Sponsorship is one of the key differentiators between the Success and Failure of an Event or Festival. In this article, we will cover three main steps to get good sponsors for your event or fest – which will include identifying solid sponsors for your event, creating sponsorship packets and nailing the deal.
Think about Sponsorship & Potential Sponsors right in the ‘Planning the Event’ stage. This will help you tune your event in a way to provide more avenues for the sponsors to project their products or brand better. More time in hand will mean you will have more time to convince your sponsors. Ideally, you should have 3-4 months in hand to work on Sponsorships.
Step 1: Know Your Potential Sponsors
Start with companies that have sponsored your college fest or event in the past. Then, look for companies that have sponsored events, fests, projects or activities similar to what you are planning. For special events like walking or running event, you can target companies that Sponsor those particular types of events in your area.
List your event at sponsorship websites like onspon.com where you can find some excellent leads.
Sponsors may be from different types of industries, depending on the nature and type of attendees of your event:
Onspon Blog – Sponsorships Simplified
For athletic events, you may consider Nike, Adidas, and organizations related to sports equipments, sportswear and sports shoes. Health & fitness organizations might also be considered.
For food events, you may contact local restaurants to food chains to food magazines and TV food channels and programs. Aim high.
For music event or concert, music publications, local radio stations, and related ventures might be interested in associating with your event as a sponsor.
Do not ask any and everyone to sponsor you. Create a list of only actual potential sponsors – ones you think may actually consider your request.Personal connections of course give you an edge when it comes to court sponsorships but it is not the end of the world if you don’t have any. Create lists of sponsors for different aspects of your event and get started.
Once you have drawn out your lists, research each company and person well.
Background information will help you anticipate needs, business model, target customers and business goals of a potential sponsor and customize your pitch better.
For smaller events, localized business may be easier to clinch than larger corporations. Giants like Nike might have more money to give but they also receive hundreds of such requests every week. But you may find it much easier to convince a local sports good store to associate with your event and increase its sales.
While Coca-Cola and Pepsi rivalry may not help you much but you can also play local businesses against each other to get better offers. Suppose McDonald’s near your college agrees to sponsor burgers at your fest, you can mention that to Domino’s Pizza and perhaps get them to agree to distribute Pizzas for free or at a special discounted rate!
Step 2: Create a Sponsorship Packet
A sponsorship packet means listing the benefits for a business or an individual who will give you monetary funds for your event. It is basically a detailed sponsorship letter which often mentions different levels of sponsorships. (this is included when you list your event in your city Events in Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai & other city at www.onspon.com as a part of entry form)
Sponsorship levels outline the benefits a sponsor will get for donating certain amount. These benefits are often associated with how the companies will be advertised. For more amounts, companies can be offered larger advertisements at more strategic places. These advertisements can be in the form of:
- Physical banners or signs,
- Printing the name of the company or business in mailers and brochures,
- Including the name of the brands prominently in reports, guides and newsletters, and
- Number of times their names will be mentioned in press releases sent out before and after the event.
You may also allow sponsors to showcase their products during the event or put up stalls where they can sell their products (with special discounts and attractive offers for the event crowd) and generate sales.
Here is an example of sponsorship levels for an event:
Tips to Write a Sponsorship Letter
A sponsorship packet must always start with an executive summary or mission statement of about 250-300 words. It is your one chance to entice your potential sponsor so it has to be personalized (based on your research on the person or company). Describe what are you seeking sponsorship for and how it will benefit the sponsor.
The tone of the sponsorship letter should be friendly yet profession.
Make sure that the letter has a call to action at strategic places, such as filling out a form and mailing it to you or calling you. Keep the task easy enough for them but keep the ball in your court by asking them to take the process forward.
Remember that you are writing to business people and not to academics. So, do not try to fit in difficult words and lofty diction in your letter to sound smart. Keep it short and sweet with just your argument and advantages for your sponsors. Do not make it long unnecessarily.
Do not forget to thank your sponsor in the end for taking out time to read the letter and consider your offer.
Step 3: Customize Your Approach
Just as we advise you to reach out to only those Sponsors where you stand a chance and personalizing the sponsorship packets for them, you have to be very judicious in how you approach a company. Every single mail, call or correspondence that reaches your sponsor should be individualized. Your listing at a website like onspon.com should have unique keywords which clearly sets out the tonality and audience profile of your event.
Once you have sent out the sponsorship packet, wait for a few days and then give them a follow-up call. You can ask them if they have received your request and if they have any queries. Also, make sure you repeat your contact details once again and tell them to let you know when they finally make a decision.
Also, you need to treat sponsors of different levels differently. While of course you can’t be rude to any of them, the way you treat a big sponsor vs a small sponsor should be substantial. You may even wine and dine with a few key sponsors to win them over.
The team at www.onspon.com specializes in sponsorship management. Let us help you with find sponsors by calling us at +91 76660 03344.
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