In my spare time I’m an avid motorsport enthusiast, and my teenage son is a motorcycle road racer.
Motorsport is driven by the mighty dollar. It’s not hard getting a ride with a great team, as long as you can bring $50,000 to $80,000 with you for the season. Unless you have substantial cash reserves, that means that to participate at a competitive level over the long term you’ll need to find a sponsor. Or as I prefer to label them, a partner.
Sponsorship procurement isn’t easy, and in today’s economic climate can be very hard. Nonetheless, securing strategic partners is still very much possible, be it for sport, business ventures or associated activities. Here are some sponsorship marketing tips I’ve picked up over the past ten years of going through this process myself.
Start your engines!
If you haven’t sought sponsorship before, it’s difficult to know how to approach it. Personally, I recommend treating the task of finding partners like a race.
If a motorcycle rider doesn’t line-up on the starting grid, a win will never materialise. Similarly, failure to deploy partnership proposals will ensure you’re goal of obtaining a sponsor will fail.
In other words, you’ll need to be pro-active and persistent.
It’s a numbers game
It’s a foregone conclusion that you’ll receive plenty of rejections. This is completely normal. The objective, however, is to optimise your success rate. There’re a number of ways in which this can be achieved.
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What’s in it for them?
Potential partners won’t throw their hard earned money in your direction out of kindness. They’re looking for, and will expect, a measurable return on their investment, and rightly so. They’re in business to make money – aren’t you?
To you, the bottom line might be the amount of cash your potential partner can front up with. But to bring your opportunity to life, your proposal needs to identify clear strategies that will deliver supreme value to your partner’s business. These should become your unique selling point (USP), and therefore, your proposal’s focus of appeal.
Asking the following questions can be a great starting point:
- What can we truly do to add tangible value to a partner’s business?
- What is the targeted partner actually seeking? Are they looking for more customers, increased sales volume, greater revenue, enhanced brand recognition, or something completely different?
- Can we genuinely deliver their need(s)? If so, how are we going to do it?
- How will we articulate a realistic ROI to the partner? Broad statements, such as, sell more homes or increase your gross margin, won’t cut the mustard. Be specific.
- Which metrics will we use to measure success of the sponsorship opportunity?
Follow through on your promises
Do the wrong thing by your partners and you’ll lose their support forever, so do your very best to deliver what you promise.
Have you successfully attracted partnership or sponsorship funding? Please share any additional sponsorship marketing tips below.