sponsorship for beginners Archives - Power Sponsorship

The Breaking Bad Guide to Sponsorship Sales

I’ve spent the past few months watching Breaking Bad as I fly around the world. And as I’ve beavered my way through the episodes – currently mid-season four, so no spoilers! – I realised that there are a number of valuable lessons that sponsorship seekers can learn from Walter White. If you’re not a Breaking Bad fan, some of these references may seem a bit obtuse, but the advice stands, so please read on. Be sure your offer is in a league of its own Walter’s meth is the best. Nothing else can touch it for quality, and that’s what you should be aspiring to. Sponsors receive hundreds, sometimes thousands, of proposals every single month. […] Read More

How Long Should You Follow Up on a Sponsorship Proposal?

This is a pretty common question in my inbox, with many sponsorship seekers telling me that they’ve left “literally dozens” of voicemails or had been following up on a proposal for months. Clearly, it’s time to address this subject, as so many people appear to be getting it wrong. First off, I am all for following up. Sponsors are busy and get lots of approaches, and it is both the prudent and professional thing to do. What I’m not in favour of is overdoing it. Following up too much, or for too long, doesn’t make you look committed and pro-active. It makes you look unprofessional and desperate, and neither is how you want a sponsor […] Read More

Why I’m Retiring the Sponsorship Guidelines Database

In 2013, we compiled a comprehensive listing of links to the sponsorship guidelines for many hundreds of corporate sponsors around the world. This took a lot of time and effort, but we did it because I believed it would be an invaluable resource for sponsorship seekers. Fast forward 18 months… Every week, I get an email from my website, telling me about all of the new broken links. Invariably, these are links from my database of sponsorship guidelines. Upon investigation, these links are going dead because – despite the very clear warning that spamming hundreds of these companies with generic proposals will not net you any sponsorship – that’s exactly what’s been happening. This is why we […] Read More

Sponsorship Sales Enemy #1: Succeeding in Spite of Yourself

I recently spoke with a sponsorship seeker who was looking for some “fine tuning” of their already very successful sponsorship program. They were brimming with confidence, and based on the amount of sponsorship raised for their previous event, it’s easy to see why. But when I had a look at what they were offering, two things became abundantly clear: Here’s the thing… it is possible to be successful at selling sponsorship, even if you are really crap at it, but only if you “own” the category or niche. Whether that’s sustainable for any length of time depends on which of two categories you fit in… First mover You have a fantastic idea for a truly innovative […] Read More

Bad Idea #148: Outsourcing Sponsorship Sales to an Online Stranger

In amongst the pile of emails in my inbox the other morning was one of the stranger requests for advice I’ve ever received. The sender was looking for sponsorship sales work, but wasn’t sure how to pitch for a job listed on Elance, or whether it was even worth it. Now, for anyone not familiar with Elance or ODesk or other outsourcing websites, these are platforms that allow you to list a job – generally with very specific parameters and outcomes – and then freelancers from around the world bid for the job. Bids can be incredibly low, but so can expertise levels. You get to decide who to hire, and most hires have a […] Read More

How Do You Get a Fire-Sale Sponsor to Renew at a Realistic Level?

You shouldn’t have. You know you shouldn’t have. But you did. You sold a sponsorship at way below market value because time was getting short and so was your budget. Most sponsors won’t take up a fire-sale sponsorship. They know that their results come not from the sponsorship itself, but from the leverage they do around it. That takes time, so they don’t invest when they don’t have enough time – no matter how cheap. The sponsors who do take up fire-sale sponsors tend not to be very sophisticated and they expect the property to deliver their results, and can be some of the worst sponzillas around. That’s not the worst outcome of a fire-sale […] Read More

Introducing The Sponsorship Seeker’s Toolkit Fourth Edition!

If you follow this blog or my social media stuff at all, you know that a lot of the past year has been about writing and production of the Fourth Edition of the industry bestseller, The Sponsorship Seeker’s Toolkit. What started as an intended 20% rewrite quickly blew out to about 50%, with lots of new content on social media, new tools and techniques, and dozens upon dozens of amazing new case studies of sponsorship being done as well as it can be done. Whew! It’s now available through Amazon worldwide, as well as many other booksellers. You’ll notice a huge variation in price, so do shop around. In some regions, buying from Amazon and […] Read More

Sponsorship Sales Lie #61: Desire Equals Success

If you’ve been selling sponsorship for any length of time, you already know this is a myth. You know how much goes into a successful sponsorship sale, and please feel free to move along to some other blog. But judging by the hundreds of emails and messages and phone calls I get from sponsorship seekers looking for advice, I can attest that the vast majority really don’t get it. This is an example of an email I received last week (with identifying details removed) and is extremely typical of some of the approaches I get: “I have an idea for an event that is GROUND-BREAKING. NOTHING LIKE THIS HAS EVER BEEN DONE BEFORE!! I have […] Read More

What Should You Do When Your Board Sets Unrealistic Sponsorship Targets?

If you’re a sponsorship seeker, at least one of these will sound familiar: Your organisation is planning an expansion or other costly activity, so your board increases your sponsorship target, or Your government funding is cut, so your board increases your sponsorship target, or Your donations have dropped, so your board increases your sponsorship target, or Your attendance has dropped, so your board increases your sponsorship target, or One of your competitors scores a big sponsorship, so your board increases your sponsorship target We have all been in this position at one time or another, but the current economic situation has everyone under pressure, and when many boards don’t understand how sponsorship works, and that sponsors […] Read More

Six Signs a Sponsor is Just Not That into You

Okay, so I’m sitting on the couch watching the fun chick-flick, “He’s Just Not That Into You”. I’m loving it. Too rare. As usual, I can’t stop thinking about sponsorship. So, I think to myself, there are a few signs that sponsorship seekers consistently miss that could tell them that a sponsor just isn’t that into them. So, brace yourself for the cold, hard truth about how to read the signs so you can let it go, and move on to something more fruitful. They tell you to “just send in a proposal” This is a sponsor saying “leave me alone”, without being rude. In actual fact, it’s unintentionally cruel, because it gets the sponsorship […] Read More