Making sure you win the tie-breaker – Wimbledon or anywhere
“We cannot condone his lifestyle choices” announced sportswear manufacturer Ellesse on 27 June 2017 as they withdrew from their contract to sponsor British tennis player Dan Evans.
He had held a press conference to confirm that he had tested positive for the use of cocaine.
This reminds us of the importance when entering into any form of sponsorship arrangement of making sure we have the right to withdraw if something happens which we think might damage our reputation.
This applies equally to sponsoring the local rugby club as it does to sponsoring a major celebrity. In fact it applies to all forms of brand endorsement. It takes a lot of effort to build value in your brand: but severe damage can be done to the brand by a single incident.
Some commentators say that all publicity is good publicity. But if something happens that is contrary to your brand values or might alienate your customer group, you need to be able to distance yourself from it as quickly as possible.
Sponsorship deals are exciting and can be very valuable. But don’t get yourselves committed to them without considering the terms and in particular your right to withdraw.