The Sponsorship Industry Needs Disruption


With all due respect to Clayton Christensen, this is our take on ISC’s disruption of the sponsorship industry.

Historically, sponsors haven’t succeeded in leveraging their respective power in protecting their interests. There are a number of reasons for this, but mostly it’s because sponsors have always been viewed as replaceable.

As their trade association, the ISC works to harness the collective power of sponsors. This benefits both sponsors, but also the sponsorship industry.  Collaborating through the ISC, sponsors can successfully protect and promote their interests. This increases the value of sponsorships which is great for sponsors and the industry. To achieve success in doing so, we need to disrupt.

The sponsorship industry – and sports in particular – has enjoyed great success. When that happens, people can be hesitant to change. This mindset of status quo can be a dangerous thing – just ask Steve Sasson and Eastman Kodak. There are, however, many issues facing the industry that negatively affect sponsors. To address this, the ISC analyzes the industry and is acts to disrupt for positive change.

This is the reason the ISC is focused on CTE, FFIA reform, athlete doping, reform of Qatar’s kafala migrant worker program and others. We see current and future risk and work to avoid and mitigate it. To date, the industry has largely ignored these issues even while individual sponsors have voiced concerns. These issues also underline the importance of ISC’s commitment to integrating sustainability and sponsorship. There is risk of brand reputation when a corporation’s sustainability initiatives are in conflict with issues created by sponsorships. If you’re not convinced, pay attention to the executive who takes responsibility for their company’s sustainability program and its success – it’s the CEO.

The ISC is honored to be supported by some of the world’s top corporations in thought-leadership and sustainability including AT&T, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Bridgestone Firestone, The Coca-Cola Company, Coca-Cola Enterprises, FirstRand, MasterCard, McDonald’s, Panasonic, Visa, among others. We are a facilitator of innovation and progress, and we ask you to join and support us in this valuable work.

If we don’t disrupt ourselves as sponsors and an industry, we will be disrupted.

The Sponsorship Industry Needs Disruption

ISC Launching Sus10ability, Platform to Lead and Promote Sustainability With Sponsorship

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The International Sponsor Council is the world trade organization for corporate sponsors. In support of its mission to promote and protect the collective interests of sponsors, the ISC is launching Sus10ability, a platform to promote corporate sustainability programming and to integrate it with sponsorship.

“The ISC works to raise efficiency for the sponsors,” stated ISC CEO and Chief Sustainability Engineer, Terry Cecil. “Corporations are leaders in sustainability. It’s just no one knows it. Sponsorship can change that for sponsors. For most major corporations, there’s a disconnect between sustainability and sponsorship. This has to change. Sustainability and sponsorship could result in increased budgets for sustainability and making rock stars out of sustainability executives. Of course, they need to engage for that to happen.”

Cecil added, “We need to educate the sponsorship industry and fans on sustainability. Internally we consistency on that definition. Sustainability is a formula and too often we are seeing positioning that ignores the economic and social legs. The environmental leg is key and a great opportunity for sponsorship activation, it just doesn’t work alone. As an example, many major issues for the sports industry affecting sponsors involve the social leg. The ISC is focusing on these issues. A few examples include Athlete Doping, CTE, FIFA reform, security and safety, Qatar’s kafala system, among others.

“Brand reputations are at severe risk if sponsorship isn’t aligned with sustainability commitments. In the case of CTE, it’s real Even the NFL admits to it although a few involved in sport are denying it. Any company that has safety as a core value to its brand is in conflict when sponsoring a sport with high incidence of CTE if they aren’t active in supporting both a solution and education on the dangers. “

“There are huge positives to the integration between sustainability and sponsorship including raising industry efficiency of sponsorship, positioning sponsors as relevant and valuable through their respective sustainability programs and ensuring that sponsorship is a positive impact on the world. There may not be a higher calling for our industry and bigger opportunity for sponsors.”

ISC Launching Sus10ability, Platform to Lead and Promote Sustainability With Sponsorship

Alibaba Group Signs Eight-Year Deal with FIFA

Congratulations to FIFA and Alibaba Group on their partnership which will highlight Alibaba E-Auto. This is great news for FIFA and the world of football especially its growth in China. As the world’s largest online and mobile commerce company, Alibaba Group will bring a new perspective and support to the marketing impact of FIFA as well as have a valuable opportunity to work with other FIFA partners in taking a critical lead in the organization’s reform. Job well done by FIFA’s Thierry Weil and team.

Alibaba Group Signs Eight-Year Deal with FIFA

ISC Focusing on Safety Concerns for Industry

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The International Sponsor Council is focusing on safety issues facing the sponsorship industry. There are concerns regarding the preparedness of the industry and its ability to manage incidents targeting events. The ISC has been in discussions with stakeholders and will be holding meetings to increase collaboration and the sharing of information between parties around the world in order to stave off threats of all magnitude.

“This is an issue of paramount importance,” stated Terry Cecil, CEO & Chief Sustainability Officer of the ISC. “We must broaden and facilitate working relationships between sponsors and the industry so that we may most importantly protect lives and at the very least avoid disruption to the world’s events. It’s a major focus for the ISC under its commitment to sustainability and its social leg which includes health and safety. This affects not only fans, but employees, clients, vendors and others. Sponsors want to provide leadership on this issue and work together to provide the greatest possible protection”.

The ISC has partnered with some of the world’s leading security forces including former SEAL Team Six members and is providing services to sponsors as well as other stakeholders involved in the sponsorship industry.

ISC Focusing on Safety Concerns for Industry