Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sponsorship: Edge out the competition

Part 1 – What’s in it for me?

Posted by Janelle Rees

Present any business with a sponsorship proposal and their first thought will be ‘what’s in it for my business?’ By having your answer ready you can get an edge over your competition to attract those valuable sponsorship dollars.

So what benefits are businesses looking for? Simple - exposure, experiences and reach.

Exposure: This includes things like signage at your event, advertising in your program, logos on uniforms, acknowledgement in speeches, exposure on your website, chances to advertise on your big screen or through your broadcast system, naming rights and anything else that allows your sponsors to display their brand at your event. Just remember to give the big opportunities to the big sponsors and price your packages accordingly.

Experiences: Provide your sponsors with experiences that money can’t buy. This can include access to networking opportunities, tickets to VIP events, one-on-ones with celebrity guests and corporate entertainment packages. Is parking limited at your event? Create a VIP car park. Is your event premier viewing or screening? Open 30 minutes earlier for sponsors. Identify the unique features of your event and package them for the exclusive benefit of your sponsors.

Reach: This one is easy. When you’re presenting your sponsorship packages to business, make sure you tell them who they’ll be reaching. How many people? Is there a gender or age bias? Are they locals or visitors? Will their business get exposure before and after the event, adding to their potential reach? By matching their target audience with your target audience you’ll show them you’re serious about reaching their customers.

Whether times are tough or not in many cases shouldn’t matter – if you can present clear benefits in return for their business investment, your proposal will win attention from the people making the budget decisions.

Next month: Perfecting your proposal

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