Our Annual Flash Sponsorship Newsletter
The last year was full of surprises, and mostly good ones at that. As we take a breath and reflect on 2022, we are filled with excitement for the future, because the sponsorship industry is back, changing in positive ways, and we’re living that change every day.
Looking back, it is important to remember where we have come from and what we have overcome. Perhaps the Comrades Marathon’s campaign for the 2022 race “The Return – Sishay’ Ibuya” could not have been more apt. Nobody wants to talk about covid anymore, but for an industry so catastrophically affected by it, we really should be patting each other on the back for coming out the other side and celebrating the achievement. Faced with other challenges this year – from floods to gastro and the mass event congestion – we made it work, we kept smiles on our faces, and we remembered to look out for each other along the way.
We’ve chosen 10 FlashPoints from 2022 to share with you, and our wish is that you can take something out of them that helps guide you on your way to greatness in 2023.
1.Pay it forward. Do the right thing even when nobody is looking. Give and you shall receive. The cliches are endless, but in the end, there is a truth to be found in the sentiment. Investing your time and knowledge with little expectation of an instant reward can and will pay dividends down the road. We talk about the transference of values as one of the desired outcomes of successful sponsorship, and this is the living embodiment of just that.
2. Stability and consistency. These are two key components to ensuring commercial success. Say what you do and do what you say. In order to stage world class events, no short cuts can be taken in making these happen. This manner of professionalism is reflected in the caliber of deal concluded and partner secured.
3. Change is constant. And things have changed. For all the learnings from covid and the realization that we can exist online and in the digital space, there is no substitute for live and in person experiences. And it’s not to say assumptions from before are wrong, but they are evolving in interesting new ways, which make for compelling stories and insights. Let’s not rely on pre-covid facts and figures but rather view 2022 as the lens through which to get a sense of what’s to come.
4. Never too old to learn. No matter how many times you’ve staged an event, there will always be challenges after a protracted break. The wheels might be rusty and take a while to get turning again, but turn they do, and the show will go on. Things will take time to get back to normal, and sometimes this can be painful. But that’s when we learn & grow. And we are already seeing the return to pre-covid numbers / results / audiences etc.
5. Virtual fatigue. Something we’ve seen in many places, but surprisingly also in the online learning space. As much as people like the flexibility and independence to learn at your own pace and in your own space, we also really miss connections and engaging with each other, and are opting for activities IRL instead. Although digital and virtual are still relevant in many ways, seek out creative solutions to bring people together too.
6. Relationships. Our industry is small and getting smaller. Never has it been more important to build, maintain & develop relationships. Knowing and understanding what’s important to someone, means you can connect the dots when an opportunity crosses your desk, and add real value to the conversation. These “bolt out of the blue” moments will never form the basis of a business plan, will always be unplanned, but with persistency and application you can turn a good year into a great one! (Thanks Jim!)
7. Maintain relevance. Don’t rely on previous success. Just because something worked before, met objectives and delivered on expectations, doesn’t mean that it will continue to do so. Audiences evolve, strategies change, team members move on, and budgets aren’t what they used to be. Stay relevant, ask why more often, evolve constantly, and stay connected with your team to adapt quickly.
8. Momentum. It’s not always about the big ones. The small briefs, the little projects, the VIK deals all add up and add value. It’s true, the little deals take the same amount of effort as the big ones, but until that one big one lands, it’s the little ones that keep the wheels turning. Don’t neglect them when things get busy. They are the ones that could carry you through tough times.
9. Curiosity. Stay curious, ask questions, build your business case, pressure test your assumptions, determine how return on investment will be delivered. This will give you the best chance of success. Sometimes you don’t have the luxury of an endless runway but need to “build or repair the car whilst it is moving”. And the results can be startling.
10. The great exodus. We are losing people from our industry to opportunities abroad at a rapid rate, and need to ensure we keep those that are here motivated with access to opportunities to learn, grow and test themselves. We have some incredible talent in our beautiful country and it’s up to the industry leaders to nurture them, challenge them and maintain the highest levels of excellence that are on par with global sponsorships.
And a little Flash-ism to wrap things up – create your opportunities. Make things happen. Don’t sit back and wait. Be out there doing great things, sharing ideas, getting involved and here’s the kicker – LISTEN. You never know what small side comment could turn out to be a game changing idea or new sponsorship deal. You don’t always have to do the talking.
With that in mind, we have taken our own advice to make things happen: welcome Tex Riba to the Flash team. “The Scouser” as he is affectionately known is a veteran in the sponsorship industry and brings a wealth of knowledge and relationships to the table, as well as energy & attitude, things that we love. Tex will add immense value to Flash and our offering.
2022 has been a blast, we’ve done a lot and learnt a lot, and we are looking forward to some well earned rest and relaxation. And more than a little curious to see where 2023 takes us, but that’s for another year. We have incredible clients who we absolutely love working with, thank you, we can’t wait to continue on this incredible journey with you.