3 Tips for Selling Sponsorships

Last month, Team Tandem had the opportunity to attend the inaugural Sponsorship Mastery Summit in Renton, Washington. Aside from the amazing weather and location right on Lake Washington, we were able to spend two days talking with and learning from some of today’s thought leaders in the sponsorship industry.

The brainchild of Paula Beadle, CEO of Caravel Marketing Group, this Summit aims to fill the gap left by IEG, following the pivot of their business, now under new ownership.

Jen Mueller, American television and radio sports broadcast journalist, sports official, business consultant, speaker and author

Tandem Partnerships, while no stranger to the Sponsorship and Experiential Marketing industries, strives to remain abreast of new developments, trends and technological advances that may impact the future of our business, or that of our clients.

Each member of our team attends one to two conferences annually, along with participation on panels, boards, and membership groups relevant to our business. This year we attended the inaugural Sponsorship Mastery Summit as a team and here are 3 takeaways we wanted to share with you:

1) The days of spots and dots have long passed

As sales professionals we all know it, we all believe it, but do we all practice it in our daily work?

Over and over and over we heard from brands such as Delta Dental, Alaska Airlines and Miller Coors; “Please no more Gold, Silver and Bronze Sponsorship Packages”. Sponsorship sales is not a transactional business, it’s a relationship buy. Stop sending “canned” proposals where the logo may or may not have been changed out to from Company “X” to Company “Z”.

We all sat horrified as we listened to Jason Klein, President of 88 Marketing, describe a proposal he received for Alaska Airlines that had Jet Blue’s logo throughout the entirety of the document.

Today’s brand-side buyers and decision makers are looking for experiences, offers and ownable platforms unique to them and their brands. That takes time to develop, design and cultivate.

Leading us to point #2…

2) No one wants to be the wall at which you throw your spaghetti

As the saying goes, “Throw enough ideas out there, send enough proposals, make enough calls and eventually something will stick. It’s a numbers game, just keep enough going out and eventually you will hit your number.”

While this may very well be true in the areas of ticket sales, or other types of “widget sales,” we clearly heard this past week that is NOT the case for sponsorship sales. Here are some tips we heard from buyers:

“Know about us before you call”

“Know our brand position”

“Know our position in the market”

“Know our values, know what we do and don’t stand for”

Time after time this was reiterated by brand after brand we saw take the stage. Do your homework, be well researched and deeply knowledgeable before you hit send on that email or dial that phone.

There is no doubt it takes time to be well researched on your prospects. And as a manager of sales people, I recognize the delicate balance between “filling the funnel” and “researching the prospect.” It is often difficult to find the balance between those two things.

Efficiency in both research and outreach are critical skills for success and it takes time, often years, to effectively strike a balance to find the right mix for success.

3) Know its worth and don’t devalue it

At Tandem, everything we sell is based on a specific methodology in order to determine a value and a price. We factor in the tangible assets as well as the intangible factors to arrive at an investment level for our clients.

As tempting as it may be to cut prices, hold firm on them.

If you MUST reduce an investment level to close a deal, be sure to ALSO reduce the benefits or assets accordingly.

Because if you don’t believe in and value the worth of your assets, you can’t expect your clients or prospects to either. The reality is, if this practice is continued over time, the program itself begins to erode.

Marques Jackson, Senior Manager Sports & Entertainment Marketing at MillerCoors

While all of the above may seem to be principles which are not new, it is challenging as a salesperson to live by them and implement them each day. However, practice, practice and more practice, combined with accountability and support, will inevitably pay dividends when done consistently – For your clients, for your company, and ultimately for you personally as a salesperson.



If you’re struggling to reach the right prospects or convert them into partners, Tandem Partnerships can help. We have the tools, the team, and the connections you need!

Sponsorship Sales and Services

Tandem Partnerships provide sponsorship sales and services that will serve you for the complete sponsorship lifecycle. We’ll work with you from asset valuation to strategy development until all sales are made and accounts are thoroughly serviced.

Check out other services we offer on our homepage.



tagged: 2019  advice  how to  mastery summit  proposal  recap  sales  selling  sponsorship  sponsorship packages  tips 

posted on October 10, 2019

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