Supermileage Positioning – Response to Ryan Gibson’s Post

This post will be a response to Ryan Gibson’s post about “Communicating the Value of Non-Monetary Exchange”. In short summary, Ryan is trying to obtain a sponsorship for his extracurricular team, UBC Supermileage, from a manufacturer of cycling wheel supplies. Ryan is trying to communicate the benefits of sponsoring a student team to the company, by emphasizing student learning through hands-on design as well as positioning Vancouver as a cycling hotspot to show of the brand sponsorship.

I agree with Ryan’s approach to obtain this European sponsor, as gaining a sponsorship is a two way street – both parties must receive some sort of benefit. That being said, there may be some cultural differences between that may not have been accounted for. For example, even though this company may have an office in Colorado, the company may not share the same values as other North American manufacturers when it comes to sponsoring student teams.

I think the proposal can be strengthened by showcasing the SAE Supermileage competition itself. Rather than highlight the benefits of showcasing their logo locally in the Vancouver proper, position the proposal such that it highlights that the Supermileage competition is international – thus giving their brand a much wider recognition.

The proposal can also be position in such a way that the European manufacturer can ride the momentum of bigger, more recognizable brands – almost as if there is a “social validation” between the brands. For example, lets say that Boeing is a primary sponsor, and this European manufacturer is a secondary sponsor. For an outsider, if they the manufacturers logo next to Boeing, then they might association an elitist feeling towards the European manufacturer as well.

Anyways, those are just my thoughts and opinions. Most importantly, I wish good luck for UBC Supermileage in the up and coming competition in the spring!

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