonal gun sponsor and only if the sponsor/maker agrees.
And there is a laundry list of other sponsor options as well. Everything from Arena sponsorship (5K) to SPL field sponsor (15K), field sponsor (7.5K), ref sponsor (7.5K plus 100 goggles, lenses, pants and 200 custom jerseys), field tents, VIP, press, scoreboard/scoresheet, gun rack, field drum and trash can sponsors. All of these are predicated on TV coverage that may or may not actually ever appear on a Eurosport broadcast. My favorites are field tents and trash cans. For 5K you are allowed to provide 200 trash cans to the MS for each event. (Probably like the GIMilsim trash cans at Campaign.) When you think garbage think (your logo here.) And for 5K you get to provide the MS with 50 3 meter square tents that become the property of the MS. But best of all "No charge will be incurred for setting up the tent, cleaning and maintenance and no shipping charges between the events of 2010. No hidden charges and no extra charges will be billed to “Your Company.”
The Millennium may not know where their events will be held yet but they know what they want industry to pay to be a part of them. Even more interesting will be how much sponsors will actually end up paying in order to be an MS sponsor. Finally somebody has figured out how to make TV pay real dividends.