Co-Op advertising is probably the most powerful marketing tool and yet the least understood. Most people don’t even know that there are millions of co-op advertising dollars available and they go unused each year. This is leaving money on the table that could help your school. Taking advantage of co-op advertising in conjunction with your electronic scoreboard may be one of the best decisions you will make.
Co-Op (co-operative) advertising is basically a method for a manufacturer to have their brand on a retailers advertising. The manufacturer then reimburses the retailer, based on the percentage of exposure and the individual manufacturer co-op policy. As an example, it you have a 5’x5’ screen on your electronic scoreboard for an ad or video, and the manufacturers logo takes up one fourth of the display, the manufacturer will reimburse the retailer for 25% of the cost of the ad itself.
Each manufacturer has co-op dollars set aside in an annual budget. Many retailers are completely unaware of this revenue and, some manufacturers do no go out of their way to inform the retailer at all. Sometimes, the co-op budget will often be based on the amount of manufacturer product sales that the retailer does per year. Low product sales equals smaller co-op budget.
Educating yourself and your team on the concept of co-op advertising is key to the success in your approach to sponsors for your electronic scoreboard. Continuing that education to the sponsor themselves will prove that you are a savvy marketing expert and that you and your school are looking out for the budget of your potential sponsor.
The first step is to coordinate efforts with the advertiser, making sure that you are talking to either the decision maker or their marketing rep. If the retailer or rep is not aware of co-op dollar opportunities, make sure you include that as part of your initial telephone appointment conversation. This will open the door for the retailer or rep so that they can find out what their co-op budget reimbursement dollars are from their various manufacturers. In some cases, this also arms the retailer with some buying power. They may have multiple manufacturers that they order from and their incentive will be to use the manufacturer that is offering them the best co-op reimbursement.
Take a calculator with you when you have your face-to-face appointment with your potential sponsor. Be prepared with the various (or possible) advertising levels that your school is offering on your electronic scoreboard. When the retailer gives you their co-op percentage – you can ‘do-the-math’ to show them the reduced cost of the advertising when they get their co-op reimbursement. Co-Op is a powerful tool in your marketing bag because it is proof positive that the cost of the electronic scoreboard ad, video, etc will be greatly reduced.
The benefits of co-op are that you will have a larger array of sponsors that will be attracted to joining your school program. This helps the retailer, the school and the teams.