If you were a fly on the wall of my office, you would have been wondering why I was yelling at my computer screen last week. I had seen that question on LinkedIn, and I wasn’t actually yelling. I was pleading – pleading with the writer not to use PowerPoint, pleading with the writer not to count pages, like there is some magic number. As I was composing my response, another pundit suggested the writer do a “sizzle reel”, at which point I thought my head was going to explode.
Why? Because these are the wrong questions, and any answer is the wrong answer.
Honestly, neither a sponsorship deck nor a sizzle reel is an effective or appropriate way to sell a sponsorship. Sponsors want to know specifically how your offer will help them to achieve their goals with their target markets. Whatever you provide them must be:
A PowerPoint deck does not give you the ability to provide the amount and detail of information that a sponsor needs to make a decision. If anything, you should be erring on the side of providing more information, so long as it is pertinent to their objectives and presented in a sensible, easy-to-read manner.
Doing a PowerPoint presentation is appropriate only if you have to do a stand-up presentation to a number of people, and if it is customised. Even then, you should be providing a leave-behind, with a much higher level of detail, because your contact needs a strong proposal, with a complete business case, in order to sell it to the other internal stakeholders who need to sign off.
For more on that, read: The Number One Job of a Sponsorship Proposal (and It’s Not What You Think)
As for “sizzle reels”, you only have a very short time with a sponsor. Don’t waste a second of it farting around with some inherently uncustomised production that the sponsor knows has been edited to look like the best possible representation of what you do. And don’t think they will watch it if you give it to them as a leave-behind, because they won’t.
When it comes right down to it, you proposal needs to look professional, but flashiness is largely counterproductive. On the internet, content is king, and the same holds true for sponsorship proposals. It’s better to have all of the right information, in a sensible order and format, presented on letterhead, than it is to have too little, or the wrong, information in some full-colour PowerPoint. It’s better to have done your homework and provided specific ideas for how the sponsor can leverage their investment, than five minutes of gratuitous crowd shots and a suspiciously salesy voiceover.
As for pages, that really depends on the scope of the sponsorship (not, mind you, the scope of the event). I can’t imagine getting all of the required information in any less than six or seven pages, without formatting it so it’s unreadable. A strong, customised sponsorship proposal will typically run more like 10-14 pages, or even longer, which is not a deterrent to sponsors, as long as it is in a sensible order, presents the business case professionally, and is formatted to be easy to read. The key thing is that the proposal should not be primarily about your organisation, your property, or your need, but about how the opportunity meets the sponsor’s needs.
Below are a few more resources that will assist:
You may be interested in my white papers, “Last Generation Sponsorship Redux” and “Disruptive Sponsorship: Like Disruptive Marketing, Only Better“.
If you need additional assistance, I offer sponsorship consulting and strategy sessions, sponsorship training, and sponsorship coaching. I also offer a comprehensive sponsorship capacity-building service for large, diverse, and decentralised organisations. Please feel free to drop me a line to discuss.
Please note, I do not offer a sponsorship broker service, and can’t sell sponsorship on your behalf. You may find someone appropriate on my sponsorship broker registry.
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