An event sponsor provides a large portion of resources and momentum necessary for creating a successful and potentially profitable event. Event sponsors do more than finance. The right sponsor will elevate the authority of your brand and message of the event. But sponsors (especially high-value ones) can be a challenge to win over. Landing the perfect event sponsor is worth the effort once you understand the impact it will have on your event.
The perfect event sponsor reflects your brand and its mission, adds value and attracts your target audience.
The first and more considerably the most important thing to note when choosing your ideal event sponsor is that their brand reflects your values. Before you pick up the phone or send an email, study your desired sponsors. What are their values, mission, target audience?
Choosing an event sponsor who brings on-brand notoriety is much like selecting a (temporary) business partner. It’s important to be able to share interests and be able to mutually benefit from the event.
Fitting a sponsor’s brand is equally important as them fitting yours. Capitalize on the target audience being brought in by your sponsor. In order to appeal to them, the brand alignment has to make sense.
If you land a sponsor with a less-than-perfect brand-alignment, it may provide an opportunity to expand your exposure to an entirely new audience. Exposure isn’t measured solely by attendees. If you really want to get noticed, choose a brand with a strong online presence including active social media.
Uglow explains how one auto company used event sponsorship to change the perception and increase their brand exposure in order to become an authority.
“Even though Hyundai made a good car for many years, the perception in America was that they did not. So they started sponsoring golf tournaments and other prestigious events,” Uglow says. “It’s one of the reasons why Hyundai is competing directly — and even winning in some markets — with Honda and Toyota.”
Your brand can compete in other markets and industries and your business may gain more attention than you ever thought it would. It can be a risk but it may be worth it.
When you’ve finally gotten you’re desired sponsored on the phone, it’s time to clearly explain your event objectives in detail. This will avoid any clashing at the event. For example, if a portion of your event proceeds is being donated to a ‘save the planet’ organization, you may want to verify your sponsor doesn’t also represent Nestle. Believe it or not, I’ve seen wellness events sponsored by a tobacco company- yikes!
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The message of your event must be as clear as your brand. What is it that you’re trying to tell them, sell them, or to share with them? The right sponsor will make your message shine! The slightest conflict could cast a shade on the intentions of the event. The strongest way of going about this is to reach out to established businesses and companies within your industry.
Nike sponsored a running event. This is a great example of brand-alignment, positive exposure, and a clear set of shared values between brand and sponsor.
Sponsorships to Think Twice About
Some companies will sponsor an event — often times a sporting or cultural event — just to have their name associated with it. This type of sponsorship is a way of showing the world that their company is doing well and that they are involved.There is less of a focus on ROI (Return on Investment), this form of sponsorship isn’t guaranteed to strengthen your brand and may even damage it.
Find an event sponsor that has a genuine interest in your brand and your audience.
Knowing what to look for in the perfect event sponsor is much less challenging than actually landing them. Remember, sponsorship isn’t philanthropy, it’s business. Confidently and accurately provide benefits to your potential sponsors.
If you’re not ready to seek out 100% sponsorship try providing a minimum risk solution. So, if you’re in need of $100,000 instead ask for $15,000 and provide something small in return. For example, you might offer a sponsor their own booth, allow them to invite a guest speaker and offering to apply their logo on a promotional item. This is a great way to start a potentially long-term relationship with a sponsor for many events to come.
In order to ensure you are putting your best foot forward an online course for Savvy Sponsorship Sales!
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Jampacked with lessons, worksheets, and bonus material, you’ll learn how to sell smarter (not harder) and get step-by-step guidance on everything from creating prospect lists and sales pipelines to putting together enticing sponsorship packages and how to increase your chances of snagging a sweet sponsor. Learn how to land your desired sponsor for as many of your events as possible!
One secret from my course that I will share is the power in locating your sponsor’s decision maker. It can be incredibly effective when you pitch to the right person.