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

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.