Distancing your brand from affiliate sponsorships
An article by Damien von Garrel
If you were a small Esports organization and a company approaches you to talk about an affiliate partnership, would you take it on? How would you measure the worthiness and profitability of this partner? What if I told you, that you, as an Esports organization, should never take on an affiliation partnership, no matter the promises?
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is the process at which organization "A" receives a commission for marketing company "B" on their social media by promoting an individual discount code and embedding B's branding onto their own.
The problem with affiliate brands
There are numerous companies, especially in the gaming industry, which follow the same marketing initiatives. They approach small, promising businesses, in this case, Esports organizations, and offer an affiliation sponsorship, hoping to increase their reach and with it, their sales numbers. And this is problematic for you.
If a small gaming gear manufacturer approaches your company and proposes the idea of a partnership, it is for only one reason. Your social presence. Let's assume that organization A has a total reach of 1.4 million monthly impressions and a loyal fanbase that keeps the interactions high. Company B notices this and will also acknowledge the fact that A has no current partnerships.
In the end, the company approaching you will always put their interest in the first place. They don't care about your brand, what your company stands for. It's all about your numbers. Companies that gain less traction than your team, will only profit off of you, not the other way around. The return value in commissions is nothing compared to the reach that you give them for free. So what most organizations end up doing, is to advertise their partners, just for the sake of having a name in their branding without anything mentionable in return.
Not every affiliate partner will be a good partner
Knowing all of this, it is important to decide: Is it worth promoting a brand for free that does not care about your company at all?
Here are a couple of points you should take in mind when being approached by a startup company that wishes to partner up with you:
Often no control over commission and product pricing leaving you with a very low profit margin and no mentionable return value.
A low barrier of entry. There are no minimum requirements, as the company approaching you simply wants your social reach and increase their sales.
You are not the only one. You will never be their first approach. The procedure behind your partnership doesn't differ from other teams in your place. There is no individualism regardless of the level of what you do for them.
The time and effort you spend on growing your brand will affect your partners' growth at the same time. Refer to the first bullet point.
Always have your "profit" in mind. Not only in business but in life, people will try to take advantage of your success. One form of it is what I mentioned in this article. Carefully consider what advantages and disadvantages you and your company have from a partnership and have a second thought about the benefits. Don't be misled by attractive offers, anything that isn't on a mutual contractual agreement has no value and only serves one purpose, which is to lure you into a seemingly profitable partnership.