Eight ways to get a sponsorship deal off the ground

Sponsorship for SMEs - getting deals off the ground{{}}Are you looking for a sponsor for an event? Or do you want to sponsor a local sports team or charity to raise your profile? Sponsorship can bring significant commercial rewards but it’s not always easy to strike a good deal. Jackie Fast, MD of Slingshot Sponsorship, offers eight tips to help you get a sponsorship deal off the ground

1. Sponsorship isn’t about you!

Sponsorship happens because the event or organisation being sponsored can provide an audience, which helps sponsors reach their objectives. Sponsorship is not simply about someone helping to find an opportunity or great idea. You need to look at sponsorship as a product you are selling.

2. Sponsorship proposals should focus on benefits

A sponsorship proposal should focus on the benefits of the association. No matter how big or small the sponsorship deal is, it should focus on return on investment and commercial benefits.

3. Get the right fit

Prospects should be approached who share the same target audience and values. This will not only ensure that the prospect is marketing to their key audience, but also creates an associated brand experience.

4. Internal buy-in is key

There is only so much one individual can do to make the sponsor feel like a partner. It is imperative that the whole business recognises and realises the benefit of sponsorship and doesn’t look at it as a hassle. If it doesn’t, you will be unable to provide one of the core objectives of the sponsorship – mutual benefits through partnership activity.

5. Look beyond logo placement

Sponsorship is about engaging an audience and creating a meaningful experience. By understanding the sponsor’s objectives you can work together to create this. Only then will sponsorship be successful.

6. Understand your prospects

Tailored sponsorship proposals are the only option when you are looking to generate significant sponsorship funding. Understanding your prospect’s business and budget timelines is key to building these relationships.

7. Account management

Account management is the key to a successful sponsor relationship. Ideally, you should be looking to have long-term sponsors who continually fund your sponsorship proposals because they find value in their relationship and they enjoy the positive working relationship you provide.

8. Get help

Sponsorship is very complex and it is simply not about asking for funding because you have a great proposition. When done properly, it can not only fund your activities, but will also create a meaningful relationship between your organisation, your sponsors and your audience — significantly adding value to your business. More information can be found online, through forums, blogs, and books. Specialist sponsorship agencies can also provide training and consulting to help integrate a successful sponsorship department into your organisation.

Written by Jackie Fast of Slingshot Sponsorship.