This week, we once again partnered with RTR sports marketing to bring you even more interesting insights. Read further to discover 9 tips on how to search for, and request sports sponsorship.
Every week we receive many contact requests for sponsorship research from athletes, teams and sports events. Essentially, the request is always the same: supporting research of funds in order to deal with a sports season or to create an event
What we would like to point out (and we specify this with everyone who has this type of request), is that this is not our job: RTR Sports Marketing offers marketing consultancy services to companies and brands willing to use sport as a communication tool. Concisely, we work in the opposite direction, as we put ourselves on the sponsor company’s side, instead of the sponsored property’s one.
Nevertheless, we still find it useful to use this website to help those who are searching for a sponsorship or a sponsor to face a new challenge, fulfil a dream or, simply, to continue an adventure.
How to request sports sponsorship or look for a sponsor
In the following article, we will give some useful tips to every individual, group or organisation willing to start looking for sponsorship. Please note that these considerations are valid for everyone, for beginners and professionals, athletes and teams, youth and adults.
#1 Focus on what you can offer, rather than what you want to achieve
The first step to finding sponsorship is to understand its core. It is necessary to keep in mind that sports sponsorship consists of offering marketing and communication benefits in exchange for financial or service benefits. As stated, the focus is not on the money research, but on the idea of marketing and communication benefits. What can you offer, as athletes or teams, to a company or a brand? Why should these brands join you? These questions are vital when you start approaching sponsorship research, but, most of the time, they are underestimated, because people tend to focus more on what they want to receive in return. Keep in mind when explaining what you can offer, that visibility represents just the tip of the iceberg: as long as you go deeper you will find benefits regarding B2B, PR, and so on…
#2 Come prepared
Before starting the research, it is necessary to identify several documents and explanatory materials to explain which assets are involved clearly beforehand. A detailed brochure, an accessible and indexed website and social media engagement, are all essential tools that will help you introduce yourself to a potential sponsor and showcase your sports sponsorship request. The focus must be on quality, and on all those pictures, videos, publications and research that qualify you as a serious and extensive product. This phase is fundamental: the greater the accuracy of your materials, the more successful your results will be.
#3 Numbers, numbers, and more numbers
Every well-drafted presentation and every useful negotiation should be based on numbers and data: this is the primary interest of every marketing manager, owner or entrepreneur that wishes to sponsor you and your project. Based on trustworthy sources, collect audience data, contacts of your events, measure the efficiency of your actions and the level of your communication engagement. For example, you can easily see that there is a valuable difference between the sentence “I compete in a very well known championship” and “I compete in a race competition that registered a total of 130,000 people as an audience throughout Lombardia and Emilia Romagna during 10 races in 6 weeks”. Remember to quote, to offer the best reliability.
#4 Show brand identity
It is true that you cannot judge a book by its cover, but it is also true that all books are recognised by their cover. Whether you are dealing with a small football team, or international competition, you cannot introduce yourself with an inaccurate image. Invest your time and resources on logo design, visual identity and an institutional “dress” that fits your identity.
#5 Understand the reasons and the target’s composition
If you are looking for sponsorship for your water polo team, you are unlikely to find it in a company that sells winter clothing. This can sound like a silly example, but it is a useful reminder for you to search for brand and value affinity with groups and companies you will contact. Before launching yourself in debatable marketing actions, think about your branch and your target.
#6 Create different levels, or “packages”, of sponsorship
Again, looking for a sponsor has nothing to do with asking for money. When dealing with sponsorship, it is necessary to have a clear budget to reach and to split it into sponsorship “packages” to suggest to different investors. Obviously, high profile sponsorship will pay more, and will consequently have more marketing benefits. In the same way, investors with lower entry levels must be aware that they will receive less in return. Organise a chart in which you split your budget according to these parameters: it will also help you to understand at which stage of the project you are.
#7 Create a database
Once you have arranged all your presentation material, cleared everything concerning budget and clarified your targets and contacts, it is necessary for you to create a neat database that you will meticulously follow for the whole process of sponsors’ research. Fill in a paper with referee’s name, job title, phone number, email and request status (forwarded, rejected, accepted). This database will be your primary instrument during the process, and it must always be updated with new data and progresses, to avoid any mistakes.
#8 Create a phone script or an email template
Don’t improvise, and create a phone script or an email template before getting in touch with referees. The template must contain all the main points of the conversation: who you are, the reasons behind your call/email, the benefits for the sponsor, the entry level, materials to attach or send in the next step in case of interest. Use this template as a reference that you will improve as you will get more contacts so that you can rely on an efficient and concise tool.
Keep in mind that marketing offices, owners and investors are busy, and it is possible that your proposal, even if interesting, will not be considered as a priority. Agree on a better time in the future to follow-up (or re-build) the conversation, reminding yourself that every “no” is also good news: you will not lose time with counterparts that are not interested.
This article has originally been written by Emanuele Venturoli and has been published on RTR Sports’ Blog: http://rtrsports.com/marketing-sportivo/ricerca-sponsorizzazioni-sportive/