What You Can Offer Sponsors
The following ideas are designed to get the imaginations rolling and to support creative sponsorship relationships:
Exposure of their Brand
- Naming rights - of an event , a section of your competition, a team, a trophy, your newsletter or part of the facility e.g. a court or stand. Naming rights create a strong association between the club and sponsor, usually offered as a sole right. Importantly if you secure a naming right sponsor, you need to associate that name everytime you refer to it especially in media releases etc. The naming rights can also be packaged with a suite of other offers that the sponsor deems of interest. You should try for a longer term arrangement for printing purposes etc. Naming rights are generally reserved for a major sponsor.
- Brand Presence - inclusion in your media releases, provision of sponsor signs at your venue, logos on printed materials, sponsor details on your web site, live links from your web site to the sponsors, advertisements and messages from sponsors in your newsletters, email signatures of club personnel to carry a 'sponsored by' message, company name / logo on uniforms, sponsor branding on member cars, club bumper stickers, announcements on the public address system
- Using Technology - new technologies give rise to regular sponsor messaging to members through web blogs, facebook, twitter, and sms messaging. Clubs should not give member contact details to sponsors without consent, however can offer to let members know about special deals etc via their email / sms lists
Product Sales / Exposure
Sponsors that have a product to sell may look to a certain age group or buyer group within your club as attractive and could be offered ways to sell / market their product direct:
- Selling Product - Product sales from your venue (make sure it is an appropriate product), provision of product samples to members, distribution of product discount cards or store VIP status to members, a product display in the club house, provision of occasions for product demonstrations, member sales nights, agreement that all end of year gifts for volunteers be in the form of sponsor vouchers, some arrangements may include incentives for every member who uses sponsor services or purchases e.g. Bendigo Bank Community Enterprise.
- Sponsor Presence - some sponsors may look for involvement in the club whilst this may be of little interest for others. On offer could be: provision of membership to key sponsor personnel, admittance to games, invitations to functions, opportunities to present awards, toss the coin, address the players pre match, speak at functions, speak on the PA during an event etc. Potential sponsors may be interested in using your venue however for an end of year break-up or staff function as an offering.
Media as Sponsors
Media outlets make great sponsors, particularly of media worthy events because it enhances exposure. The sponsorhip deal in this case doesn't generally include cash but moreso free or discounted advertising in exchange for association with the event. This is easier to achieve in regional and rural centres or for major events e.g. Herald Sun Tour
- Media Opportunities - naming rights, live crosses (especially radio), involvement with the event e.g. MC or Public Announcements, named trophies, logo presence as above, photo opportunities, media challenges etc
Working Out What to Offer
Many clubs approach sponsors with pre-packaged deals i.e. for this much $ you get ..... and for this much .... This can work well with minor sponsorship and with sponsors who return every year. It is also time efficient for club volunteers in dealing with these groups. When approaching a new sponsor, or trying to attract a major sponsor however, it is also an effective measure to collaborate with the sponsor in the design of the package i.e. they get to identify what they want and negotiate the value. In this approach it is a good idea to know what you can offer and present these as options. The sponsor may come back with something you have never thought of too. Key to this is not to undervalue your offerings e.g. sole naming rights should come at a premium in comparison to other items.