Q&AAF: Rich Harshbarger, CEO of Running USA, On Event Sponsorships

Rich Harshbarger red hatRich Harshbarger, CEO of Running USA, will present “Activating Your Sponsorship” on Wednesday, September 21 beginning at 11:30 a.m. at Windows on the River. This event will kick-off AAF-Cleveland’s Signature Luncheon Series. We caught up with Rich and asked him some pointed questions about sponsorships and how to maximize ROI.

Q. What’s the most important thing a brand can do to activate an event sponsorship?

A. The most effective activation programs are ones that engage with the audience in a meaningful or fun way. Does it allow the participant or attendee to be part of the event in some way? Can the experience be shared socially?

Q. What’s the biggest mistake that brands make when securing event sponsorships?

A. Purchasing the sponsorship rights is not the end of the road. Brands MUST understand and be willing to invest in activating those rights in order to be successful. There is a big difference in being integrated into the event vs. badging the event with one’s logo.

Q. Is a bigger/title/presenting sponsorship always best?

A. Not always. It really depends on what the goal of the partnership is. If your brand is established and you simply want to use this opportunity to expand a product line or introduce a new product, bigger isn’t necessarily better. One area to focus on if it’s not the top offering is to secure exclusivity.

Want to learn more? Come hear Rich at our upcoming Signature Series Luncheon on September 21! You can register here.

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