5 Smart Ways to Get Sponsors For Your Team
Managing a sports team is not easy. On top of arranging game matches, recruiting new members, and making sure your team members are in top shape, you also need to market and promote your team so you can grow your fan base and secure financial means that will allow you to cover travel expenses, maintain and get proper equipment, and secure venues for game days.
One way to secure funds is to collect membership dues, gather donations, and sell team merchandise. Another way is to find sponsors. In fact, for many (if not all) teams, sponsorship is the main source of income.
But how do you go about finding sponsors?
5 Ways to Get Sponsors
If you’ve been toying around with the idea of finding sponsors, then read on because, in this post, we’ll cover 5 ways to get sponsors for your team.
Start With Your Club
One of the easiest ways to find potential sponsors is to start with your club. Whether you run a youth sport’s team or an adult team, there are opportunities to be considered. Parents of the children on your team or team members may be business owners themselves and since they are already vested in your team, it makes sense to approach them about sponsorship. In most cases, they will share some of the core values as your team which makes them more likely to take their support for the team to the next level.
Even if they are not business owners themselves, they could be employed by a local business which opens the door to getting connected to the right person to talk to about sponsorship benefits and opportunities.
Look Around Your Community
Similarly to the point above, targeting your community and local businesses within that community can be a great way to secure a sponsorship. Even though they aren’t directly connected to your team, you still have the community in common.
Some business will serve the exact same audience as your team – perhaps a local store sells school supplies to the kids on your team. Or, maybe there’s a local auto repair shop where your team members go every time they have car trouble.
Whatever the case may be, there is a good chance that each of those business owners is already aware of your team. Asking your players to make the introduction is a great way to establish a relationship with the business owner and approach them about sponsorship.
The key point to remember is that you aren’t restricted to targeting only local businesses that belong to the sport’s niche. As long as you serve the same community, you can approach them and strike a mutually beneficial relationship.
If your local community is not giving you the results you want, consider expanding your horizons and going national. Often, smaller, local teams think they cannot bring any benefits to the table but that is not the case. Larger businesses and corporations are always on the lookout for promotion opportunities so it’s a good idea to make a list of businesses that cater to the same audience.
In some cases, you may even attract a well-established brand that’s looking to give back to local communities and sports teams.
Associating yourself with a big brand name also has the potential to elevate your team to a new level and make it more attractive to other businesses and entice them to get involved.
Consider car dealerships, food chains, store, or any other franchise that has a branch in your area. Reach out to them with your sponsorship package and they will be more than likely to consider yet another opportunity to market themselves and reach a new audience.
Make it Personal
A great way to ensure you get sponsors is to create a personalized sponsorship package. While there is nothing wrong with having a general structure in place, you need to make easy for the business owner to see the benefits of sponsoring you.
Use your sponsorship package to outline everything you can offer to a potential sponsor. This can include the size and the demographics of your audience and loyal fans which can include not only people who attend your games but also your website visitors, email subscribers, social media followers, and more. You can then proceed to specify the details about advertisement placement, the duration or how often you’ll promote them. You also need to consider the type of business they run and tailor your package accordingly.
Being authentic and working on establishing a personal relationship before making the pitch goes a long way towards showing that you’re not in it just for your benefit. It will also provide them with a great sponsorship experience which can turn into long-term continued support.
Finally, don’t think about sponsorship solely in terms of financial benefit. Sometimes, it pays off to think outside the box and maintain that creativity when approaching potential sponsors.
Generally speaking, most sports teams approach sponsorship as a cash in exchange for promotion deal. However, some business might be afraid of the potential risk in sponsoring a team. You can reassure them and lower the perceived risk by offering a promotion in exchange for something else in return.
Consider, for example, equipment. If a local business sells sporting equipment then try asking them to donate some of their stock in exchange for having their logo displayed on a banner. Or, you could ask the local restaurant to cater your next game or event.
Another way to be creative and make the offer more attractive is to consider a sponsorship raffle. Sell tickets for a lower price rather than asking for a large sum of cash. This will make smaller businesses more likely to participate since the financial risk is much lower and the gain can be even greater for them.
In the long run, consider what you want to get out of the sponsorship and decide whether it’s pure monetary gain or if your team could benefit in other ways.
Go Out There and Find Sponsors
Sponsorship is one of the best ways to secure a reliable financial support for your team but it can also be a way to ensure your team has the proper equipment or to secure a transportation to your next game day. Use our post above to help you find sponsors for your team and download our cheat sheet so you can keep a handy reminder with you when you’re ready to reach out to businesses.