Planning for Sponsorship
Recruiting sponsors, working out the appopriate / equitable exchange and ensuring that sponsors are well serviced takes a coordinated approach, so plan for the best results.
A good starting point is to identify people (with good 'people' skills) who can recruit, negotiate with potential sponsors and can oversee that the club's commitment to sponsors are met. Here are some key steps to set you on the sponsorship path:
- Identify what the club needs funding for and identify which items on the list could fit into the sponsorship portfolio. Note that general revenue raising is a possibility but sponsors need to be offered something that they value as an exchange
- Develop a 2 page promotion about the club and what it offers to the community. It is good to include photographs and to highlight the club's positive features e.g. club image, number of members and the demographics (i.e. age groups etc), success on the field, ability to attract media coverage, positive relationships with current sponsors and who they are, benefits that a sponsor can derive generally from an association with the club
- Consider what your club can offer to sponsors to meet various interests e.g. direct exposure of members to a product, promotion of an organisation to a relevant member group
- Identify potential sponsors to approach. Note that many clubs look largely to their internal business connections but is is also possible to engage business from outside this cohort by thinking about the types of organisations which match the club or its activities in some way
- The next step is the sell which, although time consuming, is best achieved through face-to-face meetings. A phone conversation prior can give you vital clues as to the interests of a sponsor and the types of offerings. It is often a good idea to seek the major sponsors first and backfill from there. Sometimes securing a major sponsor means giving them sole rights
- In preparation for this meeting it is worthwhile having the club offerings and varying sponsor contributions mapped out and to provide some choice. Some clubs choose to package their sponsorship up e.g. Gold, Silver, Bronze - it does pay to be creative and tailoring sponsor arrangements to meet the sponsor interests as detemined in the preceeding phone call
- Keep at it. Obtaining sponsorship is not an easy task but very worthwhile if you can attract them and moreso keep them intertested in the club over time.