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Have You Considered an ... Open Relationship?

August 29, 2008  

Before you sign up for exclusive sponsorships, Rohit Bhargava suggests taking a hard look at what you really get out of the deal. Because if your sponsorship makes it difficult for people to get what they really want, the entire thing could blow up in your face.

Take the case of the the Olympic Games in Beijing, where Bhargava reports on shocked and dismayed visitors who had planned to use American Express or MasterCard at official venues. Though ad campaigns have long proclaimed Visa's official sponsorship, he argues most people still don't understand it's the only card they can use.

Discovering their mistaken belief at the ticket window won't endear Visa to potential—but greatly inconvenienced—customers.

"The end result is lots of negative experiences and consumer anger against Visa, including several people I spoke to who even said they would NOT get a new Visa card because of this tactic," notes Bhargava. "The incremental sales and revenue for Visa cards at the Games may be good, but the word of mouth generated for Visa at the world's largest sporting event is nearly all negative."

The Po!nt: "Ultimately, there are some brands who [sic] can realize the benefit of exclusivity and some that cannot," says Bhargava. "The trick is understanding where your brand fits before you drop a big chunk of your marketing budget into an exclusive sponsorship that won't deliver the way you expect."

Source: Influential Marketing Blog. Click here for the complete post.

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