Sponsorship Opportunity

Geocaching Australia governance issues
Locked
User avatar
caughtatwork
Posts: 16207
Joined: 17 May 04 12:11 pm
Location: Melbourne
Contact:

Post by caughtatwork » 03 October 08 10:25 pm

totalube wrote:I am still thinking about this and it may be an extremely positive move by GCA, but I still need more information to make a decision.

There is one concern that regardless of whether I get to know these details or not, that I was hoping could be answered.

If we go into the sponsorship deal, I am assuming that we will be getting professional legal advice to safeguard GCA in case the deal goes bad.

And I am not talking about caching becoming mainstream or changing the face of caching, but if any issues do arise about ownership, censorship, conflicts with the marketing firm/client etc that may happen.
Good question and one I can't answer. That would be up to the association / co-op/ entity that GCA became to engage the sponsor.

User avatar
caughtatwork
Posts: 16207
Joined: 17 May 04 12:11 pm
Location: Melbourne
Contact:

Post by caughtatwork » 03 October 08 10:29 pm

gmj3191 wrote:There is a lot more involved with this than just the sponsorship decision.
If it becomes necessary to become incorporated as an association, then that brings with it a tremendous overhead of formality, office bearers, meetings, minutes, financial records, membership requirements, operating rules, annual fees, annual reports, and POLITICS.

It will change the face of GCA forever.
For the better or the worse? Change should not be feared, it should be embraced so the entity that becomes the legal face of GCA can help shape the game in our fine country. Even if the sponsor was a GPS manufacturer or retailer, the same deal would be required.

We (the community) have been discussing this for over two years now and nothing has happened. This is not surprising. Most people just want to go geocaching, they don't want the hassle of being involved in management of the site. Still over the last two years we have done nothing towards moving the site towards any goal at all.

This sponsorship deal may be the incentive to formalise something so that it's no so wishy-washy.

User avatar
Facitman
1400 or more caches found
1400 or more caches found
Posts: 463
Joined: 18 June 04 3:58 pm
Location: Melbourne
Contact:

Post by Facitman » 04 October 08 12:14 am

Like many others I would prefer to maintain the self-sufficient model but if we wish to be un-sponsored then I believe we will only survive using the same model that's worked for the last 5 years, the Sugar Daddy. The only difference is moving from a single one to a very small group of them. If we are to avoid linking to commercial entities then a few must ante up big time.
I mean 20 to 30 people throwing $200 each, not a $30 pledge, a serious amount (how much does a tank of petrol cost?). And they'll need to be ready to do it again next year. No fanfare, no gold sponsorship, simply hard cash to keep GCA alive and in it's current form.

If we go the sponsorship route then I think a lot of the fears expressed so far in this thread are due to the "free car" comment and concerns about the level of exposure.

Here's two different outcomes...
Option 1
Geocaching is going to become the centre piece of a national advertising campaign and at next year's Grand Final I'll be watching an "ammo can" balloon fly over head rather than the beer glass balloon I watched this year.
Option 2
Our sponsor releases "Bilby" swaggies into 100 GCA caches around Australia and by finding them you get a secret code that allows you to enter a prize draw for a years supply of chocolate.

Two very different scenarios, option 1 is a big change and to be honest ain't going to happen. Geocaching just isn't significant enough for a company to want as it's main identity.
The second option is more realistic, and to me more acceptable.

A question for c@w, when the marketing types talk about fun and exciting locations and geocaching. Have they indicated if geocaching is the only sponsored 'thingy' or are we just one of many thingys that their product will be related to?

Peter
Last edited by Facitman on 04 October 08 12:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Richary
6500 or more caches found
6500 or more caches found
Posts: 4148
Joined: 04 February 04 10:55 pm
Location: Waitara, Sydney

Post by Richary » 04 October 08 12:14 am

I will agree that a lot of the negative comments are coming about because nobody knows (except the developers who have been approached) as to what the sponsorship will mean.

The idea of a temporary Senate by PBL is a good one. That way people involved in the game from diferent places can offer their opinion. Obviously it is up to the developers whether they accept that and act on it, though given comments here so far I believe they would.

And no, I did not expect to be nominated by PBL to be a representative. I'm just your average cacher who finds when I can, hides a few, and is articulate on the forums. That said I am happy to do it.

The proposed Senate should(will?) have access to the whole proposal so can make a balanced judgement. Obviously these deals at the early stages are "commercial in confidence", I have enough business experience to know about that side of things. So if the right people are nominated and accept for this Senate then I believe we can get the best outcome for GCA.

User avatar
Facitman
1400 or more caches found
1400 or more caches found
Posts: 463
Joined: 18 June 04 3:58 pm
Location: Melbourne
Contact:

Post by Facitman » 04 October 08 12:15 am

strong-arm wrote:Every now and then there is an article in a low circulation magazine or newspaper. It's only a matter of time before someone plasters the website somewhere very public, either TV or a newspaper.
There have been articles in major newspapers, Canberra Chronicle, Good Weekend Magazine in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, Sunday Telegraph. They didn't generate hordes of new players.

User avatar
Team Piggy
Posts: 1601
Joined: 02 April 03 5:16 pm
Location: South Australia

Post by Team Piggy » 04 October 08 8:31 am

Facitman wrote: There have been articles in major newspapers, Canberra Chronicle, Good Weekend Magazine in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, Sunday Telegraph. They didn't generate hordes of new players.
They also weren't a really mainstream advertising campaign with "goodies of any significant value" on offer.

One wonders how this sponsor is planning on advertising said locations as it restricts the find to people with GPS units only? Quite a severe issue if they want it to go mainstream and get their $$$ worth. How much of the OZ population actually own a GPS capable of finding a geocache (Not in car nav units).

User avatar
Richary
6500 or more caches found
6500 or more caches found
Posts: 4148
Joined: 04 February 04 10:55 pm
Location: Waitara, Sydney

Post by Richary » 04 October 08 10:58 am

Team Piggy wrote:How much of the OZ population actually own a GPS capable of finding a geocache (Not in car nav units).
<p>If you include the new mobiles such as the Nokia work handed me 6 months ago, probably quite a few!

User avatar
SamCarter
1400 or more caches found
1400 or more caches found
Posts: 650
Joined: 13 March 07 10:32 am
Location: Hobart

Post by SamCarter » 04 October 08 4:05 pm

I've been reading this topic intently and with concern, but, in typical fence-sitting fashion, have not made up my mind exactly what I think about it. However, I am aware that silence can be construed as apathy rather than ambivalence or lack of confidence in one's uncertain opinions, so I thought I would write -- perhaps incoherently -- about some of the things that were/are going through my head.

As I was umming and ahhing over the pros, cons and issues, and generally getting nowhere, it occurred to me that, for me, what matters most, is that my caching continue as it has been ... which means I need to identify what I like most about it. As an 18-month-old cacher, the "good old days" for me are now; and what has helped me keep caching is that I quite like the way "things" are currently running. I know I am a naturally cautious person when it comes to making significant changes (as opposed to when it comes to trying to find underwater caches with a broken wrist, or doing various other stupid things in search of a smiley!), and so that makes me hesitant about such a deal/offer; on the other hand, if it will make it possible for things to continue as they are or better (where this is MY "better", of course!), then I think I am not averse.

So, what aspects do I want to ensure continue?

I do like the fringe, semi-subversive, quasi-anarchic nature of the activity. This is, however, because the values of most of the cachers behind this anarchnicness has produced an activity that matches my own personal ethos, by and large. There are, of course, some problems that we have already seen with this loose coalition of folk whose activities are largely unregulated (see various other threads), but we seem to manage this. There is a part of me that wants to selfishly keep caching as an activity known only to the cognoscenti prepared to play it MY way ... but then I've introduced others to it as well, and there's never any guarantee that they "get it" the way I do (and I'm sure the game as I understand it is not the same as the way others "get it"). I'm not sure how many people I want to have playing the game and I certainly want to be careful about who!! (I am reminded of Groucho (?) Marx at this point: would I join an organisation that is prepared to have me as a member!!!). I just have a slightly nightmarish vision of every Tom, Dick and Harriet with a GPS-enabled mobile phone traipsing through some sensitive patch of bush in search of a cache. I don't REALLY think it will be like that (yes, we ARE a bunch of weirdos, and not everyone will march to the beat of our drums) but it is still a scary thought!!

I'm glad that it is "free and open" at the moment, but I understand that it costs to have what is offered (and I also understand that it costs more than just the cost of a server -- which is the main thing we are actually talking about here -- because there is also all that labour in the efforts of volunteers). I fully understand that these costs need to be met, and that relying on the extreme generosity of a very few is not appropriate. I am prepared to pay (and have) because it is an activity that provides me with at least a hot-chocolate's worth (!) of entertainment each week. That said, if there were other sources of funding that don't ruin the good bits of gca, then it seems sensible to investigate them (bearing in mind that some gift horses SHOULD be looked in the mouth (and so the idea of the senate seems apt)).

I LOVE the gca website. The forums are great, the stats are fun (and verging on the wonderfully silly at times, but brilliant nevertheless), the accessibility of state-by-state info is excellent, the capacity to recommend and give thumbs up is a definite plus, etc etc etc. I can do and find out things here that I simply cannot do on the gc site. The work of the developers -- and the speed of some of their responses -- actually gob-smacks me from time to time. THIS -- the continuation and useability of the site -- is what we are funds-seeking for.

I also enjoy gca caches. I haven't done many (in part the gc/gca split does hinder this a bit), but there are some fun ones out there, especially those that allow a novel approach not possible on gc. I enjoy the virtuals and locationless caches (they've helped me keep my eyes open for odd things in the environment and allowed me to share them with others) and the moveables are good fun too. (The take-up of placing gca caches seems to vary across the country: the Tasmanians seem to have "got it" perhaps more so than other states (can c@w give us the percentage of gca out of all types in each state in less than a day?!)). Anyway, I want these not-just-a-static-found-object caches to continue as well.

The caution I share with some posters is that the external sponsor will influence negatively the ACTIVITY of caching (I think the concern about a negative effect on the website has been addressed). Will their involvement damage existing caches or damage the existing reputation of caching? If they are going to hide prizes, are they a responsible hider? (Mind you, there's no guarantee we are, either, and therein lies one of the problems with our pseudo-anarchy.)

What a lot of waffle. I'm sorry that it goes on a lot and probably doesn't make much sense, but I wanted to highlight what I want to ensure stays if there is any change to the way things are done.

User avatar
caughtatwork
Posts: 16207
Joined: 17 May 04 12:11 pm
Location: Melbourne
Contact:

Post by caughtatwork » 04 October 08 5:50 pm

http://geocaching.com.au/stats/graphs/g ... percentage

Change the state in the dropdown and there you go. Big differences between states.

User avatar
SamCarter
1400 or more caches found
1400 or more caches found
Posts: 650
Joined: 13 March 07 10:32 am
Location: Hobart

Post by SamCarter » 04 October 08 6:26 pm

SamCarter wrote:(can c@w give us the percentage of gca out of all types in each state in less than a day?!)
caughtatwork wrote:http://geocaching.com.au/stats/graphs/g ... percentage

Change the state in the dropdown and there you go. Big differences between states.
Less than two hours. Where's the gobsmacked smiley when you need it? (:shock: isn't gobsmacked and impressed enough)

(And if the stats/graphs were already on the site (I confess I hadn't looked) then that just highlights how amazing the gca site already is)

Sorry ... got a little bit off topic ... back to the sponsorship issue, please, whoever posts next!

User avatar
embi
400 or more spectacular views seen
400 or more spectacular views seen
Posts: 1698
Joined: 02 April 03 2:09 pm
Location: Wyndham Vale
Contact:

Post by embi » 04 October 08 7:57 pm

I'm being much of a fence sitter here as well.

I'm not sure which way to go and I nothing said so far has made me think yah or nah.

I do think though that its hard to make a real choice about what this sponsorship entails without knowing the details of who is involved.

Is this why others are on the fence? Its very hard to make a informed choice without knowing.

Is there any main reason why its being kept quiet?

One thing I will say is that GCA was started off as a forum so that aussie cachers were able to chat about caching with out a lot of U.S. interference. I would hope if we went the way of sponsorship that it doesn't interfere to much in the caching side of things.

User avatar
caughtatwork
Posts: 16207
Joined: 17 May 04 12:11 pm
Location: Melbourne
Contact:

Post by caughtatwork » 04 October 08 8:07 pm

embi wrote:I'm being much of a fence sitter here as well.

I'm not sure which way to go and I nothing said so far has made me think yah or nah.

I do think though that its hard to make a real choice about what this sponsorship entails without knowing the details of who is involved.

Is this why others are on the fence? Its very hard to make a informed choice without knowing.

Is there any main reason why its being kept quiet?

One thing I will say is that GCA was started off as a forum so that aussie cachers were able to chat about caching with out a lot of U.S. interference. I would hope if we went the way of sponsorship that it doesn't interfere to much in the caching side of things.
The sponsor has requested we don't divulge who they are until the deal is signed and launched. If they decide not to proceed or we decide not to proceed they don't want any adverse sentiment sent back their way for either side pulling out. It may also tip their hand at their future marketing position with regards to their competitors so they want to keep that quiet. Typically until a sponsor knows if there's going to be a deal or not, they don't want anyone to know. GCA is extraordinary in this case as the members of the site get a say in the site so we're trying to get a discussion going without giving away the details. If GCA had a entity that directed it (e.g. the Senate) then the Senators would be advised. We're not quite there yet.

The sponsor is for the website. The sponsor is presumably going to place caches, but is unlikely to find them. The hiding of caches "should" be a good thing for the website and very likely the game in Australia. The pros and cons of the advertising program and the influx of cachers is what will change the game, not necessarily the sponsor and the agreement with GCA.

It has come to light that the sponsor typically do not go "all out" when it comes to their advertising. The sponsor does sponsor other things, but you are unlikely to have heard massive media about those things. I think I've paraphrased that right.

If we are concerned that massive media exposure is not what we want, we would counter that back to them. Same with prizes. If we don't want massive prizes we counter than back to them as well. All they can do is say no. It's our site, we have a bargaining chip in the game, so i's not all the sponsors way. We get to say what "we" want and they get to counter. Then it's backwards and forwards until we agree to either proceed or not.

User avatar
Richary
6500 or more caches found
6500 or more caches found
Posts: 4148
Joined: 04 February 04 10:55 pm
Location: Waitara, Sydney

Post by Richary » 04 October 08 9:39 pm

caughtatwork wrote:The sponsor has requested we don't divulge who they are until the deal is signed and launched. If they decide not to proceed or we decide not to proceed they don't want any adverse sentiment sent back their way for either side pulling out. It may also tip their hand at their future marketing position with regards to their competitors so they want to keep that quiet. Typically until a sponsor knows if there's going to be a deal or not, they don't want anyone to know.
<p>That's pretty typical of most business deals, see my reference to commercial-in-confidence above. <p>I believe embi is correct, a lot of people are fence sitting because they don't know who the sponsor is, and what the deal entails. And of course you can't say it.<p>Whether or not the proposed senate goes ahead, I have a pretty good level of confidence in our development team (who own GCA if anybody does) to make the right decision. :)

User avatar
caughtatwork
Posts: 16207
Joined: 17 May 04 12:11 pm
Location: Melbourne
Contact:

Post by caughtatwork » 04 October 08 11:03 pm

Facitman wrote:Like many others I would prefer to maintain the self-sufficient model but if we wish to be un-sponsored then I believe we will only survive using the same model that's worked for the last 5 years, the Sugar Daddy. The only difference is moving from a single one to a very small group of them. If we are to avoid linking to commercial entities then a few must ante up big time.
I mean 20 to 30 people throwing $200 each, not a $30 pledge, a serious amount (how much does a tank of petrol cost?). And they'll need to be ready to do it again next year. No fanfare, no gold sponsorship, simply hard cash to keep GCA alive and in it's current form.

If we go the sponsorship route then I think a lot of the fears expressed so far in this thread are due to the "free car" comment and concerns about the level of exposure.

Here's two different outcomes...
Option 1
Geocaching is going to become the centre piece of a national advertising campaign and at next year's Grand Final I'll be watching an "ammo can" balloon fly over head rather than the beer glass balloon I watched this year.
Option 2
Our sponsor releases "Bilby" swaggies into 100 GCA caches around Australia and by finding them you get a secret code that allows you to enter a prize draw for a years supply of chocolate.

Two very different scenarios, option 1 is a big change and to be honest ain't going to happen. Geocaching just isn't significant enough for a company to want as it's main identity.
The second option is more realistic, and to me more acceptable.

A question for c@w, when the marketing types talk about fun and exciting locations and geocaching. Have they indicated if geocaching is the only sponsored 'thingy' or are we just one of many thingys that their product will be related to?

Peter
Option 1 is a little scary and probably not realistic. Remember we can "limit" the sponsor engagement in our position back to them. They may not accept it, but that's what negotiations are all about.

Option 2 sounds more like what I think we discussed, but I wouldn't hang a hat on that peg just yet.

If option 2 is the type of thing we want, then that's out position back to the sponsor. Is that the type of thing we would encourage? Remember the sponsor sponsors the website. They can place whatever cache wherever and containing whatever they feel is right for them. I'm sure they would go along with our recommendation though as they are very interested in not upsetting the community.

The sponsor hasn't indicated one way or the other as to whether we are the only thing they are looking at. For the same reasons I can't say anything about them, they are not going to be in a position to tell us what "else" their marketing strategy encompasses. It will be a good question to ask as we go forward though.

Do we want to be "semi-exclusive" or are we happy to be "part of a whole"?

User avatar
SG-3
250 or more caches found
250 or more caches found
Posts: 175
Joined: 26 May 07 10:15 pm
Location: Mornington, Tasmania

Post by SG-3 » 05 October 08 7:46 am

Aaaaaaarrrrrggggg!!!

I had an awful dream last night!

There's my tribe of six kids traipesing through the bush, looking for the next big "red tag epic cache", proudly wearing their "GCA, powered by DUFF BEER" T-Shirts!

:o

SO, a small qualifier to my last post: AS LONG AS your typical, fine, upstanding citizen wouldn't have a problem with having the potential sponsor's name emblazoned on a kid's T-Shirt!

But I'm sure that's not a problem.

Scary dream 'tho; DNF too!

Locked