How to get an Event Sponsor.
About a year ago I wrote a blog about what a sailor should think about when approaching a sponsor. While the advice given in the article would help an individual or team looking for sponsorship, we tend to look for different qualities when someone approaches us looking for event sponsorship.
These enquiries tend to come from either the host Club or the Class Association. Both organisations need to consider what they can offer a sponsor in return and always think of it as a business transaction. Event sponsorship is a great way for a company to raise brand awareness and to target a specific sector in the market, so it’s worth thinking about the type of people your event will attract and whether this will be of interest to the company.
When writing your proposal, think about what you are able to offer the company in return.
Advertising opportunities: Websites, magazines, eNewsletters. A Club or Class Association that communicates regularly with their Members and participants will stand out. Advertising space can be sold or traded in exchange for sponsorship with a company. It's really important to know your distribution and membership numbers and how often communications are sent out. Knowing your website statistics and "hits" will also help a company to understand the possible reach of their advertising with you.
Event PR and Communication strategy: It's important to be able to demonstrate how you will promote your event and the company. Always remember to include them correctly in any press releases - particularly if they are a title sponsor - and include links back to their website. A good PR and communication strategy will incorporate written press releases, photography and social media. As a minimum you should aim for the following;
- Event preview press release to announce your sponsor, dates, venue and a "runners & riders" preview
- Daily report with photos of the action on the water
- Overall report announcing winners with photos of prize giving - ideally featuring the sponsors banners/ flags
- Post it, share it and tweet it!
Sharing results, photos, news and videos is a great way to engage with people and helps them, their friends and their family, to follow the event. All of a sudden, your reach goes beyond just competitors at the event. Make sure you know how to tag your sponsors in posts, that way they can follow the action too and people can click on the link to the sponsor's social media page. The sponsor can also share your content to their page and increase the event or Club's reach. It's hard to follow what other people post and share about your Club or event. By setting up a hashtag and encouraging people to use it, you can easily follow what is being posted by others. To encourage more posts and use of the hashtag, you could have a competition for the best picture, which in turn boosts your reach and increases the awareness of your class and the event.
Photography and Videos:
If you are able to employ a professional photographer and/ or videographer this will greatly increase your chances of securing a sponsor. Offering a set number of copyright free images and ensuring their logo is displayed as a header or footer on each image is valuable to a sponsor. Videos provide superb content and can also feature the sponsors logo.Solo Nationals Day 1 Sponsored by Rooster. There is a lot to do here but it will all add value to your events which will have sponsors tripping over themselves to get involved. It will also make your Club/ Class really stand out and might make a few sailors think about joining in the fun! In summary;
- Know your distribution numbers and potential reach
- Offer something of value to a sponsor
- Have a communications plan and social media strategy
- Delegate the jobs list!