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Pinstripe Answers: Is Sponsoring an Event a Good Investment?

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by Michael Premo, Senior Content Manager

Deciding to sponsor an event goes to the heart of building positive relationships. It shows that you’re supporting your community and want to make it a better place to live. But, what makes event sponsorship a good investment? How do you decide which events to sponsor and which to decline? Deciding what to sponsor can be tricky, so you’ll need to choose carefully.

 

Where Do I Start?

When considering event sponsorship, you need to understand how much time and money it’s going to take. The best way to begin is by answering these questions:

  • What are the levels of sponsorship?
  • How much paid or volunteer staff do I need?
  • Any travel, per diem, or food costs for staff?
  • Which marketing activities do I need to use to promote the event?
  • Will there be other expenses, such as design, tchotchkes and giveaways?

It’s clear that your costs for an event go beyond the sponsorship fee. All of these rolls into your event budget and define the total cost for the event.

 

You’ve Got the Budget, So What’s the Value?

You should find out if your sponsorship is exclusive or will your competition also be there. Not only is it helpful to know if they are going to be there, but you should also know how many other sponsors will be on the list. You don’t want your message to get lost in the crowd, therefore losing value in the end.

There are two ways that you can get the most value for your investment: marketing and mission. Let’s take a quick look at marketing first because this tends to be the most tangible and relevant, especially when you need to calculate a potential ROI.

Most of the time, the value of your sponsorship is explained by a quick sales pitch and brochure. If that’s the case, then it should give you details on the following:

  • Target market
  • Media exposure
  • Access to the audience

These should provide you with a snapshot of how much value you’ll be given through your particular level of sponsorship. So, you should have a good idea if it will help you achieve your marketing goals or not.

Events are a great way to make targeted interactions with the right people. Smaller, more intimate events build deeper connections. The same can be said for large-scale events, but these also build awareness. Any event that engages directly with your target market through multiple ways is a good investment. It fosters leads and builds your reputation within the market, separating you from the competition.

Events can also expand your reach to audiences that aren’t familiar with your brand. You may get the most value from your sponsorship through the ads that are placed in the newspaper, appear on billboards, or online. The bottom line is that you want to make sure that you wouldn’t be able to get the same exposure without the investment.

Pinstripe Sponsorship Example

We support our community in many ways, and sponsorship is one of them. For the second year, Pinstripe is sponsoring Kart 4 Kids, a non-profit organization established to raise money for Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. Now in its 9th year, the Pro-Am kart race was started in 2012 to honor the memory of IndyCar driver and St. Petersburg resident Dan Wheldon, who had tragically perished in a racing accident.

We love that the race supports Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital because Pinstripe, as an agency, has dedicated time and money to many causes that support children. Other child-related sponsorships include SailFuture, an innovative foster care program based in St. Petersburg,  volunteering for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Pinellas County, and support of other children’s organizations such as the YWCA, Great Explorations Children’s Museum, Guardian ad Litem Foundation, and Girls, Inc. Supporting these organizations aligns with our mission to help our community raise the next generations of St. Petersburg leaders.

Does It Fit Your Mission?

The mission and vision for the company guide everything we do. Every event that you sponsor should align with both of them. If it doesn’t or appears a bit odd, then your reputation may be at stake. Another thing to think about is if the event doesn’t entirely align with your mission, then it becomes business as usual. Your interactions with attendees may fall short of expectations. That’s not what you want. You need the positive energy that sponsoring an event can give you. That’s why you should definitely use your mission and vision for the company as a beacon when picking the perfect events to sponsor.

At Pinstripe, we’ve helped businesses prepare and present their best at local, regional and national events. We specialize in enhancing your brand identity and corporate character, so you can look professional and attract more attention. Our creative team consists of listeners and discoverers that have an innate ability to help you achieve your vision. Contact us to learn how we can help strengthen your reputation.

 

Kaitlyn Zeitler Wins 2019 Pinstripe Service Excellence Award

Kaitlyn Zeitler Pinstripe Excellence Award_featured

Ad 2 Tampa Bay’s immediate past president, Kaitlyn Zeitler, received the 2019 Pinstripe Service Excellence Award at the American Advertising Federation – Tampa Bay Chapter’s ADDY Awards held on February 20 at Tabella’s at Delaney Creek. Presented annually by past recipients, the award recognizes the young professional who demonstrates the most outstanding contributions to Ad 2 Tampa Bay, the advertising industry, and the community.

 

Zeitler is the immediate past-president of Ad 2 Tampa Bay, and during her tenure, the organization went through several significant changes including modernizing its events, earning a government proclamation for the 2nd Annual Tampa Bay Advertising Week, completing a redesign of the website, reforming relationships with local universities, and connecting Ad 2 with agencies and companies that they had not worked with in the past. Kaitlyn also worked diligently to return Ad 2 Tampa Bay to the spotlight by earning 3rd place in the 2019 National Ad 2 Public Service Competition where she led the team as Strategic and Creative Director in addition to her duties as president.

“Kaitlyn’s work with Ad 2 not only continued the chapter’s legacy, but elevated it nationally,” said Ginger Reichl, president of Pinstripe Marketing and former Ad 2 president. “I believe public service is the most important thing the organization does and is often a young professional’s first exposure to the pro bono work for which our industry is known. Her leadership may have earned recognition at the national competition, but more significantly, it provided their client with the advertising assistance they desperately need.”

Zeitler is a copywriter at Ashley Furniture.

About Ad 2 Tampa Bay
Ad 2 Tampa Bay, Inc., an affiliate of the American Advertising Federation, is a non-profit organization of advertising professionals under the age of 32. As a 16-time National Ad 2 Club of the Year, the organization takes pride in providing both members and the community with quality educational programs, national award-winning public service campaigns, professional interaction, member employment services, fun-filled social events and much more. For more information, please visit www.ad2tampabay.org.

Ginger Reichl Appointed National Student Advertising Competition Chair for the 4th District American Advertising Federation

Pinstripe Marketing is pleased to announce that its president, Ginger Reichl, has been appointed 2019-20 Chairperson of the National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) for the Fourth District American Advertising Federation.

Each year, a sponsor provides more than 2,000 college students with a real-world case study and an outline overviewing its product and their current advertising plan. Students must learn about their product and research the brand’s competition in order to develop a new campaign plan for the company. The college chapter members then develop a comprehensive plans book and an accompanying 20-minute presentation. This new campaign strategy is then “pitched” by each team to a line of judges. The judging panel is comprised of professionals from the communications industry. Students from AAF college chapters from Florida and the Caribbean will compete in April 2020 and the winner will go on to compete in a semi-final round where the top eight compete at ADMERICA, the AAF national conference in June.

Ginger was a member of Florida State University’s NSAC team during her senior year in 1993 and says it was one of the best experiences of her college career. She later served as Fourth District NSAC Chair for several years prior to taking a hiatus from board service.

“I have a big soft spot for advertising education and the NSAC,” said Reichl. “Working with the AAF, district leadership, and the team advisors is always rewarding, but seeing the student’s work always leaves me energized and inspired. These are the best of the best in the next generation of advertising professionals.”

The 2018 NSAC sponsor is Adobe.

Volunteering Builds New Skills

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For many years, Pinstripe has been committed to causes that are close to our hearts. Our own personal and professional growth can be tied directly to the many organizations that provide valuable services for our community. And, because of this, we have gained so much.

Leadership

Each opportunity with a nonprofit organization places us in a new environment. These organizations are short on resources, so you have to really know how to get the most from people you know, especially within your business network. Getting others involved in a nonprofit shows leadership and drive.

It’s through volunteering that you may get the opportunity to lead others, especially when there are limited opportunities in the office. Volunteering has taught us new leadership skills, such as:

  • Maximizing a limited amount of resources
  • Application of expertise in new ways
  • Using innovative ways to reach people
  • Leading a group of individuals with one common goal

More importantly, the relationships you build while volunteering can last a lifetime. These relationships will expand your personal and professional network, helping you to realize your goals.

Soft Skills

For recent graduates, soft skills have become more prized than technical knowledge. Business owners can teach them how to perform their job, but not how to interact well with others. If you have these skills, then practicing them is just as important as developing them. Volunteering is a good way to both learn and continue to practice soft skills.

What are soft skills? They include the following:

  • Communication skills
  • Time management
  • Problem-solving
  • Creativity
  • Being a good team player
  • Empathy and compassion

Developing these soft skills can have a big impact on your career. For millennials, this type of experience can boost credibility and give them the edge in a tight marketplace. Over time, volunteering teaches how perseverance and tenacity can overcome roadblocks and changes in the economic landscape.

Personal and Professional Growth

With all of the changes in technology and the way we do business, we need to be able to react swiftly and with confidence. We can vouch for the fact that volunteering helps us face new challenges without fear. Volunteering is as much about personal growth as it is about helping others. It allows us to engage with people in our community, listen to them and try to help. This gives us a deeper understanding of what the community needs and also experience in addressing those needs. Volunteering may start small, but who knows, over time this can change to even bigger roles. That’s up to you and how far you want to take it.

The Benefits of Serving on a Board of Directors

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Being on a board is a major commitment, but incredibly rewarding both personally and professionally. Working side by side with colleagues across many different disciplines is a great way to learn more about other companies as well as share your story. A board is a great place to meet new friends, new clients, learn new skills, and in general build strong, lasting relationships.

When deciding whether or not to join a board, take the time to do some research. Do an internet search in your area for organizations that fit your interests. For example, if you are a marketing professional (like us!), you will find the Society for Marketing Professional Services Tampa Bay (for which our senior project manager, Nikki Devereux, serves as Director of Communications), American Advertising Federation Tampa Bay, the American Marketing Association Tampa Bay, and more. If you are an artist, a builder, an educator, or just about anything, there are several associations throughout Pinellas and Hillsborough County, so do some research and see what you find for your industry.

When you’ve found a couple organizations, check out their event schedules and attend a few events. Prepare by looking through the list of presenters and find out if any of them are people you’d like to meet personally – then make a point to do so at the event. At the event, see if you like the content of the program, mingle with other attendees, and perhaps introduce yourself to a board member or two. This exercise is not just a good way to do some research on the organization and its programs, but a good way to practice networking and hopefully meet some good people.

After you’ve decided on an organization that matches your career and interests, become a member and start attending events on a regular basis. Get to know the board members and find out if you can sit in on the board meetings to see how they operate. Take a board member out to lunch to build a relationship with them and to learn more about the board. Eventually, a position will open up, and since you’ve been proactive and are already attending board meetings, you may be a favored candidate.

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Society for Marketing Professional Services board members.

Once you’re on the board, it starts getting interesting. You may have signed up for a position that you’ve never had in your career before, so you’ll be learning on the job. You will be working closely with the rest of the board members, and planning events and monthly board meetings can be fun. It gets even more interesting when you start forming committees to take on special projects. For example, last year the Society for Marketing Professional Services Tampa Bay worked on an image campaign to rebrand the Tampa Bay Chapter into something more unique and thematic. The campaign brought a lot of the members closer as they were working in smaller groups and often meeting a couple times a month to work on the project. It was a super creative project, so it was a lot of fun for all involved and the results were amazing. Everyone on the board was proud of the final campaign.

In addition to learning a new position, you will find yourself spending a lot more time with these new people at meetings and events, and thus you become something of a family. You work together, you play together, you learn together. It’s a great way to build those long lasting business relationships and sometimes even friendships! Either way, it’s good for business as your fellow board members will learn to trust you as they work alongside you, and if they need your company’s products or services, they will more than likely turn to you. It’s a win-win situation.