Sponsorship Strategy with Ken Ungar

ken ungar on brand

Ken Ungar is the president of CHARGE, a national sponsorship consulting firm based in Indianapolis. Since 2006, CHARGE has served clients including Honda, Acura, NASCAR, the Los Angeles Dodgers, NBA Players Association, American Motorcyclist Association, and over fifty professional athletes in the NFL, NASCAR, and INDYCAR. He’s also the author of Sponsorship Strategy and our guest this week on the On Brand podcast.

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About Ken Ungar

Ken Ungar is a sponsorship marketing consultant, as well as an attorney with certifications including Player Contract Advisor from the NFL Players Association and Professional Certified Marketer from the American Marketing Association. He has published two books on marketing, including his most recent, Sponsorship Strategy: Practical Approaches to Powerful Sponsorships. Ungar has worked with marquis brands on sports sponsorships and endorsements, including Bridgestone-Firestone, Coca-Cola, Disney, General Motors, Honda, Microsoft, Nissan, Pepsi, Tag-Heuer, Toyota, Sirius-XM Satellite Radio, and more.

Episode Highlights

We don’t talk about sponsorship strategy enough. Luckily Ken has a book for us to help remedy that. In Sponsorship Strategy, Ken wanted to provide tools and best practices for brands looking to grow through sponsorship. “You have to start at the customer demographic. Ask yourself, do you see your customers in the audience of XYZ event?”

The biggest mistakes to avoid in sponsorship. Ken detailed some of the biggest traps in sponsorship strategy:

  • Mismatch between sponsor and the audience.
  • Paying so much for the sponsorship itself you don’t have anything left to leverage the sponsorship through additional supporting promotion.
  • Not starting with the end in mind—what will success look like? How will you measure that success?

Personal branding for athletes. As a sponsorship consultant to numerous professional athletes, Ken shared how these brands are developed and cultivated. “Many athletes think that the only brand they have is their performance brand—what they do on the field. That’s only part of it.” Ken shared how their work helps athletes develop their brand purpose.

What brand has made Ken smile recently? “In full disclosure it’s (client) Acura,” Ken shared, detailing their recent anime short film telling a story about racing. “I kept begging them to make a feature-length movie!” Always leave the audience wanting more!

To learn more and for free resources, go to chargesponsorship.com/freestuff.

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Until next week, I’ll see you on the Internet!