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New Revenue Opportunities for Malls

Cellphone_2As mall managers like Simon Property Group look to new revenue opportunities like billboards, sponsorship consultancy IEG used its 20 years of knowledge and editorial research to identify emerging sponsorship categories. Specialty leasing managers looking to make their numbers may want to keep these ideas in their arsenal:

  • Cruise Lines. Malls can collect email addresses at a specialty kiosk, and publish a semi-monthly custom newsletter that promotes fun experiences at selected destinations.  
  • Satellite Radio. Sirius (1.2 million subscribers) and XM (2.5 million subscribers) are battling for subscribers as they experience explosive growth. IEG editor Kevin Knapp notes Sirius is more active in sponsorships as it tries to catch up on XM's head start. Demonstrating satellite radio in the mall - in particular some of the smaller, more portable units - is a natural fit.
  • Photography. Forty-two percent of U.S. households own a digital camera. Kodak is on an ambitious effort to reclaim leadership. Mall sites like Whatzbuzzin could feature consumer-generated photographs of cool products that are sold at the mall.
  • Telecommunications. The VOIP war between AT&T and Vonage is about to be joined by even more competitors. Just as Time Warner was successful in using malls to demo its Road Runner cable modem product in markets like Tampa, use that experience to sell Vonage on a long-term lease.
  • Dot Coms. "The industry saw the demise of sponsorships on behalf of dot-coms a few years ago, but it is coming back," says Chipps. Active areas include online travel, dating services and social networking. As use of texting goes up, services in these areas will look to demonstrate SMS functionality.

Malls should also rethink about how they use their web sites, email and IVR systems as an adjunct to their in-mall signage to create even more saleable inventory.

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