Bare with me for a moment.
I am riding the bus, bump into someone I know. We start talking. The second thing they say is, what about the Australian cricket team and how devastating it is to see what is going on. I actually thought at the time that this guy was being pulled into a deep depression, all because of a bit of sticky tape.
A real crisis we have on our hands!!
A crisis that extended to their sponsors. You can picture the management team sitting around the boardroom table, some phone in, some video conferencing in, and having the very serious conversation about whether they should ‘declare’ or not.
And as we know, some of the sponsors have declared: (thank you Business Insider for this information):
Magellan Financial Group – Ended a 3-year deal. Reportedly worth $20million.
Asics – Ended individual contracts with players involved. “The decisions and actions taken by David Warner and Cameron Bancroft are not something that Asics tolerates and are contrary to the values the company stands for,” quoted by Asics spokesperson.
LG Australia – Ended its contract with Warner.
Sanitarium – Ended its contract with Smith the Weet-Bix ambassador.
The companies that are pulling out have based their decision on a misalignment with their core values. Riding the high moral ground. Demonstrating to the Australian public that they are upstanding citizens, and this is why you should continue to either work with them or buy their products. A statement in a statement!
But what about the high moral ground of forgiveness. Or perspective. Of standing by someone who has made a miss-judgement. It wasn’t fatal. The game and people’s lives will go on. The question well could be, would the Australian Cricket Team want these type of partners in their fold, despite the copious amount of dollars they spent? Wouldn’t they want to align with partners/sponsors that would stand by them even when times do get a little sticky!! A core Australian value, so easily swept under the carpet.
So would you sponsor the Australian Cricket Team?
I would be there in a flash. And this is why.
Firstly, once you detach from the negativity around the spectacle of ball tampering, then there are so many compelling reasons:
- There is a lot of media opportunity to leverage. It’s top of mind for a lot of Australians.
- The sponsorship pricing will be significantly reduced. More opportunity for negotiation. Terms, added value, get out of jail free card.. you name it, throw it out there.
- Your entry into becoming a sponsorship partner – will be memorable for years and years to come. The Australian Cricket team will be forever grateful that you jumped on board when everyone else was running a mile. The Australian Cricket fans will admire a business and brand that stands strongly behind the game of cricket – demonstrating resilience.
- If you work the spin appropriately and genuinely, you could well achieve a healthy return on investment before the years out.
- Your message to stakeholders is about the game. “We’ve pulled up stumps, but now it’s time to get back out there.”
- To further build on your partnership/sponsorship, you could leverage your business and brand values of honesty, dedication, commitment, resilience, forgiveness to the Australian Cricket Team.
- A great opportunity to further build on your business culture, as you are sending a message to the people that work in your business… yes, we all make mistakes, but it’s how we come back, from our mistakes, that makes all the difference.
First things first
Do your numbers. Will it give you a return on Investment? Does it align with your business objectives? Will the partnership/sponsorship drive value into your business and how will it? What is the general sentiment of going into this sponsorship within our business?