Research All Sponsorship Options

People often refer to the most visible sponsorship arrangements or sample sponsorship proposals and assume that it all revolves around the exchange of money for the services of a particular individual or team. There are a large variety of different sponsorship options available and they are often limited only by the scale of imagination. Wherever there is a common feeling of interest between the interested party and the potential backer, there is generally plenty of scope for exploration.

An approach to a potential sponsor has to be engaged from a position of strength. You must know all there is to know about the organization, it’s mission statement, its overall plan for growth and the demographics of its target market. This will require a good deal of research but count it as time well spent, as whomever is the most prepared will have the best chance of success.

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Sponsorship options abound, ranging from full financial backing for an individual event, season or project, all the way down to partial product availability in return for nominal exposure. Sometimes the supplier will give an individual or the team a discount against the purchase of needed materials or services, but remember that all forms of sponsorship are best hinged on a quantifiable return to the investor.

Many would argue that sponsorship is a qualitative medium and that a return is not too easy to quantify. Direct advertising, on the other hand, can often be tracked on a dollar per dollar basis, using “cost per click” among other metrics through Internet advertising, for example. This is why, when reviewing sponsorship options, the seeker should be quite clear in his or her own mind about the return on investment the sponsor may expect.

Research is of paramount importance when preparing to approach a potential investor. You must be sure that your product, team or individual is of interest to the same demographic as the sponsor’s. You are providing them a vehicle to reach their target audience from a different perspective and this is where creativity can be particularly helpful.

By completing your research correctly, you will open up a variety of sponsorship options and be able to approach the target from the best angle or angles. Maybe this company is not best placed to become your overall sponsor and to receive your primary exposure. Always try and put itself in the shoes of the company and ask why this company should engage with you and what would its potential return be?

As long as our world relies on communication and exposure to sell products and services there will always be a need for sponsorship relations. Creative individuals and teams should be proactive when considering an approach to an organization and stress the benefits of a relationship at the front end.

Almost always, sponsorship options are based on a variety of tangible and intangible benefits. Sometimes intangible benefits are sufficient to gain agreement, but they must be backed up by solid reasoning, great research and achievable goals.

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