“There are two voices in my head,” says Billy Hennessey. “One says grow, grow, grow;’ the other says you’re losing your baby.'”
Hennessey is founder of St. Party’s Day, event and marketing company Oxford Beach’s answer to St. Patty’s Day. When Hennessey and his partners at Oxford Beach thought up the idea about three years ago, they resolved to create a brand even stronger than St. Patty’s. “We said, ‘When we have kids, they will refer to March 17 as St. Party’s Day,'” says Hennessey.
There was one hitch in their plan: they weren’t big enough to do it alone. “We looked for a partner with infrastructure and reach well beyond ours,” says Hennessey. And they found it in beer juggernaut, Budweiser.
While Budweiser certainly helped Oxford “tap” into a rich market, the agreement isn’t perfect. Hennessey shares some lessons learned from his first experience partnering with a major sponsor, including his regret that they left some parts of the arrangement with Bud “loosey goosey.”
Listen to this week’s podcast for the rest of Hennessey’s lessons about getting in bed with a major player.