Jamie Macken interviews Jackie Fast
22 min listen
In this podcast, I spoke with Jackie Fast, author of Pinpoint: How Challenging the Norm Is the Only Route to Success in Selling Sponsorship.
Jackie is a former Board Director of the European Sponsorship Association and single-handedly built Slingshot Sponsorship to an international team of 30 people servicing some of the world’s most high-profile clients. She sold the business in 2016. More recently, Jackie starred in BBC’s The Apprentice.
We spoke about getting into the sponsorship industry, how a strategic understanding of marketing is key to making sponsorship work, not just a passion for sport or music. We spoke about some of the challenges facing out industry, how many FTSE 100 companies are missing opportunities and how the combination of influencers and sponsorship rights is exciting and full of potential.
Jackie spoke about starting out and the lessons she learned by not appreciating how competitive it was to get into the industry. If you really want to work in the industry, sending a CV is not enough. You need to hunt down the key decision makers, find out where they are speaking, which conferences they are attending and go and meet them. She also warned that the starting point is a passion for marketing communications, not sport or music etc.
Jackie highlighted how the European Sponsorship Association’s Diploma is a vital tool for building the skills and knowledge needed to get into the industry.
Challenges facing our industry
Jackie highlighted time and desire as the two main obstacles to making sponsorship work brilliantly. She discussed how it is easy to roll out your purchase [rights and assets], but to make sponsorship work you need to go above and beyond to make the assets really work.
Most of the FTSE 100 brands use sponsorship because they know it works. However, there are still too many of them not realising its full potential, a lack of enthusiasm for what is possible.
Jackie spoke about the mistake of using media metrics to convince decision makers, doing so just puts you up against another channel/medium. Sponsorship campaigns can do so much more, grow employee engagement, product launches, recruitment, sales etc. So to convince stakeholders of sponsorships value, you must weave in sponsorship across all areas of the business to show how it works.
Jackie highlighted the potential for niche brands to reach niche audiences via sponsorship – getting closer to die-hard fans.
She also spoke of the exciting opportunities of working with influencers and rights holders at the same time and how important it is to have excellent marketing expertise to deliver results.