Adding Value To Sponsorship Proposals

As part of my Designing and Selling Your Sponsorship Program workshop series, I offer 30-minutes of free consultation within 30 days of each workshop. One of the most common questions I get asked in these post-workshop consultations is “How do I add value to my sponsorship packages / proposals”?

The answer is quite simple – you add value by providing benefits that are aligned with the prospect’s (potential sponsor’s) business objectives.

There are a number of ways to do this. The first is to ask yourself, “If I was in my prospect’s shoes, what would I think is valuable in a sponsorship? (hint#1: I’ll bet it’s not just logo-type benefits) and in the same breath, If this was my money, would I get excited about the sponsorship proposal that I have in front of me”? (hint#2: probably not, if it’s just logo-type benefits). If you can’t answer the first question and/or answer No (be honest now) to the second question, you need to do some more homework.

The second way is to take the time to research the prospect’s current sponsorship projects or marketing thrusts to see what they are currently involved in. Thanks to technology, most of this can be done on line. While it may be somewhat dated (what’s been done or what they are currently involved with vs what’s coming down the road), this research will provide you with insight about the kinds of things that are important to them.

A third and even more obvious way is to ask the prospect what’s important to them before submitting a proposal. Not only will you get a sense if what you’re offering as benefits is of any interest to them, you’ll also be sending a clear message that you are also interested in their success, not just your own.

Later, BC

Top 10 Sponsorship Resolutions for 2008

It’s a new year and time to get on track and remove some of those bad habits we’ve picked up in the previous year. Here are my Top 10 New Year Resolutions that you should consider if you want to be successful at sponsorships.

Repeat each of the resolutions below with right hand firmly placed over your heart (in patriotic fashion). I resolve:

1. To understand the associative value of my sponsorship property (s) so that when a prospect asks, I have a clear answer why they should invest in my sponsorship program;

2. To listen to the needs of prospects before submitting a sponsorship proposal;

3. To move beyond “cookie cutter” sponsorship packages;

4. To have a rationale for how I price on my sponsorship packages;

5. To prospect for leads on a year-round basis;

6. To set aside time each week to conduct “cold calls”;

7. To faithfully deliver sponsorship benefits as outlined in the agreement;

8. To ask for the sponsorship sale;

9. To ask sponsors how they will measure success – and provide post-sponsorship reports that address their criteria;

10. To be a sponsorship ambassador by delivering added value to sponsors and promoting the discipline as a legitimate and effective marketing medium.

Good luck in 2008!

Sponsorship Offerings Need to Keep Pace with an Increasingly Sophisticated Marketplace

I recently heard an ad on the radio that reminded me how sophisticated companies are becoming at connecting with their audiences in meaningful ways. The ad I heard was from an Ottawa-based Funeral Home that was offering support services (during the Christmas period) for those who might need some moral support during what can be a very difficult time of year, especially for those who have recently lost someone and are feeling particularly lonely. What really struck me about the ad was that here was a relatively conservative business was reaching out to their audience in an innovative way that demonstrated their sensitivity to the market in a way that went significantly beyond the traditional funeral service offerings. This company clearly made a decision that it was important for them to demonstrate the added value they bring to the marketplace. In my view, this is very good marketing.

The lesson for anyone in the business of recruiting sponsors is this – companies (no matter what size, background, service offering) are looking for unique ways to connect with their audience. The better we can be at understanding a company’s objectives and provide tangible opportunities for them to demonstrate their value in a market that goes beyond their core service offerings, the more effective we will be at recruiting these companies as sponsors. Sponsorships are no longer about logos and signs; they’re about helping companies make meaningful connections with their audience; so remember that the next time, before you send out that generic, “cookie-cutter” sponsorship package.