BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS WITH LOCAL BUSINESSES CAN BENEFIT BOTH PARTIES
Sponsorship Is A Great Way To Generate Revenue Whilst Supporting Local Organisations.
Sponsorship can be hard to find, so it’s important to go about it in an organised and professional way. However, many businesses are keen to engage in opportunities in their local community. Below are some tips to help your club or league be more successful in generating additional revenue or support:
Creating a sponsorship pyramid will help you clarify the type of sponsorship you are looking to attract and help structure a strategy. Different opportunities within your pyramid may appeal to different partners, carry different values, and offer different levels of benefits in return.
There are the obvious benefits you can offer but be prepared to ‘think outside the box’:
• Brand awareness, such as on your kit, on your website, at your events, at your venue
• Exposure through your database via your e-newsletters and social media
• Provide your venue, or utilise your sponsors one, to host events
• Coverage via the local media (dependent upon your relationship with the local press)
• If you have links to local (semi-)professional clubs and can access tickets, hospitality, player appearances, events/dinners, stadium tours or signed merchandise
• Any other links that you currently access that may be attractive to a potential sponsor
You will know your local community better than anyone else and therefore are best positioned to identify potential targets. Don’t be afraid to aim high and consider all options:
• Major employers, prominent industry sectors and other businesses in the local area • Business contacts that members across your club or league already have
• Your local authorities, health organisations and educational establishments
Once you have a lead, be it an existing relationship, a meeting, or telephone call, you can establish whether a sponsorship proposal may be of interest. Be ready to act quickly!
• Make sure your proposal goes to the right person and personalise it. Even if you produce a standard brochure outlining all your sponsorship opportunities, accompany it with 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 the money you are asking for. Make sure the key benefits you can offer are high on the list.
• Don’t sell yourself short or be afraid to aim high. Most sponsorship deals are negotiated, so what you publicise and agree on can differ. Just make sure you know your figures when you reach the negotiation table.
• Have a draft formal agreement prepared so you can get a deal finalised as soon as you have the green light.
Getting someone to sign on the dotted line and taking their money is only the start. You then need to manage the relationship effectively. Communication is key!
• 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
• Contact or meet your sponsors on a regular basis to provide an update, always bringing some evidence of exposure you have given your sponsor every time
• Make sure you invite and consider your sponsors when organising club or league events.
• Show an interest in their business, their football team, their family, etc. The stronger your relationship becomes, the harder it becomes for them to say no when it’s time to renew.