Getting Your Event Sponsored

I wrote this after the 2013 Danish Footbag Championship where we had some nice sponsors. That does not mean that I have the golden truth on the subject. I encourage you to learn from your own mistakes and successes and do as much research beforehand as possible.

1. Who?

First thing you need to do is identify who you think would be interested in sponsoring your event and who you think would be interested in sponsoring it. Brands want to sponsor things that conjure a positive association to the brand and the event they are sponsoring. I knew a guy working for Playground (the company distributing GoPro and Skullcandy in Denmark) thus this seemed like an obvious choice. We fit with the company’s brands and they fit with a footbaggers needs. So first look at your network – having a foot in the door always helps.

2. Identify assets

Where can you give them value for their sponsorship? Usually a brand want to advertise their logos – where you can you fit them in? What other ways can they do marketing? Film at the event, distribute product samples, maybe even sell products?

There are three things a company look at when they figure out if they wanna sponsor :

1. Value in the number of impressions (people looking at the logos)
2. The demographic of the people looking at the logo
3. The value of being associated with your event (world championships always sounds good)

If you are trying to attract a huge brand you will have to pull some statistics and have actual proof related to these three things (we didn’t).

3. Write a proposal

The proposal should include:

– A short description of footbag
– A short description of your event
– Your identification of assets (number of impressions, demographic, value, other ways the company can benefit from the sponsorship)
– What you expect in return
– Anything else you think could interest the sponsor – we included a footbag video filmed with GoPro

The proposal should be specific to each sponsor – standard proposals will generally not work, they need to be tailored to the particular sponsors.

4. Negotiate

Obviously it is hard to say anything about this since it will change from company to company. Ask for more than you need, because they will give you less than what you ask for.

5. Fulfillment and follow up

This is pretty simple. You need to deliver on what you promised. Also treat representatives of the sponsors as VIP. We had free food and free beers for them. After the event send the sponsors a short description of how things went and links to photos, videos and press. Let them know you were happy having them on board and that you would like to work with them in the future again.

Take yourself and your event serious – be professional.

Written by Asmus Helms

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