Sponsorship is a powerful way for brands to connect with their target audience, increase brand awareness, and generate leads and sales. But not all sponsorships are created equal. To make the most of a sponsorship investment, savvy sponsors will consider three key factors: brand alignment, scale of the audience, and activation strategies and tactics that work. If you sell sponsorship, you must be prepared to deliver on each of these.
1. Brand Alignment
Brand alignment is the degree to which your sponsorship partner shares your values, vision, and goals. It's not enough to just slap your logo on a banner or a website. Sponsors want to find a partner that resonates with their brand identity and message, and which help them reach the right people with the right message.
Brand alignment can be achieved by:
Doing your research on potential sponsors.
Look at their mission, vision, values, audience demographics, and past activations. See if they have a track record of successful event activations, or need help with delivering experiences for their audience.
Have a clear value proposition.
Know what you can offer to your sponsor and what you expect in return. Be specific about your objectives, metrics, and budget. Communicate your value proposition clearly and confidently.
Creating a win-win situation
Don't think of sponsorship as a one-way transaction. Think of it as a collaboration that benefits both parties. Find ways to add value to your sponsor’s event or program, such as providing content, speakers, resources, or feedback. Show appreciation and recognition for your sponsor’s efforts and achievements. Too many properties provide space for a price and leave the activation up to the sponsor alone.
2. Scale of the Audience
The scale of the audience is the size and reach of all of your media platforms whether or not they attend your event. It's not just about how many people attend their event or visit their website. It's also about how engaged, loyal, and influential they are.
Scale of the audience can be maximized by:
Try to select sponsor prospects with a large and relevant audience.
Sponsors look for partners that have a proven track record of attracting and retaining a large number of attendees or visitors that match their target market. Sponsors will avoid properties that have small or niche audiences simply due to limited reach even if there is alignment.
Properties should leverage multiple channels and platforms.
Don't limit yourself to one channel or platform for your property’s exposure. Look for partners that can offer you multiple opportunities to showcase your brand across different media, such as social media, email newsletters, podcasts, blogs, webinars, etc.
Amplifying their message with influencers.
Look for opportunities to connection with influencers in your prospect’s industry or niche. Influencers can help you amplify your message and reach a wider and more engaged audience.
3. Activation Strategies and Tactics that Work
Activation strategies and tactics are the ways you activate or execute your sponsorship agreement. They are the actions you take to connect with your partner's audience and achieve their sponsorship goals.
Activation strategies and tactics that work are:
Creative and memorable.
You want to stand out from the crowd and create a lasting impression for your sponsor’s audience. Look for ways to surprise and delight them with unique and innovative experiences that showcase their brand personality and value proposition.
Interactive and engaging.
You want to create a dialogue with your sponsor's audience and encourage them to interact with their brand. Look for ways to involve them in activities that spark their curiosity, interest, and emotion.
Measurable and trackable.
ou want to measure the impact of your sponsorship efforts and track the results of your actions. Look for ways to collect data and feedback from your sponsor’s audience, such as surveys, polls, quizzes, contests, etc.
If you follow these three factors when proposing and executing your sponsorships, you will be able to create successful partnerships that deliver value for both you and your partner.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to take your sponsorship game to the next level. We offer a range of services to help you attract the right sponsors for your events, conferences, trade shows, sports facilities, and more. Whether you need a feasibility study, hourly consulting, project-based sponsorship, or comprehensive representation, we’ve got you covered. Check out our services page and discover ways we can help you better attract sponsors for your niche opportunity.
About The Sponsorship Guy
Since 2006 The Sponsorship Guy has been on a mission to improve results for sponsors and sponsorship properties.
Larry’s skill as an expert seller, negotiator, presenter, and strategist has connected him to many of the nation’s most recognized brands and properties. He has over $200M in sponsorship transactions to his credit and a database of over 4,000 brand and industry contacts.
TSG’s clients include sponsorship seekers such as conferences, trade Shows, convention and visitors’ bureaus, entertainment and sports properties, financial Services, tech, and fully digital properties.
TSG also provides sponsorship negotiation, valuation, selection and activation strategies to brands and companies who utilize sponsorship as a marketing channel.
Larry holds both a MBA from the University of Texas at San Antonio and a BSBA (cum laude), from The University of Texas at Dallas and recently earned a Certificate in Digital Brand Management from the Continuing and Professional Education Program at Oregon State University.
Larry is a Certified Presenter and Volunteer Climate Leader for the Climate Reality Project’s Climate Reality Leadership Corps.