WHAT ARE SPONSORS LOOKING FOR?
We first must ask ourselves, “What do Sponsors want?” ALL companies want MORE BUSINESS. If they sponsor your event they want to know, “What is in it for our or my company?” All companies want a return on investment (ROI). If you give them a $1 they want $4 in return. As you plan for your event you must consider how can to bring new business to your sponsors. Get creative, think outside the box, and try new things.
WHAT ARE THE KEY STEPS TO SELLING SPONSORS
#1 - Know Your Demographics
Who are you marketing your event to and who will be playing? If you can tell your sponsors that you are reaching a special group that they are interested in, you will get their attention. For example...if you are marketing your event to the medical community then you can approach medical supply, pharmaceutical, and other medical service companies. If you are advertising to the construction industry then target construction supply, general contractors, and related companies. Try out this key information for your demographic study.
What do they do for a living? How much money do they make? What area of town do they live in? What do they buy?
#2 - Create Sponsor Packages that Work
Companies will get excited and be more likely to buy a sponsor package if you offer them items in these packages that work. Not just another hole sign. Remember that they are looking for a return on investment. Their investment in your event must reflect on what they will receive in return. For example...if you give them $10,000 in advertising they might pay you $2500. Create a promotional campaign with the sponsor that will drive business traffic to their storefront, website, and sales force.
Here are some items that can be included in your sponsor packages:
Advertising and Marketing, TV, Radio, Public Relations and Press Releases Display locations on site of the event Networking with Golfers, Blast emails, Website links, Direct Mail to participants, Logos on promotional merchandise Brochure distribution, Event signage
#3 - Approach the Right Kind of Companies
Many times committees call on companies that will not have any interest in sponsoring the event. The last thing that you want to do is waist time. You want to approach businesses that have the most interest and are easier to reach. We talked earlier about understanding your demographics. So obviously the first companies on your list should be companies who want to reach your demographics. Think about businesses that have a broad customer sales base: grocery store chains, car dealers, realtors, banks, and major retail stores. These types of businesses sell to all people from all walks of life and are always looking to expand brand awareness. These businesses also have multiple second level vendors that they deal with that also become potential sponsors.
IT IS ALL ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS
Most importantly you need to approach companies that you have a relationship with. You must build a committee of well-connected and motivated people. Assemble your committee together and ask everyone to bring his or her contact list. A well thought out list of individuals and companies that they do or have done business with. The decision makers in those businesses are the people you want to contact first.
Try these things and you will be successful. Good luck with your next event
Contact the Authors:
Owner – KGMS Golf, LLC and GoBigGolf.com
Founder - Golf Tournament Association of America (GTAA)