At MOP, as people who are “hooked into” the business community, we are often asked for our advice on obtaining sponsorships from business for social or community enterprises.
One of the more interesting resources we have found in the area of Corporate Sponsorship was from Linda Hollander who wrote “Bags to Riches”.
These are her 7 ways to make it easier to attract sponsors. They make great sense.
Make It About the Sponsor, Not About You
One of the biggest mistakes people make is that they wax rhapsodic about their organisation, but don’t talk how they can benefit their sponsor. Sponsors want you understand their company, marketing campaigns, goals and visions. You can learn this in conversation, but a smart way is to work out first what they appear to be concerned about on social media or their website. An annual report can also reveal gems. When you talk to the sponsor, remember to ask them about their goals first, then go into your presentation and tell them how you can help them accomplish their goals.
Be Clear about Your Demographic
In the world of corporate sponsorships, your demographic is the most valuable assets that you can offer a corporate sponsor and they expect absolute clarity on it, and why you are approaching it. Why will their involvement impact positively on that particular demographic?
Have a Great Platform
Sponsors want to know that you have extended reach to people who buy things or who can benefit their company positively. If you’re a club, these could be your members, who may also be their clients, it could be your own organisational database, your advisory board and your strategic allies, government, other not for profit organisations, other medical organisations … so start by detailing who is really in your extended network and work back.
Have Cause-Related Marketing Opportunities
Cause-related marketing is a sales or promotional partnership between the sponsor and a property helping the community. People buy more from companies that give back to the community, so the sponsor wants to be known as a good corporate citizen.By aligning their brand with life-changing events or work that you do, sponsors can bask in the “halo effect.” This is more easily linked to a specific community activity than it is to a concept or simply a publicity campaign.Sponsors like to have events or activities that are visible and that they can “hang their hat on”.
Create a Compelling Sponsor Proposal
The sponsor proposal is the most important, but least-understood, document in industry. If you want top-tier sponsors, you absolutely need a compelling sponsor proposal. This is basically a business plan and snapshot of the benefits of your property. It contains the story of your property, mission statement, sponsor benefits, demographics, marketing plan, goals, media opportunities, advisory board, and the sponsor fees. Too many proposals to sponsors are vague or presented in a “let’s get together and talk” format. But the experts say that sponsors get approached very often, and they almost always like and desire detail and fore-planning to help them process your request quickly.
Sponsors want experience, but don’t worry. If you personally don’t have it, someone else does. They value “case histories” from your organisation’s background. Tell them especially about leading-edge companies that you know or have worked with and if the sponsorship went well offer them referees to talk to.
Make Integrity a Part of Your Brand
Sponsors want to see that you have integrity and credibility. They may test you to see if you do what you say.Keep in mind that you need to pass their unspoken tests to see if you can handle involvement their brand image. It’s not enough to merely “talk the talk”: they want to see if you genuinely care about their marketing goals and needs. It follows that you have to genuinely care about giving them a win, too, not just grab their money, and you have the skills and the back up to deliver on your promises, every step of the way.
Magnum Opus Partners would like to add an eighth. And a ninth.
Make it easy
Many sponsorship proposals we have known in the past fall over because they seem cumbersome or hard to implement. Businesses are busy, and their decision-making is frequently telescoped. Understanding how a sponsorship will “come together” with minimal administrative overload for the sponsor is time well spent.
Take a short cut
Later in the year a good friend of the agency is holding the fantastic “Money In Sport” Conference on the Gold Coast in mid-November, which is attended by senior execs from all over the country and worldwide. This year’s conference speakers include the CEO of Fox Sports Patrick Delaney, James Johnson, the head of Professional Football at FIFA, media expert and CEO of Maxus Global Mark McCraith, not to mention MOP’s very own Erin Lightfoot.
Sporting clubs and codes of all kinds are big into sponsorship dollars, of course. And corporate entities love being involved in sport. This is a great place to meet shakers and movers in the world of sponsorship generally, and sport in particular.
As you can see here, the Money In Sport conference is excellent value, and anyway who really needs an excuse to visit the lovely Gold Coast just as the weather is warming up nicely? Especially if it results in a happy networking moment.
If you want to mingle with some the world’s best minds on where sponsorships are going, it’s a must attend event.