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IEG's Take on Emerging Sponsorship Categories

InspirationIEG released its list of emerging sponsorship categories, which destinations might find useful as they seek out nontraditional revenue sources:

  • Healthcare - nearly every sector of the healthcare industry is putting more focus on direct-to consumer marketing as changes in the industry push more decision-makiong responsibilities to customers.
  • "Cosmoceuticals" - companies that market prescription and over-the-counter skin treatments use sponsorship to educate consumers, sample product and build their brands. Strivectin - a top search term on mall web sites a few years ago - had purchased the title of an NHRA drag race team just recently.
  • Urgent care centers - Extended hour clinics are ramping up sponsorship to strengthen their positioning as lower-cost alternatives to hospital emergency rooms and demonstrate their commitment to local communities.
  • Online gambling - These online sites are trying to introduce the masses to the concept of gambling online. They may seek to work with restaurants, for example, for the purpose of "education".
  • Flash drive manufacturers - These smallish devices, capable of storing 256 megabytes to gigabytes are finding themselves in everything from key fobs to fashion statements.
  • Private jet services - William Chipps thought this service is becoming a status symbol among professional athletes, celebrities and executives that don't want to be subjected to the post 9/11 hassles of flying.
  • Internet telephone service - I think this category is broader than IEG realizes. VOIP is especially useful for chain retail, since phone numbers can easily be relocated anywhere Internet is available.
  • Microprocessor manufacturers - While the battle in the two-company microprocessor marketplace is heating up as Intel and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) seek to demonstrate how their new products improve the computing experience, I think a nascent option in RFID chips - specifically Micron - may be a dark horse.
  • Flavored milk - An overall decline in milk consumption combined with pressure on soft drink companies for healthier lifestyle products has resulted in a bevy of new products. Chocolate milk is being billed as the "ultimate fitness drink", for example.
  • Department stores - something I've blogged frequently, mergers and acquisitions are driving management's need to find new ways to build personal connections with shoppers.
  • Digital music companies - as the number of format types proliferate, it becomes even more important for digital music providers like Napster or RealNetworks to demonstrate how their core proposition works for a mass audience.
  • Prepaid wireless companies - companies like Boost Mobile are offering unique propositions, using the mobile phone as a passport for VIP experiences. They are pioneering a pretty unique community service proposition: if a Boost sub works for four hours on a community project (creating artwork for a neighborhood, doing renovation or otherwise making a difference on pre-approved tasks), they'll be able to score tickets that would be otherwise unavailable. They seem to have had luck in major markets like NYC, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Washington DC, Atlanta, and Minnesota -- it remains to be seen what other companies might be able to do.
  • Labor unions - some unions have turned to sponsorship for help in talking to consumers about the benefits of joining. As unions struggle to find their identity in an election year, this sector is likely to heat up even more.

(Thanks to William Chipps for giving me permission to liberally republish his findings in this blog.)

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