With sponsor expectations high, properties should pull out the stops to encourage and jump-start joint marketing activities among cosponsors. Ways to do that include:

Host sponsor gatherings. Like many properties, NYRR uses its annual sponsor summit as the jumping-off point for potential sponsor cross-promotions.

“We get our sponsors and media partners together with the objective of getting them to know one another and each other’s objectives,” Crandall said.

Use sponsor products as prizes. Properties should encourage sponsors to use their cosponsors’ products as prizes for sweepstakes, incentives and giveaways.

For example, General Mills Co.’s Totino’s pizza roll brand is activating its sponsorship of the Winter Dew Tour with an in-store and online promotion that dangles a trip to an event and a Mountain Dew-branded snowboard and gear.

Similarly, U.S. Bank offers cosponsor products as part of a promotion around its Broncos sponsorship. The bank offers the products as incentives for consumers to use their Broncos-branded debit cards, for example giving a free children’s meal with the purchase of an adult meal at Famous Dave’s of America, Inc.’s barbecue restaurants or discount room and golf rates at Omni Interlocken Resort in Broomfield, Colo.

Leverage retail partners. Properties with sponsors in the retail category should leverage those relationships to develop cross-promotions with packaged goods companies.

Case in point: The New York City Marathon over the past two years has run an in-store promotion with The Food Emporium, Inc. and a handful of sponsors that sell through the retailer. The Food Emporium touts specially-priced sponsor product through in-store displays and weekly circulars.

The marathon expanded the program in ’09 with the addition of Diamond Foods, Inc.’s Emerald Nuts, Crandall said. Other participating sponsors include MillerCoors LLC’s Coors Light; Nestle Waters North America Inc.’s Poland Spring; The Gatorade Co.; and PowerBar Inc.

The promotion helps enhance sponsorship packages by providing a platform to drive product sales, Crandall said.

“Poland Spring or Gatorade can say the sponsorship helped generate sales of their product. We’ve now attached an ROI to the sponsorship.”

Share ideas on a regular basis. In addition to summits and other types of sponsor get-togethers, successful properties proactively brainstorm and pitch cross-promotion ideas.

For example, Broncos account reps continuously develop activation ideas through their normal communication with sponsors.

“Our partners appreciate the fact that we’re always thinking about opportunities, and it ties in with truly knowing our partners’ business, priorities, resources and obstacles, and how we can put that puzzle together,” Kellogg said.

Give plenty of lead time. Cross-promotions can take time to develop and implement, often needing more time than a single-party promotion to deal with approvals, budgeting, etc.

Properties should look at promotional ideas at least six months out from when the program would go public.