Today I received another request for sponsorship. It went a bit like this –
“You can sponsor our U9’s football team for just £450. This will help us buy a new kit for the team. If you are interested please contact xxxxxx xxxxx”
Quick question, what would you do in my position? Needless to say our answers are probably the same, that letter is now safely shredded and in my recycling box.
What that club failed to establish for me was simply, “what’s in it for me?” If I hand over £450 and you get your shiny new kit, what do I get?
I believe that the clubs that get sponsorship are those that sell themselves well. This will require a number of elements to come together.
- A team of people prepared to spend some time researching potential sponsors.
- An understanding by this group of the opportunities they present to a potential sponsor.
- An understanding of the Club membership demographics and how this matches the potential sponsor’s target audience.
- Someone who can write a succinct, yet compelling proposal embracing the above elements.
- A dogged individual who’s prepared to follow up letters with a phone call and speak to the decision maker.
As a small business owner myself, I personally like to be presented with a range of options. If the high ticket items are out of my budget range, but I feel the match is good, maybe I would put a toe in the water with a lower priced package.
It is also worth bearing in mind that a lot of businesses plan their marketing/sponsorship budgets annually in advance, so expecting an immediate investment may be a touch optimistic. Whilst still worth asking the question, if clubs plan 18 months in advance they are giving that company an opportunity to plan ahead.
Whilst I am sure many clubs are selling themselves well, please do avoid the pitfall or asking for money and thinking that local companies will jump at the opportunity. In the current economic climate I for one need a very compelling reason to part with my cash!