10+ Ideas and Tools to Win Local Sports Team Sponsorship

Getting local sports team sponsorship is a daunting process most organizations have to go through: even professional sports teams need financial assistance to achieve their goals.

Sports sponsorship is big money — Forbes estimates that athletic sponsorship revenue will be at 18.3 billion US$ by 2019.

When you realize that companies are actively looking for opportunities, asking for money can be a process where you’re in control.

In this post, we’ll take a look at creative ways to not only find local sports team sponsorship opportunities but also how to position your team as a unique organization that everyone wants to sponsor.

Start Your Engines

Nobody needs a lot of convincing to hear why local sports team sponsorship is a good idea: In exchange for some publicity and connection with another company, you can get some funds that could help your team out in a big way.

For example, sponsorship can provide team jerseys, equipment, mid-game refreshments and other necessities.

However, the process can take some time. If you and your team are just starting out on the sponsorship journey, check out 5 Smart Ways to Get Sponsors For Your Team.

Do Your Research

When approaching companies for money, you could just throw a bunch of darts blindly at your options and hope something hits. However, a deliberate, targeted approach can be much more efficient and effective.

Below are a few points to think about when deciding who to approach for sponsorship.

Make It Meaningful

Connect with your potential sponsor on an emotional level: anybody can ask for money, but not everyone takes the time to learn about a sponsor’s values and mission.

Think about why these companies are in business. Do their reasons align with any of yours? You’re far more likely to connect with a company if you can both find common ground. Nobody wants to feel used or like they’re only needed for their cash.

Do Your Due Diligence

Some people call it creeping, but others call it research. Knowledge is power, and in this case, seize away.

Do a deep dive on the company and observe everything you can. How do they market themselves? What are the through-lines of their brand on all their different platforms and websites? How do their fans describe them?

You can use all this information to your advantage in your sponsorship package by referencing and using their keywords. You can also make sure you tailor the package content to the tone and character of their brand.

What’s My Motivation?

Take a moment to consider why a company sponsors another organization. Often, it gives them access to a specific demographic maybe they weren’t reaching otherwise.

Local sports team sponsorship can also help elevate their level of social media presence on an entirely new front or platform they weren’t accessing before.

Consider common through-lines of companies that sponsor often. Certainly they have a larger budget, but there’s often an entirely separate advertising and marketing department with money set aside for that very reason.

By doing your research, you can target these organizations first and streamline the process.

I Spy with My Little Eye

Now, don’t go stealing other team’s sponsors, but maybe take a look at who’s paired up consistently sponsorship-wise. Do all the banks flock to the little league teams? Do the hair salons love bowling leagues?  Target a new business in town that’s similar who hasn’t yet gotten established but would love some publicity.

On the flip-side, are there companies that haven’t delved into the local sports team sponsorship arena, but support the local theater group instead? Maybe they’re looking to switch it up. Thinking outside the game field can help you find some low-hanging fruit.

Work the Internet

Did you know there are a number of online resources whose sole job is to connect companies with organizations who need sponsors?

SponsorPitch, Sponseasy and Zipsprout are just a few of the ways brands can connect with sponsors, be it long-term or for a single event.

After signing up and creating a profile, you can search for compatible companies. Then, sit back and let the algorithms do the work!

SponsorPitch website
Use an online resource like SponsorPitch to make finding a sponsor much easier.

Get Creative

When talking about unique ways you can showcase a sponsor’s brand, what will set you apart from other teams looking for sponsors?

Tailor the ideas to their company: offer their own booth at your sporting events to showcase wares or have the team go help out at a cherished volunteer event they host every year.

With a little strategy, the local sports team sponsorship game is yours to win.

Show Them What You’re Made Of

Every team needs money, but not every team has SportsPress on their side.

Below are a number of ways to feature sponsors throughout your team’s web presence to help you make a riveting case for local sports team sponsorship.

Polish that Pitch

If you haven’t even begun to think about how to pitch yourself to sponsors, now’s the time to start.

You’ll need a killer sponsorship package to lay out what you can offer a team in detail and why they should choose you over anyone else.

For details, check out How to Create a Sponsorship Package For Your Team.

Create a Custom Sponsor Ad

Many websites shove their sponsors towards the bottom of the page or hide them deep in the indexes. You can offer more by promising your best sponsor prime real estate on the front page with the help of SportsPress Pro.

Let’s Get Basic

SportsPress Pro has numerous Sponsor features that allow you to create sponsor profiles with logos as well as specific tier levels based on the amount they have contributed. Logos can be displayed in any widget areas your theme contains.

Check out How to Add and Attract New Sponsors to Your Sports WordPress Site for details.

Above and Beyond

Widgets are a versatile way to display any sort of content on your site. You can view the available WordPress widgets and areas on your site by going to Appearance > Widgets in the admin dashboard.

Unfortunately, many WordPress themes limit the areas where widgets can be displayed, further restricting the opportunity to show off that local sports team sponsorship.

Plugins like Widgetize Pages Light or WP Page Widget come in handy to widgetize the entire site and broaden the scope of their location. You can even include widgets in custom post types or on a specific page.

Wigitize Pages Light plugin page
Use the Widgetize Pages Light plugin to make static portions of your site widget-compatible.

To help make your sponsor feel represented, create a special sponsor template by inserting text and images into a Text Widget, then style it to match both your brands. You can also use a Custom HTML widget.

With one of these great options, you can insert the widget wherever you want to properly showcase your sponsor’s ads and logo.

Showing a mock-up of the finished product is also a great way to help a potential sponsor visualize the site.

But Wait, There’s More

You can get really creative with your usage and placement of a custom sponsor ad. Here are a few ideas:

  • On an event page, have a text widget section to declare something similar to “This match was sponsored by Sponsor A.”
  • Put a banner section on each event page to showcase a sponsors logo and website.
  • On a custom post type announcing victory, make sure you include your sponsors name to show fans it’s a team effort.
  • If you have multiple sponsors, rotate them through the coveted location on an event-by-event basis. You could also have sponsors bid against each other for the slot of the opening game of the season.

Lay It All Out

Visual content is becoming increasingly more effective at grasping an audience’s focus so give sponsors your fans’ attention by showcasing their logo on your website and newsletter.

Whether you do an email newsletter or a mailed one, sponsor logos are quick to draw attention to and add. You can even make your entire newsletter sponsored or pair winning results with a trusted name for that powerful positive association.

Get a double win on your opt-ins as well by adding a pop-up to your website. You can offer discounted tickets, a coupon for a free slice of pizza, for example, or something similar in exchange for an email.

Not only does this give you another subscriber to your email list, but it also drives traffic to the sponsor.

Putting the “Social” in Social Media

You can have a fabulous website presence, but it’s also crucial to display your local sports team sponsorship logos and ads elsewhere on the internet. Whether you have a Facebook, Instagram or Twitter account, every avenue is a great way to get your sponsor’s name out there.

#Hashtag It Up

A great way to forge the connection between your sports team and your sponsor is by using social media hashtags. Adding certain hashtags to your posts is a nice way to give a shout-out to sponsors helping you out. It can also be mutually beneficial.

Not only could you use standard hashtags with the company name, but why not create a special hashtag for a sponsorship giveaway?

For example, you could count every retweet or use of a designated hashtag as a raffle entry. Then, watch engagement soar.

Swap Your Social Presence

Why not arrange to have your sponsor post to your social media accounts for a day? It can be fun to show your audience their favorite team through a different lens and lets fans see another side of the sponsoring company.

Who knows — maybe they’ll let you return the favor if you ask.

Compile the Stats

Social media is brimming with opportunities to measure user engagement. Every click, view, and scroll can be tracked. Share the knowledge  and give back to your sponsors in a detailed report.

SportsPress Pro Sponsor features also have a metrics tracking system that lets a team track the number of impressions and clicks that each individual sponsor gets which is highly valuable information for them.

Social media metrics reports are music to your sponsors ears. Create them to show their total reach, interactions and engagement on any given post, as well as track trends.

It’s also a great way to increase the appeal of your sponsorship packages.

Ready, Set, Break!

Tackling the offensive line of local sports team sponsorship isn’t as scary with a game plan on your side. Be sure to do your research and showcase how you can benefit a potential sponsor like no one else can.

Are you confident about obtaining local sports team sponsorship? What tactics have you tried in the past? Did they work? What do current sponsors really love about your partnership? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter or Facebook.

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