ChanX Analysis: Mixed Results, Rebuilding The Foundation
First the weakness:
- Corporate donations following sponsorship were weak compared to years past. Most likely due to timing. Corporate budgets and initiatives (including employee drives) are set in the prior year – ie 2007. Planning for most Corps for 2009 begins soon. Hopefully the Radiothon charities will see increased support.
- Golf Tournament is not part of the mix. The Cox Tournament is currently working with St. Jude Children Hospital and the LPGA. Imus is developing a new tournament “Imus Ranch Golf Outing” Without a track record this tournament was unable to pledge $$$. (Keep in mind the Cox Tournament was an established tournament with strong NJ based Corps backing including Telecom and Pharma.)
- Sponsorships outside of Imus program “drop-ins” did not materialize. This is also a corporate budget planning – media buy issue.
- Cross promotions on other WABC programs were not available to the Imus Charities. WABC cited syndication/affiliates as the reason. (However, syndication/affiliates have not prevented Rush or Hannity from promoting Mark Levin’s “Rescuing Sprite” !) Bob Grant did introduce Eric Hastings during “drop-ins”.
- Event was staged in 3 separate locations (Imus Studio, Music Studio, Hackensack Medical Center). Impacted spontaneity and live feel of the event.
Now the Strengths:
- Radiothon raised over $1.35M in a very challenging environment.
- Imus Audience stepped up big time.
- WABC went virtually round the clock with “drop-ins”.
- Sean Hannity’s audience jumped in, adding momentum to the fund raising.
- RFD stepped up providing production support including the Music Studio for the Great Levon Helm and the bull outside the Imus Studio.
- WABC gave back local time to Imus for fund raising.
- Advertisers stepped up including; Rolex, Bigelow Tea, Great River Golf Club, Keurig, Mohegan Sun, UPS, Lumber Liquidators, Long Island Compost, Croton, Madison Square Garden, Modells, Live Nation.
WABC’s first Imus Radiothon was a good start with lots to do for next year. Radiothon is a year round effort. For example; Corporate sponsorships are set-up and agreed upon six to nine months in advance arrived at in conjunction with media buys. The Golf Tournament is a key event for fund raising, requires tremendous corporate support for success.
Radiothon results show the Imus’ return is a “hard slog”. Rebuilding any brand takes time, even the I-Brand. With WFAN support, it took years for Imus to build up to the $2.5M – $3M levels. With barely 6 months preparation at WABC, Imus has managed to get half-way to historical levels.
Net: Imus is back….
What are your thoughts on the Radiothon??? Idea is to update this Post, input is greatly appreciated.