Sponsorship Proposals for Beginners: All the steps!

posted on November 7, 2019

Last week we told you to stop selling pre-packed deals, today we’re sharing how to create customized sponsorship proposals for beginners. You don’t need years of experience to do this well, just some time to research, and a creative mindset to connect your property or event to the sponsor’s values, objectives, and goals.

The goal for this sponsorship proposal is to show your prospect that their investment will get them closer to their customers. If you do your homework, you’ll be in a position to show them you genuinely care and that they can trust you to build a program which aligns with their objectives. Don't worry about being a beginner, if you do all this, you will come off as a pro!


As you begin to prepare your sponsorship proposal, you’ll want to first collect the basics. These will be important to include in your document and use to advance your proposal up the chain of command.

  • Name and title of the person in charge of reviewing proposals as well as their contact info. Try LinkedIn, google search, or even a call around to figure out who this person is.
  • Sponsor’s logo(s) – this could be just their company logo, but may even include one or more brand logos they represent.
  • Sponsor’s mission, market positioning, marketing objectives, goals. You can find this information on their website or social media platforms, in press releases, advertisements such as digital artwork or out of home projects like TV commercials and billboards, and better yet—by talking with the right person(s).
  • Sponsorship history – understand how previous and current sponsorships have been used to achieve their objectives.
  • Sponsor’s competitors – it’s important to know what they’re up against to show them how they can be set apart in the market through your proposed partnership.


When you’ve gathered these basics, which are key pieces of information, you can begin to build out a concept for this partnership that will be mutually beneficial.

So start asking yourself these questions:

  • What concept(s) would integrate within your event or property and simultaneously align with the sponsor? This could be focused on a cause or community initiative or something that makes the customer’s visit more enjoyable. Get creative.
  • What am I offering the sponsor? Some benefits for the sponsor might include brand awareness, lead generation, customer interaction, data collection, etc. What assets can you include that will achieve these marketing objectives?
  • What are the values of each asset you are offering? This will be especially helpful if you move to a negotiation phase so you know how to keep the pricing fair for both parties even when you have to take away or add assets within the proposal. Aside from being helpful, it’s important to deliver an offer that’s priced right. You neither want to leave money on the table, nor overprice an offer that leaves your sponsor feeling robbed. Asset identification and valuation are areas we can help, if you’d like.
  • You’ll need time to create this offer, negotiate it, and get an agreement in place before you can even begin to plan the fulfillment of promised assets. How long will this take? Based on those factors, when would be a realistic start date for the partnership, and what will be the length of term? Hopefully you can secure a multi-year partnership as those tend to drive better results for both parties and save you from having to secure a new sponsor year after year.


Now that you have all the information, it’s time to package it into a document that will impress your prospect. Use a template that includes your brand’s colors and fonts, and keep it simple.

Don’t cram everything on one page, lay it out by category using multiple pages to detail everything out. Let’s look at what that document might look like, beginning with page 1:

  • Your logo with the sponsor’s logo. Include concept tag line if one is available.
  • Describe your property or event briefly (1-3 sentences) and include some demographic data (preferably with charts—visual works better than text in this case).
  • List of sponsor’s goals and objectives (bullet points work well for easy to read lists)
  • Describe the proposed concept and list out the sponsor’s expected benefits
  • Display all physical and digital assets you are offering including any data you have relating to each one (for example, if you are proposing email blasts, include how many subscribers would be receiving the email). This might take several pages, and should include images of what you’re proposing.
  • Total sponsor package fee. Include any fine print – for example, if content creation by your team will cost extra, state that. Recap briefly the entire proposal re-stating if they will be title or presenting sponsor, whether or not they will have exclusivity, and any special access or rights they have with the package. Include also the length of term with beginning and end dates.
  • The last page should be a “THANK YOU” and include your contact information.


Be conscious that doing it right will take time but if you can secure a strong partner with a solid concept, the return on investment for both parties will be well worth the extra effort! If you follow the steps outlined in this post, you'll go from beginner to pro in no time! Or at least you'll look like one 😉

We hope this is helpful for you and of course, if you need any further assistance, please feel free to reach out to us through our contact form.


Asset Identification & Valuation Services at Tandem Partnerships

Don't know where to start? Tandem can help you identify your assets and determine their true value using proven methodology.

Tandem's Strategic Development

Take it a step further and invite Tandem to explore your financial objectives, audience, and offerings to receive a personalized strategy that produces results.

Sponsorship Sales & Service by Tandem

Tandem can also secure sales for your sponsorship program and execute successful fulfillment of promised assets to your partners.


The Sponsorship Sales Cycle: In 7 Stages

Tandem Blog Sponsorship Sales Cycle

The Sponsorship Sales Cycle

The successful sponsorship sales cycle includes 7 stages and each one proves to be crucial to the success of the cycle. Therefore, it’s important to pay careful attention to each of the stages in order to not only secure the right sponsors, but also to retain them long-term.

This seemingly long process might seem daunting, we know, but don’t worry. We’ll walk you through each one so you can move ahead confidently and eager to tackle your sponsorship sales program.

Whether you’re starting out with a new sponsorship program, or you’re revamping your current one, it’s essential that you follow the entire sponsorship sales cycle to establish a sustainable program.

The 7 Stages

The 7 stages can be summarized as follows:

  1. Build inventory
  2. Prospect attentively
  3. Deliver a compelling proposal
  4. Execute a formal agreement
  5. Coordinate all the details
  6. Execute the vision
  7. Review and renew

1. Build Inventory

As described by Chris Baylis of The Sponsorship Collective, “Why start here? Because your inventory of assets (what you will sell) tells you who you should be talking to. It guides your budget! No assets, no sales.

Initially, before you can even begin selling, you need to know what you have to sell. Even more-so, you need to know the value of what you have. Once you’ve identified the assets and their values, you can move forward knowing exactly what you’re working with.

Many people who aren’t creatively inclined will struggle with this fundamental step. If that’s you, we recommend getting other colleagues on board to help you brainstorm (buy them some food, turn the music on, and start writing ideas down together). You could also hire an agency to help you (we can help!).

To demonstrate the flow of asset identification, we’re listing out some examples of sponsorship assets to help you get started:

  • Naming rights or presenting sponsorship
      • section, area, or building
      • day or weekend at the event
      • event, performance, seminar, awards
  • Dedicated space on-site for sponsor to activate via:
      • sampling
      • demonstration
      • display
      • selling
  • Signage on-site
      • venue
      • pre-event street banners
      • press conference backdrop
      • staff apparel
  • Digital assets
      • social media (think contests, co-created content, sponsor takeover)
      • e-newsletter (let sponsor introduce a promotion)
      • website (typically just signage opportunities here)
  • Media and PR inclusion in:
      • press releases
      • print advertising
      • broadcast advertising
      • outdoor signage
      • radio advertising
      • ad space in event program
  • Hospitality
      • tickets to event(s)
      • VIP passes
      • parking
      • access to celebrities

The possibilities for sponsorship assets are endless!

You could even take this further by custom designing a new program with your sponsor or including one of your sponsor’s preferred charitable organizations into your event.

The next and final component of this first stage is to figure out the value for each asset you’ve identified. We talked all things valuation in our post titled “Sponsorship Valu-What??

Finally, you will have your complete inventory.

2. Prospect Attentively

As long as you know what you have to offer – inventory, audience, and mission – identifying the right sponsors should get easier. You’re looking for brands/companies who have:

  • the budget to buy your assets
  • the need/desire to reach your audience
  • the same values as you

Once you have your prospect list, you’ll have to contact them in ways that will appeal to them. Simply e-blasting them most likely won’t do the trick. You’ll want to personally contact them, researching how they’d prefer to be contacted. This may be through social media such as LinkedIn, or via a referral.

Make sure that before you contact them, you have done your homework. You need to know who the brand/company is, and even go as far as trying to find a connection point for the person you’re going to be speaking with.

If you’re going to be calling them, it might be a good idea to have a script prepared. This will help avoid rambling and ensure you deliver the entirety of your message with clarity (nerves have a tendency to fog our thinking and you may only get one shot!).

If you’ve made it this far, you’re a champ! Now comes time to present your vision. Read that again. It’s not about the assets, even though those are necessary, it’s about the vision those assets can bring to life.

But don’t panic! You shouldn’t be doing this completely alone.

3. Deliver a Compelling Sponsorship Proposal

Whenever it’s time to have a conversation with your prospect sponsor, you need to do one thing: LISTEN.

Seriously, this is the most simple thing you’ll do in this sponsorship sales cycle, and yet it can also be the hardest for people to do. Don’t try to sell your assets right away. Just l-i-s-t-e-n.

What you originally thought would be perfect for them, may not be once you hear their goals, available resources, and preferences. Don’t blow it by offering something they don’t want.

Ask questions, and listen to what they need.

Before you end the meeting, let them know that you will be taking all of their needs and preferences in consideration and meeting with your team to deliver a unique proposal that caters to their personal goals. It’s important that they know you are providing a special, customized offer and not just throwing them a bundle of assets at a fixed rate so you can meet your sponsorship revenue goals.

Make them feel like they’re part of your property/event/organization, and they belong with your audience. If you can convince them of that, you can sell them on any price. Again, sell the vision, not the assets.

Be sure to include demographic information, photos/videos, and all they’re going to get in the proposal. This should be obvious, but just in case, don’t forget to also include the price and your contact information in the proposal.

If you need more help for this part of the sponsorship sales cycle, take a look at our “5 Essential Steps to Creating an Enticing Sponsorship Proposal.”

Now, this is the stage where your sponsorship sales cycle might be the most nerve-wracking. You can cross your fingers and toes, pray if you do that, and just stay calm! Once you’ve delivered your compelling proposal, you will have to patiently wait for the response.

4. Execute a Formal Agreement

They loved your proposal and you’ve got yourself a new sponsor! Yayyyyy!!

Now what?

As soon as the proposal is agreeable by your sponsor, get an agreement in place. You might want to consider executing a multi-year contract and offering a discount for this term. It’s worth it!

Other items that you may want to include in your agreement are:

  • First right of refusal for renewal at conclusion of contract
  • Performance incentives

Don’t delay getting your agreement in place, or you might lose the sponsor. Nothing is “final” until the contract is signed. Speed is as important as accuracy in this stage.

5. Coordinate All The Details

Perhaps a good place to start would be with our post, “Sale to Service: What Happens After The Deal Is Signed?

Your sales person may have to handle the deal from A-Z, or you may have another person or department entirely that takes care of delivering all the promised assets. If the latter, you’ll want to be sure that everyone involved is part of the account transition.

The service team needs to fully understand what the sponsor has expressed and been promised.

If there are special requests or challenges, now is the time for the sales team to communicate with the service team. Communication is the key to success in this stage of the sponsorship sales cycle.

Do not allow your sales representative to hoard the relationship. They may like being the favorite, but your customer is best served if they feel they have a special relationship with your entire company. No matter who they speak with, they should feel known and understood.

The sales rep should also stay present, even if not directly involved, as they will be the one to handle the renewal later.

As for making sure the promised assets are delivered, your service team should be organized, detail-oriented and curious; asking lots of questions will help them fully understand how to best deliver. They should also consider several different scenarios and be able to adjust in case things change or don’t go as planned.

Completing this stage properly is crucial since your sponsor’s success (and therefore yours as well) depends on it.

6. Execute the Vision

First of all, someone familiar (whether sales or service staff) needs to be present and available throughout the execution. Whether it’s on-site load-in or digital assets being published, your company needs to be within reach to answer questions, clarify instructions, and generally make your sponsor feel supported.

The best way to deliver well, is to put yourself in the sponsor’s shoes. For example, if you’re driving to a new location, where you need to setup an elaborate activation in a place you’ve never been to, what are some questions you might have and challenges you might face?

Some basic questions might include:

  • Where is the power supply?
  • How do I connect to the internet?
  • Where are the restrooms?

Same goes for digital execution. If you and your sponsor are co-creating a promotion, it will be crucial to remain in constant communication on the design part, as well as when and where the promotion will be published. If you surprise your sponsor (or in other words, blind side them), they won’t be prepared. And THAT, would not make them happy.

Remember, your ultimate goal, is to make them successful. Their success is your success.

In fact, if you can make this investment from your sponsor successful, the last stage will be MUCH easier.

7. Review and Renew

You may be exhausted from the lengthy sponsorship sales cycle at this point, but the last stage is imperative for your long-term success so don’t give up quite yet.

We know… this is quite an intense process, and that’s exactly why some rightsholders elect to outsource their sponsorship programs to agencies with experience, expertise, and resources – like Tandem.

But if you’re doing it on your own, hang in there, this is the home stretch!

At the end of the deal, when all promised assets have been delivered, you need to provide your sponsor a wrap-up report. This should include photos, videos, data, and any other notes that show what and how you executed the deal points.

Immediately after you’ve sent them the wrap-up report, you should initiate the renewal conversation. Ask about how they felt partnering with you, any challenges they faced, how they feel about the data you’ve reported, and any ideas they might have for the future.

Then you start the sponsorship sales cycle all over again! Minus the inventory building and prospecting. See, it DOES get easier!

We suggest coming up with a new vision that supports growth for the future, and keeps them excited about continuing this relationship with you.

If you originally signed a multi-year deal, it may not be necessary to re-think the vision or assets, but if you didn’t, you definitely want to show them you’re striving to continuously deliver the best. Honestly, even if it is a multi-year deal, you can still add to the deal if it’s mutually beneficial based on previous experience.

Long-Term Success Trumps Short-Term Sales

Given these points, it’s worth it to NOT take shortcuts when going through the cycle. Each stage carries its own level of importance, and like a puzzle, is a necessary part to your long-term success.

If you follow these 7 stages of the sponsorship sales cycle, you will see results in the long run. You will notice how solid your relationships are, and witness growth in your deals year over year.

When all you do is sell an asset here and there, you won’t have the same investment or retention because the “sponsor” isn’t actually being integrated with your organization / event. You need to ensure all parties become interwoven, that everyone has real skin in the game and benefits from the deal.

In this industry, short-term sales cannot, and will not result in long-term success. Instead, it will guarantee your sales team is constantly struggling to catch up on sales numbers, never having a solid foundation to build upon.

You can’t grow without a solid foundation.

In conclusion, as we often say, and have already stated in this post: renewing a deal is better than seeking a new sponsor. So in essence, follow the steps – you’ll be glad you did!



If you’re struggling to do this all by yourself, Tandem Partnerships can help. We have the connections, team, and resources you need!



Don’t know where to start? Tandem can help you identify your assets and determine their true value using proven methodology.



Take it a step further and invite Tandem to explore your financial objectives, audience, and offerings to receive a personalized strategy that produces results.



Tandem can also secure sales for your sponsorship program and execute successful fulfillment of promised assets to your partners. We’ll also do everything we can to renew the deal for you!


START THE CONVERSATION tagged: assets  examples  list  program  proposal  prospecting  sales  sales cycle  sponsorship  stages 

posted on January 2, 2020

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Sponsorship Activation Definition & Break Down

Definition & Break Down of Sponsorship Activation

If you’re just starting to explore sponsorship activation, we’re explaining the definition and breaking it down for you today:

Sponsorship activation can be done in many different ways to produce a wide variety of results. Let’s talk about what sponsorship activation is, and what steps you need to take to achieve success with it.

We’ll even share some live examples to show you what successful sponsorship activation can look like.



First off, as a rightsholder, understand that you have control over what assets you make available to your sponsor. Similarly, as a sponsor, you have the power to negotiate the assets you believe will bring you the highest return on investment.

Ultimately, sponsorship activation is the experience provided for the audience by the coming together of the rightsholder and sponsor.

In order to provide a successful experience, you’re going to want to go through a process– 



Basically, the sponsorship activation process can be broken down into three general steps: brainstorming and negotiating, building, and leveraging outcomes. 


1) Brainstorming and Negotiating

Before anything else, brainstorming needs to happen. It’s really the most important first step towards executing a successful activation because it will reveal the base of the opportunities.

During the brainstorming phase, rightsholders specifically need to understand their audience in order to come up with effective and memorable experiences for their sponsors. In fact, we would even recommend including the sponsor in this process. As a result, they may be able to see unique solutions from an outsider’s perspective, that someone on the inside might otherwise miss.

For instance, you might start with questions such as those outlined below:

  • Looking at the event/venue specifically, what is it that our audience likes?
  • On the flip side, what do they not like? Or even hate about our event/venue?
  • Which experiences would they benefit from, that could be brought in by a sponsor?
  • What are some challenges our audience face, that sponsors could provide a solution to?

Since this is the initial part of the process where assets are being considered, it’s fair to say that brainstorming goes hand-in-hand with negotiating contracts. The deal has to be mutually beneficial, so it’s important that both parties feel comfortable with the assets and fees going into the contract. The brainstorming part of the sponsorship activation process is the best time to paint a clear picture of what will be expected from all parties involved.

Brainstorming Value For Everyone

To illustrate some of these points, we’ve included an article from IEG’s website:

Properties should proactively brainstorm and pitch activation ideas throughout the course of a relationship.

“Sponsors have so many initiatives on their plate, so it’s up to properties to be creative. We meet with sponsors, learn about their marketing calendar and figure out how we can leverage that activity to develop activation programs,” said Beth Schnitzer, senior vice president of strategic alliances with Pier 39.

Pier 39 allocates roughly five percent to 10 percent of each rights fee to activation expenses. Sponsors can use the money to pay for staffing, premium items and promotions, said Schnitzer.

Add value to the event experience; to gain the biggest bang for their buck, sponsors should create programs that enhance the spectator experience.

When crafting programs, sponsors and properties should ask themselves the question: “Will anyone notice if the sponsor is not there?”

“Our goal is that fans would notice a difference if AT&T was removed from a property. We want to add value to the event experience,” said Travis Dillon, vice president of activation and property management with The Marketing Arm, which helps develop strategy and execute deals for AT&T Inc.

Dillon points to the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am as an example. The telco will activate the event with the AT&T Digital Clubhouse, an on-site experiential program where attendees can watch live feeds of the tournament via U-verse; track the leaderboard and recharge their phones.

“We want to fit into the fabric of the event.”


…You can read the full article at sponsorship.com.


2) Build Creative Sponsorship Activation

After you’ve figured out how to engage and excite your audience, and laid out all the assets on the table, you can begin the next important step: building creative brand sponsorship activation programs.

The only way to do this successfully for all parties, in any scenario, is to keep communication crystal-clear between you and your prospective sponsors. Meanwhile, keeping in mind all the information you gathered in the initial brainstorming phase, is just as important. In other words, the goal is to build campaigns that everyone will be a big fan of and that requires both parties working in tandem. 

Whether it’s space to create an experience, or social media to promote some kind of contest, you want to build an activation that will engage the audience.

Activation Success: Keeping the Audience Engaged & Excited

For example, at SXSW 2017, UNIT9 created gamified HBO Escape Rooms to promote the network’s biggest shows (Game of Thrones, VEEP, and Silicon Valley).

Together with HBO, the teams recreated the iconic sets and invited fans to escape through a series of challenges, each of which was connected to the plots from the HBO shows.

Altogether, the whole experience took 15 minutes per person, which might seem quite lengthy. But on the contrary, it was exciting enough to not only generate a lot of press coverage, but also entertain over 1,500 people during the course of three days. That’s a solid turnout!

In conclusion, whatever it is that you do, do it with the audience in mind. And while it doesn’t need to be as elaborate as this particular example, it should be relevant, exciting, and engaging. In the end, that is what makes a sponsorship activation memorable–and isn’t that the goal after all?


3) Leverage Sponsorship Outcome

Lastly, the final step is to make sure that program spend is optimized. Equally important, is making sure that all elements and benefits of a partnership are leveraged in accordance with the outcomes your sponsors are hoping to achieve.

Ask yourself: What kind of results are they looking for? Is it to grow their email database, or to collect buyer leads? Get really specific with their ultimate goals, and don’t settle for answers like “I need space. I want exposure.”

Because unfortunately, those types of answers won’t lead to finding creative solutions. By and large, your task is to create an experience that solves a problem for your audience, all the while being connected to your sponsor’s goal outcomes.

Once you’ve settled all this, you’ll be ready to successfully activate a sponsorship!

On a final note, if you want to explore different ways to activate a sponsorship, head over to the UK Sponsorship Awards website. They share about employee activation, advertising activation, PR activation, retail activation, venue activation, cause-related activation, digital & data activation, content-based activation, business activation, hospitality activation, innovation activation, and celebrity activation.


Asset Identification & Valuation Services at Tandem Partnerships

Don’t know where to start? Tandem can help you identify your assets and determine their true value using proven methodology.

Tandem’s Strategic Development

Take it a step further and invite Tandem to explore your financial objectives, audience, and offerings to receive a personalized strategy that produces results.

Sponsorship Sales & Service by Tandem

Tandem can also secure sales for your sponsorship program and execute successful fulfillment of promised assets to your partners.


tagged: activation  assets  break down  definition  explanation  properties  rightsholders  sponsorship  sponsorship activation 

posted on December 5, 2019

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What Makes a Stand Out Sponsorship Agency?


What makes a stand out sponsorship agency?

What makes a stand out sponsorship agency?

When you’re ready to begin looking for a sponsorship agency, many will say that they will provide you with the sponsorship support that you need. But what really makes one sponsorship agency stand out from another?

Consider a Boutique Agency

The right sponsorship agency will:

  1. Make your life easier
  2. Add value to your business
  3. Deliver the results you need to succeed

A boutique agency can differentiate themselves by working in tandem with their clients to achieve tangible and measurable results. You’ll work with the same team you trust from beginning to end and get direct access to the person(s) actively working on your account. In other words, there’s no middle man (usually known as the “Account Manager”).

Services for rightsholders include asset valuation, strategic development, sponsorship sales and servicing. Some of the services that really make a boutique sponsorship agency stand out include:

  • Custom sponsorship asset valuation
  • Custom sponsorship advisory services
  • Unique sponsorship packages
  • Creativity & flexibility
  • In-depth understanding of the sponsor & rightsholder
Custom Sponsorship Asset Valuation

They’ll make things easier by finding out the true value of your sponsorship assets, and only the true value, with no strings attached. That way, you’ll have the research you need to move forward confidently with sponsor negotiations.

A comprehensive valuation will make you feel confident and excited about new revenue-generating opportunities.

Custom Sponsorship Advisory Services

You should expect details of how the agency will supply you with the best sponsorship strategy. Seasoned expertise combined with in-depth research and analysis of rightsholder’s assets set you up for long-term success.

The agency should clearly demonstrate that they understand your customer, your venue, and your sponsors.

Unique Sponsorship Packages

In addition, you will likely discuss custom-tailored sponsorship packages that anticipate the unique objectives and goals of your sponsors. That means no out of the box, cookie-cutter strategies involved. Packages are customized as needed to meet both your goals, and those of the sponsor(s). The result is a mutually beneficial partnership that’s sustainable and effective.

Tandem, for example, does not sell tiered sponsorship packages because we believe that sponsorship packages should be fully-customized. Tiered packages are restricting and can turn off prospects who don’t feel they fit in those boxes.

We work closely with both rightsholders and sponsors in order to supply them with the best sponsorship package possible.

Creative & Flexible Sponsorship Packages

Smaller teams have more opportunity to communicate directly with their customers to fully understand their client’s needs, wants, likes, and dislikes.

For example, your sponsorship package may include multiple sponsors for your event, each one working to highlight entirely different parts of the event. Therefore, each one will need a different package to achieve their goals. Creativity and flexibility play a big role in making that happen.

In-Depth Understanding

It’s important to fully understand sponsors and who or what they’ll work best with, because finding just the right sponsor for your event is the key to everyone’s success.

After your sponsorship team finds the right sponsors, it’s important to include them in the planning process. This allows them to produce the best results and better understand all parties as they grow together year after year.

Furthermore, if an agency fully understands your business, they can leverage existing relationships with other companies that would be interested in sponsorship opportunities. Having that kind of partner will open doors you previously weren’t able to open.


In conclusion, a boutique agency can stand out by offering you direct communication so you’re able to truly work in tandem with them. Similarly, by understanding your goals in-depth, the agency can customize all its services to meet your needs, as well as the sponsors’.

We hope this helps you understand what makes a sponsorship agency stand out! If you’d like to see whether or not we might be a good fit for you, we’d love to chat. Just send us a note using our contact form.

posted on November 21, 2019



Don’t know where to start? Tandem can help you identify your assets and determine their true value using proven methodology.


Take it a step further and invite Tandem to explore your financial objectives, audience, and offerings to receive a personalized strategy that produces results.


Tandem can also secure sales for your sponsorship program and execute successful fulfillment of promised assets to your partners.


Other blog posts you might like…

tagged: agency  boutique  boutique agency  choosing  sponsorship agency  sponsorship packages  stand out  valuation 

posted on November 21, 2019

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How To Improve Your Event Sponsorship Program

How To Improve Your Event Sponsorship Program

Are you wondering how to improve your event sponsorship program? Perhaps you’ve been struggling to secure sponsors for your event, or maybe you already have some, but not sure what else you can do to secure new partners?

Hey, we totally get it. Growth is important!

And from years of experience, we’ve identified three main ways you can get started on effectively revamping your sponsorship program.We’ll look at analyzing your demographics, getting rid of pre-packaged deals, and redesigning your sales deck. We believe that if you act on all three of these tips diligently and with excellence, you’ll see an increase in sponsor participation.

Now, let’s get started, shall we?

Understand Your Demographics

If you don’t really know who your attendees are, you might struggle to convince your prospects your event is a good fit for them. It might be the coolest one in town, but if it’s not going to help them reach their target market, your event is just not worth their investment.

Also, the more you understand your attendees, the better you can help your sponsor create the right experiences—the kind that bring results.

You can get these insights by conducting attendee surveys, asking your sales and marketing team for input, and looking at your social media and website analytics.

Knowing their age, location, whether male or female, key questions about their experiences with your past events such as their favorite part, what they didn’t care for, and other overall perceptions is a good place to start.

Stop Selling Pre-Packaged Deals

Sorry to break it to you, but as much as I understand how easy this concept might seem to make your sales peoples’ jobs, one size does not fit all. The reality is, your bronze, platinum, gold, or whatever you call it packages are actually getting in the way of potentially partnering with great sponsors.

Sponsorships are relational and creative opportunities to build an emotional connection between the brand and attendees. It cannot be both transactional and sustainable.

You can certainly try to make it a transaction void of personalization and creativity, but I have to warn you that securing new sponsorships is much more time-consuming and costly than renewing and expanding an existing fruitful partnership.

And in order to renew, you’ve got to be delivering a value that’s worth the sponsor’s investment. If you’re not personalizing your deal to meet and align with that specific sponsor’s goals and values, there’s no real foundation to build on over the years.

Help them see the ways they can fully integrate into your event, how they can connect with your attendees, and support them in co-creating content that benefits them, you, and the attendees.

You may think it will take more training, time, and effort to sell sponsorships this way, and it may at first, but if you consider how much more effective your sales team will be approaching sponsors this way, you’ll be saving time and effort in the long run. Quality over quantity.

Bottomline? Look at opportunities that go beyond placing the sponsor’s logo on your event book, website, the big registration banner, and so forth.

Don’t get me wrong, signage is great to include. BUT, the package you sell them should be an all-inclusive bundle that includes the signage WITH opportunities for engagement. Signage alone just won’t cut it, even if the logo is on every attendee lanyard. It’s just not enough.

If you’re struggling with what all your assets are, and/or what opportunities you can present to your prospects, get professional help. If that’s you, know that we can and would love to help you with asset identification and valuation, should you need it.


If you’re using an outdated sales deck or proposal template, please update.

Hard to read fonts, mismatched colors, and pages oversaturated with information are a major visual turn-off. Again, this is a good time to look for professional help. Find a graphic designer that can at the very least re-design your sales materials; or if you’re looking to get help on asset identification and valuation from us, we’ll be happy to also redesign your sales deck and/or proposal.

Also, SIMPLIFY! Let’s be real… the greatest commodity of today is time. That means if you’re sending a 15-page document right off the bat, hoping your prospect has that much time to spend reviewing your generic and overwhelming offer, you may have already squandered the opportunity.

Create something concise—that means it includes a lot of information clearly and in a few words, it’s brief but comprehensive. Leave some things out so your sales person has a chance to answer questions and develop a relationship in the process.

Make your pitch interesting and appealing. Give just enough to spark their interest, but leave room for a follow up conversation. Tell them right from the get-go that you are flexible, and you want to build a proposal specifically for them.

A sales deck should not be a replacement for a sales person.


Asset Identification & Valuation Services at Tandem Partnerships

Don’t know where to start? Tandem can help you identify your assets and determine their true value using proven methodology.

Tandem’s Strategic Development

Take it a step further and invite Tandem to explore your financial objectives, audience, and offerings to receive a personalized strategy that produces results.

Sponsorship Sales & Service by Tandem

Tandem can also secure sales for your sponsorship program and execute successful fulfillment of promised assets to your partners.



tagged: asset identification  demographics  emotional connection  event  gold silver platinum  how to  improve  personalized  pre-package  program  redesign  revamp  sales  sales deck  selling  signage  sponsor  sponsorship  sponsorship strategy  tips  upgrade  valuation 

posted on October 31, 2019

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3 Tips for Selling Sponsorships

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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What Are You Really Worth?

What Are You Really Worth?

Sponsorship Value


Ultimately, rights-holders and sponsors want successful, meaningful partnerships.  But rights-holders also want money, while sponsors want value and results.  Finding the sweet spot between these equal and opposite demands is crucial in cultivating and maintaining that successful partnership.

We have written previously about the importance of conducting accurate and detailed sponsorship valuations.  We will build on that today by reviewing the importance of a valuation as it relates to a property, event, or brand’s worth as a rights-holder.

In 2019 more than ever before, sponsors are talking about – and demanding – measurement and proof of performance in order to determine ROI.  We suspect this focus will continue throughout the year, forcing rights-holders and sponsors, alike, to spend more time and resources on measurement.  In order to do this, however, there must be a baseline valuation in place to understand not only the original, agreed-upon value of the sponsorship, but also the worth of the rights-holder and its assets.


Value & Worth

According to Chris Baylis at The Sponsorship Collective, “your property’s value is as unique as your fingerprint. It is something you create…based on your unique situation, mix of assets, brand value and audience segments.”  I agree with this but would like to take it one step farther.  Value is not only unique to the property; it is also unique to – and varies by – a property’s sponsor.  Said differently, a property’s worth according to one sponsor, based on a set of assets and other benefits, might be different than its worth according to another sponsor who is only interested in a subset of those assets.  Taken as a whole, a property’s worth is fixed based on the results of a full and comprehensive valuation; however, it is highly unlikely that any given sponsor is going to be interested in – and subsequently adopt – every single asset and opportunity for alignment with a given rights-holder.  As such, your worth as a rights-holder is unique to you but also unique to the sponsor.


Sponsorship Value


Where does this leave us?  Valuations are critical and can be done as a survey of all assets at any time; however, the most useful and significant valuations are those specific to sponsorship packages – not only because the value and worth of a property is in the eye of the beholder, but also because these very specific packages serve as a reference and baseline for measurement following a sponsorship term.  As a rights-holder, you dictate your worth at the onset, but that worth can only be upheld if results are produced and sponsors are satisfied.

Moreover, in addition to the valuated assets, a property’s worth, in our opinion, is naturally strengthened by conducting and maintaining valuations.  Across the country, rights-holders are “estimating” fees and either under- or over-selling their assets to sponsors.  This approach is both imprecise and unsustainable.  By telling current and prospective sponsors that a true and accurate valuation has been conducted on all relevant assets, you reinforce your worth in a way that un-valuated rights-holders cannot.


Finding Your Fit

Let’s turn to PIER 39 in San Francisco as an example.  PIER 39 has conducted a series of valuations, both across its portfolio of assets and also specific to sponsor packages and proposals.  One set of assets includes signage throughout the property, some of which is located by the world famous sea lions.  While PIER 39 may have an understanding of its worth based on the valuation results and other research, a brand with specific ties to marine life or sea lions, in particular, might find signage opportunities at this location more valuable, thereby increasing PIER 39’s worth as a rights-holder in the eye of that sponsor.  Furthermore, during the measurement and proof of performance evaluation, the results of a sponsor’s alignment and visibility by the sea lions will be checked against the original objectives and promises made – based on the valuation.

Another property with noting, also from the Bay Area, is the San Francisco 49ers NFL team.  Like all professional sports teams, the 49ers have a history of supporting non-profit and philanthropic causes in their community.  They also have a history of securing high-profile sponsorships, especially since the opening of Levi’s Stadium in 2014.  Although we have not worked with the 49ers and cannot speak to their valuation efforts, it is our assumption that a full valuation was conducted on their assets prior to pitching and securing sponsors.  Following this valuation, a designated value was likely assigned to specific sponsorship packages and individual assets.  In addition to the monetary values produced by the valuation, the 49ers’ philanthropic efforts undeniably added additional appeal – and worth – in the eyes of certain prospective sponsors.

For example, Chevron has just renewed its partnership with the 49ers and the 49ers Foundation for an additional three years.  In addition to naming rights of the Chevron STEMZONE at Levi’s Stadium, Chevron also teams up with the 49ers to provide unique STEM programming to Bay Area youth.  According to www.49ers.com, this partnership has served over 210,000 children and educators since its inception, with nearly 60% coming from Title I designated schools.


Sponsorship Value

Source: Super Bowl 50 Host Committee


This example is particularly relevant because the specific focus on STEM programming for children struck a chord for Chevron that might have been less applicable for another partner.  In looking at a valuation, the total value projected might not include the additional, deeper value that is generated from a cross promotional, philanthropic partnership that checks the boxes for both rights-holder and sponsor.   In looking at the worth of the rights-holder, it is imperative that sponsorship sales professionals and marketing professionals from the sponsor understand how numbers only go so far.  Additional value – and worth – are generated by finding and creating meaningful programming that yields extra visibility and good will simultaneously.

tagged: chevron  partnership  pier 39  san francisco 49ers  sponsor fit  sponsorship  sponsorship strategy  strategy  valuation  value  worth 

posted on March 7, 2019

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