Marketing Execs Discuss Charity, Sponsorship

MIAMI -- Community outreach and charitable giving are a large part of the marketing programs at the world’s top financial services companies, according to several executives who spoke Monday at the Sponsorium International Conference.

Citizens Financial Group emphasizes partnering with local non-profit organizations to help fight hunger, provide shelter and teach money management skills, says Denise Leyhe, senior vice president, head of sponsorships and corporate giving.

One program, Striking Out Hunger, benefits the Rhode Island Community Food Bank, which serves the entire state.

The bank also sponsors a refrigerated food bank trucks used by the Greater Boston Food Bank. The 26-foot truck features the Citizens Bank Foundation’s logo. The bank’s employees also volunteered to pack and hand-deliver nutritious food for children in the food bank’s BackPack program.



Programs have become more complicated and more inclusive internally, Leyhe said during her presentation at the conference.

“I’m not just talking to my CMO anymore [about community outreach initiatives],” she says. “I’m talking to legal, compliance, HR and IT.”

Monique Giroux, VP of sponsorship marketing and strategy at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, and Chip Wheeler, director of community relations at Voya, were on a panel that discussed loyalty measurement techniques and how Sponsorium’s  PerforMind system is used to evaluate, manage and report on upcoming and current partnerships.

Twenty five countries were represented at the fifth annual conference, which brings together companies, agencies and media to share collective knowledge and data in sponsorship and community investment.

Voya was the recipient of one of the 2015 Sponsorium awards, which are judged solely by the data of the participants and how they perform against their own criteria. Sponsorship campaigns across all sectors -- sport, culture, entertainment, media and corporate responsibility – are evaluated.

Voya received the Optimization Award, which recognizes the brand  with the best overall use of its PerforMind solution. Top honors for achievement in sponsorship were awarded to Lloyd’s Banking Group, Publix  while top honors for achievement in community investment were awarded to Alcoa and Bi-Lo Holdings.

A new category, most improved, was introduced this year with the award going to Carlsberg for sponsorship and Bi-Lo Holdings for community investment.

The winners were selected based on actual 2014 data that measured performance within these industries, rather than a potentially inconsistent voting system. Over 250 companies were eligible having tracked their sponsorships and community investments with the cloud-based PerforMind software.

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