Whether it’s a one-off event or an ongoing relationship, if you are paying for sponsorship make sure that you are getting the most from it.
It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of repeating the same old sponsorships year in year out, which effectively become donation requests. What are you really getting in exchange for your hard-earned fees? For me the promise of a logo on a programme or brochure doesn’t really cut it.
A simple way to maximise your return if you are sponsoring an event, is to think about how you are benefitting pre-event, at the event and post-event. This should cover the full range of marketing channels that the company/team/group have access to.
For example, can you include?
- Press release before and after the event (with photos)
- Social media mentions for a given period that extend beyond the event
- Access to the database of people/businesses that attend – whether postal or email, this could provide the best immediate return
- Exclusive tickets to meet the cast/team/manager/sportsperson that can be used for corporate entertainment
- Speaking opportunities at the event or at least mentions on the day
- Banners and branding – think creatively about how and where your name appears
- Mentions in the post event write up
Make sure you are thinking both online and offline when it comes to sponsorship. If the organiser has a significant social media following, then focus on this and agree a schedule of messages. If they employ or use a large number of people (in a theatre or sports team for example) can you offer an immediate incentive for them to use your services?
Some organisations will present you with a very formal list of benefits, yet many come simply asking if you will sponsor them. This is your chance to shape the list of benefits. Ask them about the above options and you might be surprised how much more you can get from the relationship. Not only that, but you will help them improve their packages for the future.
When it comes to deciding what to sponsor there’s plenty to consider, but number one is your target market. If you’re looking to raise your profile with potential clients, then you should be sponsoring something that they will see…. I know that sounds obvious, but it’s often the case that Partners choose to sponsor the things they like. I’m not going to run the risk of gross generalisations here but think about the demographics of your clients. If they are more likely to enjoy football, darts and boxing then why would you sponsor rugby and cricket and vice versa!