A How-To Guide for Rights Holders Everywhere
Research Potential Sponsors
When creating a sponsorship proposal it is important to research both potential sponsors and the relevant industry before finalizing the items that will be highlighted in your property’s proposal. The goal is finding what makes each brand tick and realistically assess the potential sponsorship opportunities your property can offer. Your property will need to tailor proposals to each brand; competitors in the same industry are not always looking for the same end game, especially within the sponsorship world.
Where can you find information about potential sponsors? Here are some ideas:
- Company website – Analyze each potential sponsor’s website in great detail. Get to know the company well: understand what each company feels it does well, services offered, and attempt to determine each company’s marketing goals
- LinkedIn profile – Most large companies and their staff have LinkedIn profiles. This can be a great way of discovering the right contact and it also opens up networking opportunities. A LinkedIn profile can connect a company to target sponsors.
- Social media – For both B2B and B2C brands, consider Facebook and Twitter. Take a look at what each company uses social media to promote. Use Twitter hash tags to see what other people are saying about the company/brand.
Understand What Each Sponsor Wants
A sponsor is looking for unique opportunities. As you write your property’s proposal, determine what your property offers that is more valuable to each brand than a competing marketing channel. Define your property’s audience as completely as possible; let potential sponsors know whom they could reach by partnering with your property. If you were able to determine a potential sponsor’s ideal audience during the research phase, demonstrate if and how your property’s audience fits the bill.
Also, include information about your property team’s attributes and skills, examples could include high social media engagement from fans or an unusually high level of fan engagement. Be sure to explain how your property’s strengths can help potential sponsors achieve their goals. For example, PIER 39 in San Francisco is the #1 tourist attraction and its sponsors recognize the unique value that that carries – they also make sure to leverage those properties when activating the PIER. The PIER has a high level of foot traffic from both international and domestic tourists, it is a fantastic location for a brand looking for high visibility.
Determine the Sponsor’s Marketing Objectives
Ideally, all marketing objectives will generate more sales and protect or improve the sponsor’s bottom line – but what else could a potential sponsor aim for?
Take time to learn about each potential sponsor’s specific marketing objectives; indicate the proposal is about their brand, wants, and how it can use your property’s unique marketing assets to reach its objectives.
Example marketing objectives:
- Increase revenue by 10% in a specific region through on-site sales
- Increase customer loyalty and repeat sales through social media marketing
- Increase brand awareness and recall amongst 25 to 35-year-old females
Find Property Assets That Do OR Could Fit Sponsor Objectives
Every property has standard assets proposed in every deal – we’re sure your property does too. However, most potential sponsors want to hear about assets beyond the ordinary; as your property prepares its proposal, brainstorm and include ideas that your property and your potential sponsor could partner on. Is there a program your property has been wanting to try but hasn’t been able to put all the pieces together? Could a sponsor help, resulting in success for both parties?
Determine Metrics for Success
There are two primary ways to measure sponsorship success. The metrics agreed upon by your property and potential sponsors will depend largely on the type of sponsorship activation and partnership objectives.
- Quantitatively, with results measured using specific amounts, including ideal quantity, percentage or breakdown, and statistics. Examples would include participation tracking or social media measurement.
- Qualitatively, with results that improve the sponsor's position, circumstance or perception that is more challenging to evaluate given a lack of numerical data. An example would include guests responding more favorably over time to questions about your brand.
When establishing the marketing objectives it is important to agree with the sponsor how success will be measured. Conversations about measuring success prior to activation are necessary because there are multiple avenues to measure success, and both the property and sponsor should be placing importance on the same aspects to prove partnership success.