sponsorship sales Archives - Power Sponsorship

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

Sponzillas: How to Deal with a Sponsor Who Bullies

In most places around the world, the sponsorship industry has recovered from its slowdown. Sponsors have largely rationalised their portfolios and become more strategic in how they make new investments. Sponsorship seekers are, out of necessity, having to raise their games to have any chance at gaining new sponsors. Seekers who are doing a great job are, by and large, doing great. Sponsorship seekers who aren’t are still wondering when the market will recover and their job gets harder every day. What I have heard more about in this past few years is sponsors bullying sponsorship seekers. My always busy inbox has been overflowing with dismayed sponsees caught in no-win situations: “Our biggest sponsor wants […] 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

Five Things Sponsorship Seekers Need to Know About Sponsors

Some (not all) sponsorship seekers are under some big misconceptions about the sponsors they approach. These misconceptions do nothing to advance the potential for getting a “yes”, and if a sponsor thinks you don’t understand their process and their challenges, it’s unlikely they’ll consider your offer. My goal with this blog is to give you a heads up about of those misconceptions about sponsors before they hurt your chances. Most of the people who contact them are wasting their time “This is an opportunity not to be missed!” “Please support our very worthy cause.” “I’d like to talk to somebody about sponsorship.” “Dear Sir/Madam…” I could write a list of red flags as long as […] Read More

Action Plan: What to Do when a Big Sponsor Exits

This is the nightmare for much of our industry. I’m guessing some of you may develop a facial tic just thinking about it! And yet, it happens. Sponsorships end, and if it’s unexpected or done without a lot of lead-time, you need an action plan and you need one fast. So, it’s time to stop with the misery and crying in your beer. It’s time to stop with the wishful thinking and desultory casting about for ideas. It’s time for action, and I’ve got few steps to get you going. Get feedback If you didn’t see this coming, you’ve got to do an exit interview right now. Find out: What led to the decision? Whether […] Read More

Can We Target Multiple Sponsors at the Same Time?

This is a question I get at least a couple of times a week. Generally, it refers to approaching multiple sponsors in the same category – ice cream, insurance, sporting goods, etc – at the same time. Sometimes, the question is about a naming rights sponsorship, and whether they can approach multiple sponsors in any category for naming rights at the same time. My answer to all of those is “yes”. It is totally reasonable to approach multiple sponsors at the same time. In fact, it’s usually the most realistic approach. Your sponsorship sales window is only so long, and it can take sponsors weeks or months to make a decision. Waiting for one bank […] Read More

Why You Should Never Put a Sponsorship Out to Tender

In recent weeks, I’ve had a slew of questions about putting sponsorship out to tender. The questions invariably come from government, and often from a dismayed member of the marketing department who is having this process thrust upon them by bean-counters. My advice to all of them is the same: Don’t do it. Don’t get me wrong, I can totally understand the appeal of tenders to government – the transparency, the level playing field, yada yada yada. But the reality of sponsorship tenders is that they are counterproductive on many, many levels. Sponsorship has nothing to do with procurement Procurement is about crunching numbers: Does the product or service meet our minimum requirements and how […] Read More

Attention Non-Profits: Your Mission Statement is Irrelevant

I have lost count of the number of sponsorship proposals that feature – even open with – the sponsorship seeker’s mission statement. These are the same proposals that usually follow up the mission statement with fifteen pages of why you’re so worthy of sponsorship. I’m really sorry to have to break it to you, but your mission statement is not a useful marketing tool. Sponsors don’t care. This is not to say that your mission statement is irrelevant to your organisation. But when it comes to sponsorship, it’s not helpful. Nor is positioning yourself as needy, worthy, or a “good cause”. What sponsors want see from you is very specific – it’s about their needs, […] Read More

Managing the Hardship of Seeking Sponsorship

I got an email a few weeks ago that was just heartbreaking. The subject line read simply, “The hardship”, and the email went on to detail how difficult it is to be a sponsorship seeker. The exhaustion and disillusionment was palpable, and the saddest thing about it was that I know he’s far from the only one feeling that way. This is a very tough business – there is no denying that – but there are a few strategies that may help you get through the tougher times. Change your job description Chances are, you see yourself as a salesperson and look at your job as a numbers game. You measure your workload and results […] Read More

What You Need Before You Seek Sponsorship

“I want to know how you can help me get sponsorship.” That’s it. No “hello”, no name, nothing – just one sentence sent from a Hotmail address referencing what I have to assume is the sender’s favourite cocktail, and closed out with a “Sent from iPhone” message at the bottom. I get that kind of email all the time, so normally I wouldn’t be so irritated, but this particular one followed hot on the heels of my third email from a guy insisting that his great idea for an event should be all that’s required to get sponsorship, and once he got the money, he’d do all the “admin”. Yeah, good luck with that. What […] Read More