BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS WITH LOCAL BUSINESSES CAN BENEFIT EVERYONE
Sponsorship is an excellent way for your club to gain revenue whilst raising the profile of the organisation that is sponsoring you.
Sponsorship can be hard to find, so it’s important to go about it in an organised and professional way. For some ideas that may help your organisation improve their success, please see our guidance below:
Your Club’s Sponsorship Strategy
• Develop your strategy and prepare proposal
• Target and present to potential sponsors
• Manage, Deliver and Monitor the deal and relationship
Creating your own Sponsorship Pyramid will help you clarify the type of sponsorship you are looking to attract and help formalise a strategy that is structured. Different opportunities within your pyramid may appeal to different partners, carry different values and offer different levels of benefits in return. Once you have created your own Sponsorship Pyramid, you can tier the values and associated benefits accordingly to ensure your strategy is well structured.
There are the obvious assets, but be prepared to also ‘think outside the box’.
• Brand awareness – on your website, at your events, at your courses, at your premises
• Exposure to your database – through your eNewsletters, social media, via direct mail
• Access to your existing business network
• Coverage via the local media – how strong are your relationships with the local press?
• Do you have links with your local pro-clubs? Have you got access to tickets, hospitality, player appearances, pro-club events/dinners, stadium tours, signed merchandise?
• What other links do you currently enjoy that may be attractive to a potential sponsor?
Most sponsorship deals are negotiated, so your ‘Publicised Sponsorship Price’ can include a further profit element, but always make sure you know your figures when you reach the negotiation table.
Nb: You will know the market better than anyone else. Always sense-check your figures to test they are ‘reasonable’ before publicising them.
DIRECT SPONSORSHIP COSTS + REALISTIC POTENTIAL PROFIT = PUBLICISED SPONSORSHIP PRICE
Each Club will know their local community better than anyone else and therefore be better positioned to draw up a list of potential targets. Don’t be afraid to aim high. Look for your ‘easy wins’:
• Who are the major employers in the area?
• What industry sectors are prominent and successful in your area?
• What universities are in the area?
• What business contacts do you already have?
• What business contacts do your directors or council members have?
• What businesses are in close proximity to your premises?
• What funding is available through Health or the local authorities in your area?
You need a lead - an existing relationship, a meeting, a telephone call, just to get you going. Then you have the opportunity to establish whether a sponsorship proposal may be of interest. Once you have that lead, be ready to strike.
• Make sure your proposal goes to the right person.
• Personalise your approach – even if you produce a standard brochure outlining your sponsorship opportunities, make sure it is always accompanied by a more personal piece, which shows you know their business and have done your homework
• Sell yourself – briefly, precisely and impressively. Attention spans are short.
• Be clear on the benefits you are offering and make sure the key benefits you can offer, are high on the list.
• Be clear on the price – if you don’t advertise the price you are looking for, the chances are it won’t get past the first review.
• Don’t sell yourself short - don’t be afraid to aim high (you can always negotiate down).
Getting someone to sign on the dotted line and taking their money is only the start. You now need to manage the relationship effectively. Communication, Communication, Communication.
• Make sure you deliver – if you say you are going to do something, make sure you do it and if you can’t, make sure they know in advance the reasons why you can’t.
• Regular updates – arrange to meet your sponsors on a regular basis for a quick coffee and an update. Bring evidence of some of the exposure you have given your sponsor every time you meet.
• Show an interest in their business, their football team, their family – the stronger your relationship becomes, the harder it becomes for them to say no when it’s time to renew.
• Networking – never miss the opportunity to network with your sponsors and give them the opportunity to network with other partners of yours.
• Events - make sure you consider your sponsors when organising Club events e.g. tournaments/award evenings
• Who will be responsible for your sponsorship strategy?
• What are your NET sponsorship targets?
• Prepare your own Sponsorship Pyramid
• List the assets you can potentially provide to your sponsors
• Calculate the cost of each of the assets you can potentially provide
• Split the assets into the respective Sponsorship packages in your Pyramid
• Estimate the costs likely to service the each Sponsorship package
• Estimate the perceived value of some of the benefits you can potentially provide to each package
• Calculate your Minimum Sponsorship Price for each package
• Calculate the Publicised Sponsorship Price for each package
• Identify your potential sponsorship targets
• Prepare your sponsorship proposals
• Do your homework before your present to potential sponsors
• Be prepared to negotiate. Make sure you know your numbers
• Have a draft formal agreement prepared
• Have ‘something up your sleeve’ which shows the love
• Manage the relationship properly – communication, delivery and relationship
• Record the mutual benefits of the relationship