Sponsorship is Not “Having a Company Foot the Bill”

Dislike CroppedI was checking out a few groups on LinkedIn recently, and came across a mostly empty page for the International Sponsorship Association. Never mind that I had never heard of the International Sponsorship Association, nor could I find any other reference to it on Google, what really got me was the description of the group:

“International Association of Sponsorships is a global organization that teaches people to tap into the power of corporate sponsorships. Sponsorships let you do what you love and have a company foot the bill.”

Are you bloody kidding me?! “Have a company foot the bill”?? That is wrong in so many ways, it’s making my head hurt.

What is so disturbing about this is not that it reflects what industry professionals, like you and me, think about sponsorship. To us, this is truly cringe-worthy. No, the problem is the number of people – perfectly nice, totally misguided people – who may end up thinking that getting sponsorship money is easy, all you have to do is ask for it, and then you’re free to live the dream on somebody else’s ticket.

Of course, the reality check comes when the actual cheque doesn’t. Companies don’t give out free money, they don’t “foot bills”, and they don’t give a crap about what “you love”. It’s a hard lesson, and one many of us had to learn very early in our careers.

The even bigger problem is that there are people, who purport to represent our sophisticated, accountable industry, who are espousing crap like that. Thank goodness that those counterproductive messages are well and truly dwarfed by the dozens – hundreds – of credible, practical, and helpful voices of this industry.

I’m doing my part, and I can promise that, while one of my aims is to make sponsorship as easy and straightforward as it can be, I will never categorise it as easy money.

So, if you know someone who is interested in finding sponsorship so they can follow their dream, here are a few resources that might get them off to a realistic start.

[Update: The “association” referenced is no longer active on LinkedIn. The consultant that started it has now adopted this tagline and, apparently, the approach.]

Need more assistance?

For all you need to know about sponsorship sales and servicing, you may want to get a copy of The Sponsorship Seeker’s Toolkit 4th Edition.

If you could use some additional support, I provide sponsorship coaching, sponsorship consulting, sponsorship training, and if you need a fast, cost-effective start, you might look into the Jump Start program. If you’re interested in any of these services, please review the materials and drop me a line to discuss:

Kim Skildum-Reid
AU: +61 2 9559 6444
US: +1 612 326 5265


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