Maybe you don’t have the time to sit down and write a proposal which includes the basic structure and components I described in my previous blog post – cover letter, table of contents, executive summary, benefits to sponsor, proposal offer, etc. But, you still want to send a proposal requesting sponsorship for your club. Another option is the one page, sponsorship letter. Depending upon how the letter is structured, it can be another very effective tool in the sponsorship process. Don’t get me wrong; to do it right still requires a little time and effort. However, if you have performed some basic research; have a good handle on the value you can provide, aligned with business goals and objectives; the letter can be a good way to provide an introduction, laying the foundation for, in depth, sponsorship discussions. The key is to make the letter crisp, and tight, focusing on a few components that will help the reader  quickly understand  – “who you are”, “what you are requesting”, and “why your club or teams proposal is of value to their company.” Believe it or not, you can accomplish this in (3) paragraphs. The trick is to “net-it-out”.

Let’s take a closer look.

Opening Paragraph (Introduction):

The purpose here is to quickly provide the reader with information about “who you are” (club or team), “what you do” (activity your club or team is involved in), “why you are contacting them” (for sponsorship), and “why they should care” (what’s in it for them?). To capture the reader’s attention, mention a benefit statement describing the potential value you can provide. This is an excellent place to generically mention the value sponsors may have achieved from sponsoring you. If you don’t have any examples focus on the basics sponsorship can deliver – increased visibility & awareness, increased sales & market share, increased traffic……(for more information, refer to “Your Cycling Club IS A BRAND – Are you sending the right messages?”)

Second Paragraph (Body):

This is the body of the sponsorship letter. The objective of the second paragraph is to discuss the specific benefits sponsorship can deliver to the company you are contacting. This can be very effective if you have performed some basic research, and are presenting sponsorship in terms which relate directly to what you have learned. Align your club or teams value with what you learned about the company you are approaching. For example, if your research identified the company is interested in aligning with healthy, active lifestyles as part of their core values; write a statement describing how sponsoring your club or team can support their core value. (For more information on research and providing value, refer to “Cycling sponsorship proposals – Tips for writing an effective sponsorship proposal for your club or team”)

The second paragraph is also a good place to drop in a reference or quote from an existing sponsor (refer to “Using quotes and references with prospective sponsors” – Part I, II & III). Including a quote, or mentioning the name of a company who sponsors your club or team, provides immediate credibility; it is an endorsement of your club or team. And, references and quotes give prospective sponsors an idea of the type of benefits you can deliver.

Closing paragraph:

The purpose of this paragraph is to explain “what you are asking for”, and “what they will receive in return”. The closing paragraph should also include a description of suggested next steps – either the action you want them to take; “what you want them to do”; or, “what you will do.”

Include your sponsorship offer in this section. Be specific! Provide the reader with the proposal offer. List any options. Also, describe what they will receive in return for sponsorship – “…..as a sponsor, XYZ’s company name and logo will be featured on our team kit/uniform, on our website (provide URL), and in all club communications.”

Take a moment to summarize, and restate, the benefit the company will receive as a return on investment.  In other words, answer the question – “what is the business value your club or team is providing the prospective sponsor?”

Lastly, include a sentence describing the next step or action. Example – this can be anything from letting the reader know when you will contact them, to suggesting a meeting, or asking them to sign and return an attached contract. Whatever you state is truly based upon the action you will take, or you would like to see the prospective sponsor take. Just be sure to make it clear, and focus on the action you would like the reader to take as the result of reading your sponsorship letter.

Close the paragraph by thanking the reader for their time.

So, there you have it; a short one page, 3 paragraph, sponsorship letter; concise, and to the point describing the value your club or team can provide, in terms that will resonate with a prospective sponsor. As usual, please feel free to comment or send me an e-mail. I enjoy receiving input, advice, comments from my readers.

Also, the FREE eBook – “Top Ten Tips For Securing Cycling Sponsorship” will be available very soon! The content is complete, and it is in the process of being formatted. I will be reviewing a draft layout next week. I think you will be pleased with the amount of information, and helpful tips provided.

Now, for some exciting NEWS! I am beginning work on my next eBook which will describe, in detail, the complete process of securing sponsorship from the corporate sector. This will be a step-by-step reference manual your club or team can use as a guide to help you secure more sponsors. At the moment, the target availability for this eBook is early December, 2010!

Thanks for visiting. Remember, until next time, “keep the rubber side down.”


E-mail: al@sponsormycyclingclub.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/albrodie3 or www.twitter.com/sponsors4urclub

Facebook: Sponsor My Cycling Club

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