Sponsor Me?

Being part of a multi-national, people assume (wrongly) that you have a bottomless war chest for commercial sponsorship.  It’s just not like that.  Like any business, we have finite resources, strategic goals and a target audience to play for.

Having seen hundreds of requests over the years, there is a common theme that runs through them – a poor business case.  So many people send me poorly thought out sponsorship proposals because they’ve had a good idea and want someone to back it, without ever giving due consideration for the person signing the cheques.   Here’s five tips to get your approach right.

  1. W11FM.  This is an acronym for “What’s In It For Me” (or us).  No benefit, no sponsorship.
  2. What evidence can you bring of the audience that will see the sponsorship.  Viewing statistics, visitor numbers, participants.  ”We’re hoping,” “we’re soon to have, ” “we estimate,” don’t give a potential sponsor a lot to work with.  Talk specifically about what you do have.  Industry data, demographic data, supporting evidence.
  3. How are you going to activate the sponsorship?  It’s not enough to say we have XXXX followers on Twitter and XXXX facebook likes – so what.  What specifically are you going to do to get the audience engaged and how are we going to get value for the money you are requesting?  Make a clear proposal as to your proposition.
  4. Research the company you are approaching.   A blanket bomb request for sponsorship will fall over.  Understand the business you are targeting.  Download their corporate report, look for clues about their target market and see if there are any crossovers.
  5. Personalise the approach.  Mock up a logo, an image, an advertising hoarding.  Bring it to life.  Many people are visual and tying up the opportunity with images and words will help you stand out.
The summary is this.  Personalise the approach, back it with some numbers relative to the investment and make it relevant to the audience of the business you are targetting to stand a chance of success.