The State of Sponsorship: One Week in My Inbox

No SpamI don’t know how many of you write blogs and/or make your direct email address available to the masses. I do both, and there is something about the combination of providing a lot of readily available advice and being readily available myself that makes me a magnet for emails from strangers.

I decided to catalogue these emails for a week. I thought it might provide an interesting glimpse into our industry, and I reckon I’m right. Keeping in mind that these are only the emails I received from people I hadn’t heard from before, and there is some overlap, this is the breakdown:

  • 78 emails seeking sponsorship that were addressed “Dear Sir/Madam” or “To Whom it May Concern”.
  • 16 emails asking for my assistance in text-speak: “Wud u giv sum sponsorship advice 2 me?” (Answer: No.)
  • 108 unsolicited sponsorship proposals.
  • 51 unsolicited sponsorship proposals with 5mb or more of attachments.
  • 44 people asking me to forward their unsolicited proposals to my clients and/or network.
  • 54 people asking my company to sponsor them. (Umm… I’m not a sponsor.)
  • 17 unsolicited sponsorship proposals for events taking place within one month (and a few for tours or seasons that had already started).
  • One misguided fellow who told me that the fact I wouldn’t distribute his crap proposal to my clients on his behalf was a reflection on my professionalism. (It certainly is.)
  • 70 people who are looking for a broker. (I’m not a broker, but I refer them to my list of brokers.)
  • 7 people who want me to fly economy for over 18 hours to speak at a conference for free because it would “raise my profile”.
  • 9 people who want me to consult for free because they are a good cause.
  • 11 corporate sponsors and 21 properties/agencies requesting proposals.
  • 55 people who took the time to thank me for all of the content on my website.
  • 24 people who asked really good questions (and inspired a few blogs).

And my favourite emails of all…

  • 23 success stories from people who had read my book or blog and changed the way they did sponsorship, netting them much better results.

I treat a lot of these as spam and just don’t answer. I do answer all of the thank yous, the good questions, and the ones that give any indication that they’ve done even some basic homework before contacting me. And for my favourites – the success stories – I do a little dance around my office before congratulating them on their hard work.

Despite all of the depressingly old-school or plain, flat lazy contacts I still get, my inbox is changing. I get more and more of the positive emails – the ones that indicate a move toward best practice, and every time I get one of those, it feels like a win for the good guys .

So, keep the emails coming – I promise I read every one of them! The email is


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