Noel Martyn Interviews Kim Skildum-Reid
24 min listen
In this episode I talked with Kim Skildum-Reid, a world renowned sponsorship consultant. Kim has 29 years experience working with some of the largest brands in the world including Unilever, Qantas and Estee Lauder and is also the bestselling author of The Sponsorship Seeker’s Toolkit.
We spoke about the defining moment in Kim’s career, the biggest obstacles facing our industry and what will further enhance sponsorship as a marketing communications tool in the future.
Kim spoke about how her move from the United States to a new home and way of life in Australia early in her career was key in helping her gain an international perspective of sponsorship best practice. She believes that uptake in best practice sponsorship is highest in Europe, followed by Australasia and the United States. Despite sometimes facing regulation, smaller markets tend to face fewer layers of approval and have a stomach for taking a stand, not trying to be all things to all people.
Difficulties around measurement, specifically longstanding beliefs about how it should be done remain a huge challenge for Kim. She believes that existing habits are hard to change. Both short and long term benefits can be measured, leading to a sophisticated measurement of sponsorship performance.
Another real issue for Kim is when sponsorship seekers and rights holders sell out their audience. Kim spoke passionately about the recent sponsorship deal between Wayne Rooney and Derby County’s shirt sponsor “32 Red”. She believes that it’s not wise for his personal brand and that it could also backfire on the club. She also believes that the sponsor is demonstrating all the worst of what a betting company is about, making themselves look greedy and disrespectful of soccer fans. She sees it as a very expensive publicity stunt which won’t positively alter people’s perception of the brand.
Another challenge for Kim is how fans who are the most important party in any sponsorship deal are often ignored or not valued by the sponsor or rights holder.
She believes that lots of sponsors do sponsorship at a very high and sophisticated level once in a while. But consistency of performance is the issue. She cited Air New Zealand as a consistent high performer in sponsorship with all its activity being fan orientated.
Further enhancing sponsorship in future.
Kim spoke about how tech components of disruptive marketing e.g. AI, machine learning, VR etc. provides lots of opportunity to enhance the fan experience and to generate meaningful positive impact on those fans in person or remotely. She encouraged sponsors to delve into the amazing tech and channels at their disposal.
Regarding the emerging power of Esports Kim feels that there is a real disconnect, with sponsors using old school tactics to engage. She said that “logo slaps” are not just ignored but “hated” by the eSports community. She believes that there is an opportunity for brands and specialist consultants to harness what it means to be a great sponsor on that forum.