SBJ/September 30 - October 6, 2002/This Weeks Issue

Blue Jackets tinker with sponsor summit

The Columbus Blue Jackets recently gathered 120 representatives from the team's 90 sponsors for a Partner Activation Summit. It was the team's third annual summit, but it had a new format that appeared to pay dividends immediately.

Previous summits were oriented toward introducing the team, its goals and personnel, along with rudiments of sponsorship activation. This year's event covered those basics in a 90-minute morning session for 14 new sponsors; the afternoon session featured talks by Scott Carmichael, the NHL's vice president of club marketing; a representative from Scarborough Research discussing Blue Jackets fan demographics and psychographics; and a University of Dayton professor on how to use tickets and hospitality for marketing benefits.

A panel discussion involving team sponsors Ohio Health, the Dispatch Media Group and General Motors wrapped up the day. The companies discussed their sponsorship-activation strategies.

The summit produced immediate discussions among sponsors, according to Michael Humes, team senior vice president of business operations. Ohio Health made tentative plans to partner with General Motors, Stanley Steemer International and Tim Hortons about a gift package for each of the 15,000 babies born in its hospitals each year.

Humes said the team plans to schedule the fourth summit next spring, so that sponsors have more time to benefit from ideas and relationships fostered at the event.

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