Professional Sports Partners held its inaugural PSP Partnership Marketing Summit in Houston yesterday. Invited guests heard from industry experts on an array of topics relevant to brands in the sports partnership space, shared best practices, and connected with fellow marketers to share experience and insight.
“Hosting some of the most strategic brands in the industry for a day of collaboration doesn’t happen enough,” said PSP founder and CEO Jason Kohll. “Raising the standard across all partnership marketing is what our agency focuses on every day.”
“We wanted to create a forum for open dialogue between brands and I think we achieved that, showcasing creativity and how each approaches partnership marketing,” said PSP COO Tamara Lupo. “I believe everyone left with key takeaways they will apply for their organization and strategy moving forward.”
The afternoon began with a keynote address from NCAA’s senior vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt and managing director of men’s basketball championships JoAn Scott. Gavitt and Scott shared their experiences growing the March Madness brand and connecting corporate partners through the tournament’s platform.
Next, Jay Batavia of Chevron and Katie Register of Reliant were part of a panel on managing partnerships at the local level and beyond, sharing their respective organizations’ approach to identifying and activating partnerships that realize their brand goals.
Jennefer Meyer and Rachel Hamm from Protective Life joined a discussion with PSP’s Vice President of Brand Strategy, Bill Zachry, on effectively measuring partnership success. Zachry and the Protective team led multiple community surveys during the construction and opening of Protective Stadium in Birmingham, AL to demonstrate the impact of the naming rights deal on brand awareness and consideration, and used data from existing partnerships and market research to lead to the announcement of a partnership with the Miami Open beginning in 2024.
Kohll and Matt Glendon of Mahindra Ag North America shared thoughts on the value of RFPs for brands looking to enter a particular market. Glendon recalled the process PSP and Mahindra undertook as the brand looked to enter NASCAR, and the benefits to the brand as they evaluated offers from the various racing teams before choosing to go forward with Stewart-Haas Racing.
The day concluded with conversations with Brooks Downing of bdG Sports and Rachel Quan of PSP Events to discuss the intersection of live events and partnerships. Downing shared his insights into building sponsorable live event properties specifically in the college basketball and golf worlds, while Quan highlighted the ways that brands can uniquely activate in authentic and memorable ways both big and small in their partnerships.
Following the panels, guests were invited to stick around for the best hour – happy hour – and network with fellow attendees from various industries to share thoughts on the day, insights from their own experiences, and good company. Our sincere thanks to all who were able to join, both locally from Houston and friends from out of town, with a special thanks to our keynote speakers and panelists.