Sponsorship Opportunity

Geocaching Australia governance issues
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Spruce Mooses
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Post by Spruce Mooses » 05 October 08 8:49 pm

The sponsor has requested we don't divulge who they are until the deal is signed and launched.
So what if once the deal is done we as a community object to the company? Is there any way of finding out what 'business' they are in without giving a name?

As someone who considers themselves an ethical shopper, I would object to a company that may be unethical.
Would it stop me caching? probably not, but it would make me think twice finding GCA caches (not that I do too many now) and also about donating $200 worth of merchandise to a cause I believe in.

GC's sponsors are in the business of caching, Apart from the Jeep thing, which I was never really keen on anyway. Commercialism doesn't impact the way we use GC in Australia and I would hope it would be the same for whoever sponsors GCA if we go down that alley.
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.
And it's probably just because most people would give the same reaction as my dad did the day we started caching. He found an online article and showed us what 'geeks do for fun'
Bit of a laugh but you probably wouldn't try it just for the hell of it if you weren't really interested.

However...if there was a years supply of chocolate to be won, all my girlfriends who currently think I'm wierd, would be begging me to take them caching. It's all about the incentive.

What would be bad about it being a mainstream game?
More people, more people only half interested and not putting time and effort into caches that everyone seems to complain about, more mugglers, more cache trails. How big will events be? Just look at how many followers went to get the extra cache at the GEGP event.

Personally, I like the apparent secrecy of the game. A mainstream game is not something that appeals to me, but it is each to their own. It's hard to explain why. Just like I prefer watching and listening to the ABC.

If we do go down the sponsorship side, can we keep the forums separate? Surely there are enough donations now to keep the forum side of GCA going for many years to come without the need for commercialism. That way those who don't find GCA caches don't have to worry about the ads etc.



A note from Adam, The CFA stream website is 'sponsored' by small businesses interested in fire, so it's a very targeted market. Apart from sponsors they have an awesome deal hosting the site and it may be worth looking into who they are dealing with before we launch into any major sponsorship deal.

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Post by highrod » 05 October 08 9:02 pm

I do not frequent the GCA site often but I do believe its a terrific library of information for any cacher new or old in the game. Sponsorship is definately a good avenue if times are tough for an organisation or to better it with a new server. I see no harm in sponsors advertising as "SPONSORS ONLY". a simple Ad shown on the sidebar like GC.com
is ok but spam type ads I would discourage. As the sponsors are not general knowledge I am concerned that the advertising needs to be family friendly.

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Post by caughtatwork » 05 October 08 9:51 pm

There will be no "ads" as such. All that will be there is "Geocaching Australia sponsored by ..." That will be on the front page and nowhere else, not even in the forums.

The logo may have the same verbiage, but that is yet to be discussed / decided.

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Post by Richary » 05 October 08 9:53 pm

Spruce Mooses wrote:So what if once the deal is done we as a community object to the company? Is there any way of finding out what 'business' they are in without giving a name?
<p>I guess that is part of what the proposed committee/senate will consider in making a recommendation. Feel free to put your hand up to join :D

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Post by caughtatwork » 05 October 08 9:54 pm

highrod, I had to remove your avatar as it was about half the size of the screen. I've PM'd you as well.

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Post by caughtatwork » 05 October 08 10:11 pm

richary wrote:
Spruce Mooses wrote:So what if once the deal is done we as a community object to the company? Is there any way of finding out what 'business' they are in without giving a name?
I guess that is part of what the proposed committee/senate will consider in making a recommendation. Feel free to put your hand up to join :D
richary is correct. Your Senators will make the decision on your behalf, BUT I would expect that they would be doing the best thing for the website and not only joining the Senate to shoot the idea down. You should ask your proposed Senator what their position would be should you disagree with the sponsor and potentially their decision.

Without knowing who the sponsor is, it will be tough for the community to have an opinion. If we don't go ahead, then nothing changes. If we do go ahead and you disagree with the sponsor, then a decision needs to be made by you as to your continued involvement with the site.

To put it simply, I doubt everyone will agree with the sponsor. That's the nature of people.

e.g. We could get Garmin, then the Magellan crowd would be unhappy. If we got JA, then the other GPS shops supporters would be unhappy. We could get DUFF and the VB drinkers would be unhappy. If we got FORD then the GM people get narked off. There will be no position that everyone is happy with.

Who sponsors your favourite sports team? Are there any that are unhappy with that sponsor? Do they stop supporting the team because they don't like the sponsor?

Ford sponsor Geelong, but I think there are still Holden drivers who are members of the Geelong Football Club.

CUB are a sponsor of Essendon FC. If you only drink wine or XXXX, do you still support the club? (I assume XXXX is not made by CUB, but that's an assumption).

PM or email your Senators. f you have a conversation with your Senator and you don't agree with their position, nominate yourself. Ultimately we can't have everyone nominated and being on the interim Senate, so align yourselves with a Senator, vote for them and hope they win. Just like real politics.

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Post by caughtatwork » 05 October 08 10:31 pm

Spruce Mooses wrote:
The sponsor has requested we don't divulge who they are until the deal is signed and launched.
So what if once the deal is done we as a community object to the company? Is there any way of finding out what 'business' they are in without giving a name?

As someone who considers themselves an ethical shopper, I would object to a company that may be unethical.
Would it stop me caching? probably not, but it would make me think twice finding GCA caches (not that I do too many now) and also about donating $200 worth of merchandise to a cause I believe in.

GC's sponsors are in the business of caching, Apart from the Jeep thing, which I was never really keen on anyway. Commercialism doesn't impact the way we use GC in Australia and I would hope it would be the same for whoever sponsors GCA if we go down that alley.
I can't give any information about the sponsor. Name, business, anything. They are Australian though and have been around for a significant period of time.

I can't say whether you would find the sponsor ethical or not. The value of ethics is placed in the hands of the purchaser, so what I find unethical you may not and visa versa.

GC sponsors are not all in the business of geocaching. http://unite.geocaching.com/ is not geocaching related, albeit it's a very good cause.
http://jeep.geocaching.com/ Jeep are tangentially related to geocaching.

Various geocaching associations have sponsors who are not geocaching related. A couple I googled were coffee and some business councils for the local areas.

Please keep the discussion coming. If you have questions I can answer I will. If you have an opinion, the community would like to hear it. If you are feeling nervous about being attacked for your position, don't be. We the community (I am part of the community) are interested to garner as many opinions as we can whether they are in support or not. There have been a couple of dozen people who have posted here. That's not representative of the caching community, nor even of the posting community in the last 6 months. Get your opinion in now and help us choose the right course.

Would we be right in assuming that if you say nothing, you tacitly agree with the final decision made?

It would be better to pipe up now rather than complain after the deal is done. Put forward a position and let your Senator know your position. They should be discussing with YOUR intent in mind as well as their own, so the more information we all have, the better the decision can be.

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Post by Map Monkey » 05 October 08 11:25 pm

I, like many i guess , do not know what to make of the sponsorship opportunity without further details, though i do understand and accept the reasonings for it.

Just a couple random thoughts, many of which may/should be answered down the track no doubt:

- There has been a heavy emphasise on placing GCA caches on this website, without a huge success (relatively speaking) over the years due to numerous reasons, i guess the main downfall being the higher attraction of more exposure to cachers on GC. Whilst i havent hidden any on GCA, i do support the idea of GCA caches. The question i have is that there was talk of ideas such as hiding caches etc as one of the added benefits........Will this sponsor be fully supporting the site and listing their caches (if they actually hide any, as it was only a possibility IIRC) on GCA rather than a GC listed cache?

- Following on from that, i would think that any cache listed by the "supporter" on GC may not be allowed due to commercial restrictions by groundspeak.....should they be aware of the full nature of these issues when entering into a contract? Obviously it will depend on several factors which would be looked at by the reviewers at the time.

- Whilst this site forms the largest grouping of cachers in this country, it doesnt represent all cachers. Any marketing would need to be carefully worded so as not to imply a "support of geocaching" per se, rather of this organisation/association/group/site. I could see the remote possibility of GS being nosey IF someone complained and made life hard for us (<=== this is all poorly worded and i'm just jotting down thoughts. :P )

- What's wrong with XXXX as a sponsor? :twisted:

- The area i am mainly concerned about is that due to a large shift in awareness of our activity, i would not like to see more issues being generated by cache placements and the activity being legislated even further. For example, the perceived commercialism of the activity may restrict areas currently being allowed by various landowners. Though on the otherhand, this may be the catalyst for an association that has better ability to negotiate with landowners over access issues currently in most states.

An interesting situation, one which we seem to be on the backfoot due to time constraints, our level of preparedness for sudden change etc, yet one which will enhance our community even if the deal doesnt eventuate. i look forward to seeing where we end up and how things change over time. :P

mm
(maybe i shouldnt write when tired :P )

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Richary
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Post by Richary » 05 October 08 11:51 pm

caughtatwork wrote:PM or email your Senators. f you have a conversation with your Senator and you don't agree with their position, nominate yourself. Ultimately we can't have everyone nominated and being on the interim Senate, so align yourselves with a Senator, vote for them and hope they win. Just like real politics.
<p>This sounds like we will be having an election, which I have no problem with. Though as yet the steps haven't been laid out as to who will be chosen and how. From the other post it sort of looked like those that have expressed interest will be in the group unless too many do. Do we take it as read that those people on the previous list are the "senators" pending future interest?<p>Obviously with the timeframe we have (i.e. make a decision within a month or so) it can't drag out too long as the Senators need time to consider and discuss the proposal.<p>I will state up front that if chosen I wouldn't support an agreement with a company who is not environmentally/socially responsible, or at least known to be irresponsible. As for the details given so far by C&W as to what they want, I don't have any major problems with it.<p>The underlying question is will it be good for the GCA site and good for the hobby in general.

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Post by CraigRat » 06 October 08 4:52 am

Map Monkey wrote:The question i have is that there was talk of ideas such as hiding caches etc as one of the added benefits........Will this sponsor be fully supporting the site and listing their caches (if they actually hide any, as it was only a possibility IIRC) on GCA rather than a GC listed cache?
As I believe, they are aware of GC and have chosen to go with us as we are Australian like them.

If there were promo caches (and this is a MIGHT, they may not want to go down that path) they would be GCA ones.

They are not asking to sponsor Geocaching, they are asking to sponsor the GCA website.

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Spruce Mooses
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Post by Spruce Mooses » 06 October 08 8:27 am

Place my faith in the Vic reps to make the decision.

I feel that companies who are not environmentally friendly (eg. Hummer) or not family friendly (eg. alcohol producer) would not be suitable. While I understand it's an offer that has been given to us, would a school full of fat kids take money from McDonalds just because it's offered?

My final issue is, would those who donated get their money back as it would no longer be needed?

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Post by SG-3 » 06 October 08 8:51 am

OK, to make my position (for what it is worth) perfectly clear: I would be appalled if sponsorship was from a "product" that would not be allowed to be advertised during children's TV viewing time.

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Post by PesceVerde » 06 October 08 2:51 pm

Clarification please. I was under the impression that members of the temporary senate would have access to more detailed info. about the potential sponsor and then share their informed opinions with the wider GCA community, as opposed to having an election [?].

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Post by caughtatwork » 06 October 08 4:36 pm

We would prefer 1 senator for each state / territory plus the developers for a total of 11.

If there are a reasonable number of senators above 11, we'll just do it.
If there are too many, the state in question will need to "vote" for their representative. That keeps the numbers workable.

Your senator will find out who the sponsor is upon pain of death (or the comfy chair) should they leak the information :-)

They will decide ON YOUR BEHALF whether we are going with the sponsor or not. That's the role of the Senate. To make decisions on your behalf with regards to the GCA website.

Your may personally disagree with your Senators vote, but I doubt we will be in a position to ask them to vote, give you NO MORE information about the sponsor that I'm giving here and then let you vote with the same information.

If you think you will disagree with your Senators position, nominate yourself and get people to vote for you.

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Post by caughtatwork » 06 October 08 4:51 pm

SG-3 wrote:OK, to make my position (for what it is worth) perfectly clear: I would be appalled if sponsorship was from a "product" that would not be allowed to be advertised during children's TV viewing time.
We're screwed.
There is a huge restriction on what can be advertsied during C classfied programs.
http://www.freetv.com.au/Content_Common ... actice.seo gives an idea.

As people cannot sign up to the site until they are 13 or older, we are not in the C classification, but G or PG. I believe that while the sponsor would not necessarily choose to offer their product during the typical G classification they are not restricted from doing so.

Mind you, Harvey Norman, DSE, XXXX, Myer, etc, would not necessarily advertise in the majority of the G classification either as their target audience is not watching TV at that time.

My interpretation (and obviously I'm not a lawyer dude) is that the sponsor "could" advertise in the manner of "Geocaching Australia sponsored by ..." during G and above periods.

Adding one more thing, the sponsor would certainly be allowed to advertise on billboards and the link and your kids would be allowed to look at the ads as they travel in the car, bike, train or by foot.
Last edited by caughtatwork on 06 October 08 5:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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