Sophie Morris, Director of Millharbour Marketing (now Sponsor View), joined a panel discussion on high performance in sport and business for the Paralympics GB Partner Day at the Velodrome.

The event, held during the Tokyo Paralympics, brought together speakers from the world of athletics, sport and business:

  • Jon-Allan Butterworth – former Paralymics GB track cyclist, Rio 2016 Gold medallist and London 2012 three time Silver medallist
  • Nick Stocker – Commercial Director of Red Bull Racing and Red Bull Technology
  • Joanna Jensen – Founder and CEO of Childs Farm
  • Ismail Amla – UK Sport Board Member and Executive Vice President at NCR

Research by sports scientists Ross Tucker and Jonathan Dugas show the ‘7 High Performance Principles for Sport and Business’:

  1. People and Purpose – recruit the right people and bind them by a powerful purpose
  2. Invest in Understanding Everything – understand all the facTors that contribute to the performance and address them in your preparation
  3. Innovate, Adapt and Change – to stay ahead of the competition
  4. The Paradox of Failure – seeing failure as an opportunity to learn and encouraging a ‘fail-safe’ environment
  5. Restlessness – never accepting the status quo. High performance is not about being the best, but about being better.
  6. Responsiveness – having responsive team structures that don’t depend on guidance only from the top, but that have the authority to make decisions themselves
  7. Balance – between risk and reward, variety and stability, freedom and control, failure and success. Leadership in high performance involves deciding where the balance lies for each attribute.

For us, it was really important to see ‘Invest in Understanding Everything’ in this list. Our research into sponsorship service quality and sponsor satisfaction has shown that investing in understanding your sponsors’ expectations and perceptions of service quality can bring huge benefits to increasing satisfaction and renewal intentions.

It also informs the other principles, such as how to innovate, adapt and change, and being restless in continuously monitoring sponsors changing expectations and innovating the sponsorship offering to maintain competitive advantage over other properties.