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Ad Sponsor Relationship

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Brad Eden

Where do UJ Ad Sponsors come from?

The vast majority, as in 99% are not solicited by me. They are companies and individuals who like what they see on UJ, how it’s run, the positive tone, and the earnestness and credibility of this bird hunting membership. They want to be associated with the UJ community, to support it, and in turn market their company and products to an Upland hunting/Dog demo. All current Ad Sponsors were not solicited, but they contacted me. 


What’s the process in becoming a UJ Ad Sponsor?

I am contacted via email, or typically a Private Message if it’s a UJ Member. The person asks me what marketing options and opportunities are available on UJ and the cost. I reply with the general cost of a Display Ad or a Banner ad with additional information on the flexibility to customize ad runs and costs to best suit that individuals needs.


What else do you tell a potential Ad Sponsor? 

I tell them that their ad, be it a display ad or banner ad, or both, will be added to a rotation of current Ads appearing on the right bank, under masthead, and at the bottom of UJ pages. Those ads rotate on a random basis while navigating, and refreshing on the Board. When an ad/link is clicked a new window will open with their website. They understand I do not fill every nook and cranny of the Board with ads. 


I am honest and I tell them that if they rely on ad “click data” to gauge the effectiveness of their ad and marketing on UJ that they will be disappointed. Ads on traditional “Bulletin Boards” simply don’t get clicked much. Members are immersed in the discussions. I tell them that being mentioned and discussed on Topics on the forums is a rich marketing vehicle that simply can’t be fully quantified by number crunching. Unless a Member or Guest directly clicks their ad or a link to their website on UJ, there is no data connection. Many Members and Guest are introduced to an Ad Sponsor on the Forums and later access and purchase on their own. 


I tell them I will make a concerted effort to draw attention and exposure to their company and products when and where appropriate, and that there is a dedicated Sponsor section with various UJ Ad Sponsor sub-forums where additional marketing and exposure can be accomplished. And when contacted will bring sales and specials to the attention of the UJ audience.


Most importantly, particularly if the potential Ad Sponsor is a UJ Member, I tell them that although they certainly have more flexibility in Posting about their company, products and specials, that if they market and advertise on the Forums more than they actually participate as an active Member, it will work against them. Members will resent that, and it will negatively impact the effectiveness of their marketing on the Board. UJ is known for its lack of advertising and marketing on the Forums. That is detailed in the Board Guidelines pinned to the top of major forums.


I tell them to expect both positive and negative feedback and criticism and critiques, since that is the nature of Discussion Forums. I make it clear that I will monitor discussions and if the negativity and criticism becomes egregious and unnecessarily harsh, I will will edit and moderate, but I won’t intervene on honest and respectful feedback, good or bad. 


.How many potential UJ Ad Sponsors actually launch an ad and how many renew?

My guess is that after hearing the nature of advertising and marketing on UJ, about half back out and the other half give it a shot. Renewals every year fluctuate, but generally renewals are not particularly high given the Ad Sponsor (usually a non Member Sponsor) doesn’t see the click data they expect, and find that negative Posts and critiques don’t make it worthwhile to renew their Ad Sponsorship. They sometimes end up using Zuckerborgs Facebook platform or other social media venues to reach a larger audience, yet less niche market, and they can craft their exposure there so they don’t get any feedback, positive or negative.


All about the money?

Take a minute or two to peruse the UJ Board. I’ll wait.........Notice how you aren’t inundated and distracted and annoyed with every white space crammed with ads and obnoxious flashing animated ads about floor cleaners or a Dodge dealership in Eastbumrump? Now go to another website or another Board and see how there are ads crammed into every nook and cranny, before and after and inside every Topic and Post. I’ll wait.....Its not difficult to see that I hardly monetize the UJ Brand or Board. But, I could, and easily turn UJ into Ad Central by placing current ads in your face everywhere you look...and solicit advertising from outdoor manufacturers and all the other Upland related companies that enjoy FREE ink here on UJ Forums without any Support in keeping this ship afloat. I could reinstate my Google Adsense account from the old archived UJ website and we could have ads glut the Board on every page. The Ads seen on UJ are mainly Upland based companies, seeking some exposure to an earnest Upland hunting audience.

The UJ Ad Sponsors we have put their money where their mouth is and deserve to be respected. Not coddled like a baby but not abused either. Their Ad Sponsorship is one of the elements that keep this Covert in the sky available for Upland hunters.

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