Tuesday, 6 June 2017

How to show value to your sponsor....

Brother Neutral Support Vehicle

With over 15 years of experience of being chequebook side of sponsorship, I'm often approached about potential sponsorship opportunities from individuals, events or teams.

Having seen investments in Formula One, Premier League football and other sports you get to see how well different sports activate agreements with their sponsors, some better than others.

Being part of a multi-national, people assume (wrongly) that you have a bottomless war chest for commercial sponsorship.  It’s just not like that.  

Like any business, we have finite resources, strategic goals and a target audience to play for.   We have to be selective about what we back/don't back aligned to our strategic objectives.

Having seen hundreds of requests over the years, there is a common theme that runs through the ones that go straight in the bin or the junk mail folder– a poor business case communicated in a generic proposal. 
No benefit, no sponsorship. 
Time after time we've seen poorly thought out sponsorship proposals which are standardised, non-specific and asking for chunks of money. You may aswell stand outside a train station shaking a bucket.

So having identified what a poor approach might be.  Here’s five tips to get your approach improved and increase your chances of success: -
  1. W11FM.  This is an acronym for “What’s In It For Me” (or us).  If you 'we' all over the place and take no time to think about what the upside for someone spending/investing their money then your doomed to fail.  Walk in the shoes of the company you are approaching and really think through the upside then get that well articulated in a succinct way that someone can absorb quickly.
  2. What evidence can you bring of the audience that will see the sponsorship? Viewing statistics, visitor numbers, participants.  “We’re hoping,” “we’re soon to have, ” “we estimate,” don’t give a potential sponsor a lot to work with.  Talk specifically about what you do have.  Industry data, demographic data, supporting evidence, opportunities to influence.  If you have athletes, how are they going to support the sponsorship?
  3. How are you going to activate the sponsorship?  It’s not enough to say we have XXXX followers on Twitter and XXXX facebook likes – so what?  What specifically are you going to do to get the audience engaged and how are we going to get value for the money you are requesting?  Make a clear proposal as to your proposition. It's no good have a high social frequency for example if your reach is low.  Or a lot of followers with a low frequency.  Spend some time codifying your digital reporting to really demonstrate how you might add value for example.
  4. Research the company you are approaching.   A blanket bomb request for sponsorship will fall over.  Understand the business you are targeting. Download their corporate report, look for clues about their target market and see if there are any crossovers.  Bring your proposal to life with well researched information which makes the business feel special.
  5. Think words and pictures.  Mock up a logo, an image, an advertising hoarding.  Bring it to life.  Many people are visual and prefer to see things rather than read things and vice versa, so make sure your proposal is also worded well and not too long. 
The summary is this.  Personalise the approach, back it with some numbers and make it relevant to the audience of the business you are targeting with good research and you'll definitely increase your chances of success.

1 comment:

  1. I think you're completely right and I agree that it's a waste of time to spray and pray, and it's much more time-efficient to research the best companies to approach and then work out exactly what they might need and how you can provide that thing. For instance, a company that supports me wasn't interested so much in logo placement, but did want an expert to take some clients out on a MTB ride and teach them some skills. Just pitching logo placement is often not enough when you're not getting millions of viewers on TV and riders/teams need to be a little more creative in deciding what they can offer for maximum ROI.