Sponsorship season is here. Surveys and studies show that the majority of companies are making their decisions about sponsorship in the 4th quarter; that’s NOW! Is your club ready to submit a sponsorship proposal that will stand out from the rest?

If you follow a few simple steps you can increase the chances of your sponsorship proposal being taken into consideration.

Know your audience: Do the research!

Take the time to understand a company’s mission, goals, objectives, and core values. Explore their website, blogs and social networking sites in order to learn about them, their products and services, and their target market. Look for things which will help give you insight, and ideas, into how a company can benefit from sponsoring your club or team. Spend time reading the Chairman’s Letter or Executive Summary in the Annual Report. Scan the Investor Relations section. Each of these will give you valuable insight into the business objectives, goals, performance in achieving goals, strategy and markets.

Great areas to research on a company’s website are any section entitled – Philanthropy, Stewardship, Outreach, Community, or Partnership. These deal directly with what a company is doing to support initiatives, or organizations, in order to advance their objectives, core values, demonstrate social responsibility, or support causes they deem important to their community, their image, or target audience. It will clue you in to the type of organizations a company supports, why they support them, and how it fits into their overall mission, goals and objectives.

Performing the research enables you to understand the key benefits your club or team should highlight in a sponsorship proposal; bringing me to the next recommendation.

The benefit you can deliver: “What’s in it for them?”

Framing your sponsorship proposal by focusing on the benefit you can deliver puts you ahead of most proposals companies receive. In background research writing this blog, it appears the number one complaint from companies regarding sponsorship proposals is that the organization doesn’t understand what they are trying to accomplish. You can avoid falling into this trap, and your sponsorship proposal being pushed aside, by clearly highlighting how you can help a prospective sponsor achieve their goals. Identifying who a company currently sponsors, business goals and objectives, community and social initiatives, and how these initiatives help them achieve their business goals and objectives, while supporting their core values, you automatically have insight into what is important to them. Hence, you can highlight what you can do:

Example What it means? How you can help?
“As part of our core values we will continue to educate the public on the importance of healthy, active lifestyles.” Directly reflects image, core value, goals and objectives of evangelizing importance of healthy activity Cycling is a rapidly growing segment providing numerous health benefits. Sponsoring our club will help support your company’s of core value and objectives. Group rides, newsletters, web presence, social media, clinics, events geared to promote the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, and will help provide additional visibility and recognition for your company, products and brand.
“We will open a new store in an effort to gain market share and increase sales in North County.” Need to gain market share and increase sales. Requirement to increase awareness of new store, drive traffic and increase sales and market share. Partnership with us can help increase consumer awareness and traffic to your new store; leading to increased sales. Our clubs’ activities, rides, participation in charity and fundraising events, and FREE clinics will promote your business in North County. These efforts supplemented by our club communications, web site, relationship with other local businesses can help increase visibility for your new location.

I have put a lot in front of you today regarding sponsorship proposal tips, research and focusing on the benefits your club or team can deliver. I would love to hear your opinions and comments on this topic.  Feel free to leave a comment here, or send me an e-mail – al@sponsormycyclingclub.com.

On Tuesday, September 28th I will finish this series with a post describing recommended structure and organization of a sponsorship proposal.

Thanks again for visiting.

Remember, until next time, “keep the rubber side down!”


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