Last year, 5 years after building up her company Slingshot Sponsorship in true “bedroom to boardroom” style, as she puts it, Jackie Fast sold the business to a Nasdaq listed Venture Capital firm based out of Singapore.
The transition from company founder to employee has been a challenging one, Jackie reflects, but she has used the transition period to maximum effect. A self-confessed workaholic, Jackie saw it as the “perfect opportunity” to write the book that has been formulating in her mind ever since she realised, at the start of her sponsorship journey, that the only way to get ahead in this business was to turn accepted thinking on its head, challenge sponsorship stereotypes, and ditch the short term, painting by numbers approach that causes so many attempts to do sponsorship effectively to fail.
The result? The Amazon bestseller,
“Pinpoint – How Challenging The Norm Is The Only Route To Success In Selling Sponsorship”
The book is required reading for anybody who wants to use sponsorship effectively – from event planners looking for a perfect partner, to major corporates seeking involvement in the best up and coming projects, to seasoned sponsorship veterans looking to reinvigorate their best efforts.
From humble beginnings, Jackie has used the 6 strategies, or “simple things” she outlines in her book to create campaigns for world-renowned global brands across almost every industry sector. Her work has taken her all over the world – she finds herself on business trips to far flung locations nearly every week. Hence, she finds herself in the perfect position to explain why the world of sponsorship has fallen behind the curve, how the industry can be re-contextualised, the mistakes which every sponsorship practitioner makes, and why, when used effectively, sponsorship remains the single most powerful and penetrative form of advertising available to any business, entrepreneur, event or agency.
Haggerston Times is exclusively serialising extracts from Jackie’s book, which has already taken the industry by storm. An Amazon bestseller in the category of Sales & Marketing, the book can be purchased by following this link. In the first extract, Jackie talks about her early years in the sponsorship business, what inspired her to write “Pinpoint”, and why you should read the book. In the second, Jackie looks at new paradigms that are challenging the industry.
Jackie Fast writes:
The success story of how I launched and built a global sponsorship agency is the embodiment of one of my favourite maxims. It comes from Irish playwright Samuel Beckett. The modern version of the adage goes like this:
“Try, fail, try again, fail a little less, try again, fail a little less, try again, succeed.”
That’s how my career in sponsorship began, by making every mistake in the book, as well as many that weren’t even in the book, until I figured out a better way—a way that worked. In those difficult years of struggle, I learned why some sponsorship pitches fail, and why others succeed. I figured out the six key elements that are essential to being successful in sponsorship sales. In this book, I’m sharing what I’ve learned over ten years in sponsorship, so you don’t have to go through what I went through, and what thousands of our clients have gone through.
There are six key strategies, or lessons, that I want you to take away and then implement. You can’t do just one or two of them; you have to understand and employ all six.
If you do, the rewards will be worth it.
For reasons I will explain, I believe sponsorship is the future of business. Sponsorship is an essential element of any organisation’s marketing mix. Embrace it and watch profits rise and engagement soar. Ignore it at your own peril.
Do not mistake this book for a “how to do sponsorship” guide. It isn’t a how-to book at all. So, if you’re expecting a step-by-step, one-size-fits-all, paint-by-numbers road map showing you how to do sponsorship, then perhaps other books on the topic will serve you better.
But, if you want to really understand the bedrock principles of sponsorship success, you’ve come to the right place. The content is unlike that of any other book you’ve read on sponsorship. I won’t coddle you, the reader, because that’s a waste of your time. And mind. I’ll tell it to you straight.
I won’t pull punches. I won’t worry about offending your delicate sponsorship sensibilities. If you’re an experienced sponsorship professional, I will likely challenge your beliefs. You might even learn that you’ve been doing it wrong for all these years.
My goal is to inspire people at all levels—from veteran sponsorship teams to absolute beginners looking for their first-ever sponsor—to do sponsorship better. As they say, a rising tide lifts all boats. The more people who understand these six principles of sponsorship, the better off the entire industry will be.
I love sponsorship. It has given me so much. My greatest wish is to see it, and you, excel, expand, and prosper. It all starts with building a strong foundation. The six strategies you’re about to learn will provide a solid base for many years of success in sponsorship.
MARKETING AND ADVERTISING HAS CHANGED!
The world of marketing, branding, and advertising has changed dramatically in the past decade. New forms of communication using smartphones, mobile apps, cloud computing, and social media have disrupted the way consumers engage with brands. The traditional marketing methods that brands have used for decades to influence consumer buying decisions simply don’t work anymore. Television commercials, magazine ads, billboards, and traditional advertising campaigns have lost their effectiveness.
Similarly, the sponsorship industry is now facing external market pressures that are going to force the industry to change, whether it wants to or not. Brands paying big money for logo placement was once a standard practice, because it worked. But in the Information Age, those days are rapidly coming to an end. The entire sponsorship industry is entering a period of massive upheaval, and new rules apply.
Sponsorship is now much more complex. Today, sponsors evaluate return on investment (ROI) not just through financial return, but also through social shares, traffic,engagement, and a range of other metrics that didn’t exist twenty years ago. Some of the largest social platforms today didn’t exist even ten years ago. As of this writing, Snapchat is six years old. Instagram is barely seven.
If you work in sponsorship, you need to understand this new paradigm and learn to adapt. If you’ve never considered sponsorship as a marketing tool or as a revenue source for your organisation, this is the best time in history to start.