Surprisingly enough not many people know what I’m talking about when I mention corporate sponsorship, so I think for the sake of discussion I’ll define it so we are all clear. Corporate Sponsorship is when a large or small company pays you in cash or -in-kind to provide an opportunity for them (the company) to reach potential customers then they would on their own or to focus more on a particular market niche that you have specialty in reaching. So to put it simply you have a community and can connect a company with that community.
To give a great example of a community that I have work with and had access to would be the “Youth Market”. I landed a sponsorship deal that covered the venue space an Upscale Mall, Equipment, and travel best lifestyle blog expenses for two trips to Dallas. All of this was due to my connection with the youth market. Now that you know a little about me let’s get into the Top 3 Secret Strategies for Corporate Sponsorship.
Top 3 Secret Strategies for Corporate Sponsorship
- Define your niche and refine your message
- Put the Sponsor First
- Ask for Enough Money
Define you niche and stick to it
Seems very simple right? Not really most people have a ton a great ideas and unfortunately when pitching a sponsorship deal people tend to try and talk about all of them. You have to be focused on what you are best at and what your passion is about. Pick one thing from that passion and focus your event, blog activities or your cause around that thing. Ask yourself a couple of questions about the niche you are considering and if you wouldn’t pay you for access to that market don’t expect for a sponsor to pay you. Define your niche and refine your message.
Put the Sponsor First
It’s all about you right? No it’s not about you it’s about your sponsor and what you can do for them. I’ve seen deal where the company wanted to pitch a large multi-national company about why their cause was so great and how they we “this and that” when frankly the sponsor only cared about how would supporting this brand make them look. Of course I wasn’t involved in this deal from the start, but came in to save it. The sponsor wanted to know if supporting this cause would make them look like a good corporate citizen. They didn’t care about the amount of money ($25,000 by the way ) it was costing. They cared more about the attitude of the people presenting to them. They had the impression these guys only cared about getting paid and not about the sponsors image.
So when you sit down to write out your pitch letter or make your phone calls you should know about the sponsor and what they need to help their business. If the sponsor is looking for an image boost then make sure your offer is geared at making them look good with positive press and buzz around the event. Tell them how you are going to talk about their great brand and how your couldn’t have done this without them. Offer if possible and fitting to the situation have the executives address the community personally.
Just make sure you keep in mind you need to be focused on What’s in it for Them and you will have a better chance of landing the deal.
Ask for Enough
I work with a ton of events and blogger’s who are notorious for accepting only products (in-kind sponsorship) when if they would have asked for cash they would have gotten it. For example if your blog is a lifestyle blog in the mommy blog arena and you have 250,000 captive women reading your blog and interacting with you that’s worth more than a case of free diapers for you to give away. I instruct my blogger’s to ask for no less than six figures when working with sponsors. You have to understand that you are offering a sponsor an opportunity to be in front of a captive group of the demographic they target. That’s Huge! They can’t buy that kind of exposure on radio, TV or ads anymore. Last year Pepsi spent 20 million to promote its brand via social media.
Use this guideline when determining your pricing structure:
- If this is an event how much will I need to break even
- Can I offer Exclusivity to this sponsor I.E. Exclusive drink or apparel
- How many events or activities am I going to do this year
- How many people do I actually touch – Include Social Media