Got Sponsors?

January 17, 2013 § 4 Comments

One common question asked by almost all event organizers is this:  how do I attract and retain sponsors for my event?  Not sponsors that will give me a flyer for a goodie bag, but quality sponsors that will help me make the event a better experience for its participants and the community?  As a recovering race director and former Texas Field Marketing Manager for Clif Bar, I have been on both sides of the sponsorship aisle.  Here are 5 ideas that could help.

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  • Ask, don’t assume.  Ask your sponsors about their marketing objectives so you can help achieve them.
  • Create sponsorship levels, and make it clear on your marketing materials which sponsors are at the top level.  Not all sponsors need to be mentioned on every marketing piece.
  • Introduce sponsors to each other and encourage them to create cross promotions around the event.  For example, if you have a beer sponsor and a restaurant sponsor, suggest that they host a pre-event party at the restaurant and feature the beer.
  • Create a post event marketing report that details how you helped fulfill their objectives.  It always impressed me when the 3M Half Marathon would send out a binder that listed all the media on which they had placed the Clif Bar logo.
  • Host a post event party and invite your sponsors (as well as volunteers and others who helped on your event).  Tell them how important they are to you.

Share what has worked for you in a comment below.  Or, if you need more marketing ideas or want to spend a few minutes brainstorming , feel free to contact me at chris@signmeup.com.

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§ 4 Responses to Got Sponsors?

  • Patti DePaulis says:

    These are all great ideas! Thanks!

  • Chris Leon says:

    David
    Thank you for your comment. I agree with you about logo sponsorship that is why an event director should always ask how they can help sponsors achieve their marketing objectives. The 3M example was used to show event directors they should create a post marketing report to show sponsors they actively support their brand. I sponsored 16,000 to 30,000 events that did not send out any type of simple report telling sponsors what the race did for their brand. Pictures of banners at the finish line show you are thinking about your sponsors and their importance to the event.

  • Don’t offer sponsorship levels. Customize your proposal for each company you solicit. All sponsors don’t want the same thing.

    Also, don’t build your proposal around logo placement. Many sponsors consider that to be worthless.

    A logo is not a marketing message – it promotes a marketing message. Nobody is going to buy a sponsor’s product just because they saw a logo on a shirt, banner, or web page.

    Sponsorship is about THEIR needs, not yours. Ask the sponsor what it wants and create a package that meets its needs.

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