Analysis: How to sell to ... The head of sponsorship at BBJ Media is an adept juggler

Now and then Richard Brinkman looks at his media buying colleagues and feels a pang of envy. ’They can scream obscenities down the phone and get it all out of their systems,’ he grumbles. ’I can’t do that.’

Now and then Richard Brinkman looks at his media buying colleagues

and feels a pang of envy. ’They can scream obscenities down the phone

and get it all out of their systems,’ he grumbles. ’I can’t do

that.’



The job of BBJ’s Mr Sponsorship is a hell of a lot more complicated than

rates and schedules and requires the patience of a saint.



On an average day, Brinkman could pick up the phone, not just to the

brand and sponsorship team and the usual motley crew of media owners,

but also to commissioning editors, programme makers, licensing men,

sales promotion agencies and PR people.



Sponsorship deals can take months to secure and require constant

nurturing, especially when you look after whoppers like T in the Park,

the FA Carling Premiership and the Worthington Cup. But it’s clear to

see that Brinkman loves his job and the ’juggling’ that goes with

it.



A ’BBJ lifer,’ Brinkman joined the agency in 1991 and has grown up with

the industry. ’The sponsorship sector is still evolving,’ he

explains.



’There is no formal structure like planning or buying and no courses.

You learn as you go. And you’re only as good as your last deal.’



Brinkman appreciates that having so many people to please can make it

tricky for salespeople to get the green light on an idea, but don’t let

that stop you trying. ’It’s really a matter of luck,’ he explains. ’It

could be the right idea but the wrong season, or an idea for a weekday

brand but on a weekend programme. Many good ideas fall by the wayside.’

Just don’t go on about money - ’it’s not the only factor in the

equation’.



Brinkman and his wife Jo (Granada Media Sales press and PR controller)

are expecting their first baby in February, so he’s busy painting the

nursery and storing up sleep. However, during the week, the

self-confessed media tart can usually be found sinking a few vodka and

tonics in Langan’s or The Ivy. ’I try to fight against becoming a media

stereotype but it’s no good,’ he says cheerfully.



He dislikes being office-bound and is up for a few schmoozing trips.



The Test Match in Antigua could improve relations, he helpfully

suggests.



’It’s much easier to do business with someone after you’ve been on a

trip with them,’ he adds.





LIKES



- Flexible sales people



- Vodka and tonic



- Langan’s and The Ivy



DISLIKES



- Sales pitches about Carlsberg



- Sellers who don’t understand ’no’



- Figures and jargon in pitches.



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