Dos and Don’ts of Sponsorships
Finding a sponsor for your sports team is no walk in the park. From attracting potential sponsors to your site to creating mutually beneficial sponsorship packages to drafting a fair sponsorship agreement, there is a lot involved in singing on a sponsor.
However, once you and your sponsor have signed the agreement, there are a few things to keep in mind if you want to make sure the sponsorship relationship ends on a positive note.
In this post, we’ll talk about the dos and don’ts of sponsorship so you can avoid making some common mistakes when it comes to sponsorships.
Here are the things you should focus on if you want your sponsors to be happy and ensure they renew their sponsorship agreement when the time comes.
Treat Your Team as a Business
The first and most important piece of advice is to treat your team as a business company. You might have started your soccer team out of love for soccer and as a hobby but that doesn’t mean you can be casual about it.
Finding a sponsor and getting in touch with is similar to interviewing with a potential employer. Maintain professionalism and show them that you take this opportunity seriously. Similarly, make sure that every written piece of communication between you and the sponsor is free of grammar errors and typos.
Draft a Sponsorship Agreement
Before contacting the potential sponsor, take the time to draft your sponsorship agreement. We’ve covered how to create a sponsorship agreement that protects both you and the sponsor so be sure to incorporate those tips and provide sponsors with all the needed information.
Do Your Research
Another sponsorship do is doing your research about the potential sponsor. You should be familiar with their business which means you should know their target market, their products, and their culture. This information will help you come up with a strategy to deliver their message more effectively.
Develop a Relationship First, Ask for Sponsorship Second
When it comes to sponsorship, business big and small are more likely to sponsor a team or a customer that they already know. As such, it’s worth developing a relationship with a potential sponsor before presenting them with a sponsorship opportunity.
Consider purchasing their products, engaging in a conversation with them on social media or participating in comments on their blog.
Support the Sponsor Beyond the Agreement
It goes without saying that you should absolutely honor the sponsorship agreement. However, there is nothing wrong with going the extra mile and supporting your sponsors beyond the scope of agreement. This can be as simple as retweeting their tweet that promotes their latest sale to sharing their latest blog post with your audience.
Another way to express support is making note of important dates such as their anniversary or sending them a thank you note during holidays.
There might be times where you won’t receive a definitive answer to your sponsorship proposal immediately. In those situations, remember to follow up. This gives you a golden opportunity to actually receive a positive response and it also shows that you will go through with your commitments.
Now that we’ve covered the dos, let’s talk about what not to do in terms of sponsorships.
Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute
If you know you need a sponsor for a particular game, don’t wait until the last minute to find a sponsor. Start early and make sure you have plenty of time to determine what you will bring to the table and research potential sponsors in your area.
Don’t Focus on Your Needs
Avoid making the sponsorship about what the sponsor will help you achieve and focus on how you can help them reach their goals. Your sponsor is essentially paying you to market their company and you know best how you can put those funds to use so keep that in mind when negotiating a sponsorship deal.
Avoid Contacting Sponsors After Hours
Sponsors are regular people like the rest of us which means nobody likes to be contacted after business hours to talk about business. Avoid calling them or contacting them on social media even if they appear to be active.
If, for any reason, you have to contact them, consider sending an email so they can see it first thing in the morning.
Don’t Let Your Sponsorship Program Go Stale
Once you nail down your sponsorship packages and you find a happy sponsor that keeps on renewing their sponsorship agreement, it’s easy to fall into the trap of constantly doing the “proven” thing. However, that also means your benefits can go stale and stop bringing the same or better results for your sponsors. Instead, seek ways to innovate and find a new direction or new possibilities for delivering your sponsor’s message.
Don’t Pester Them After a No
In some cases, you might get a negative reply to your sponsorship proposal. When that happens, you want to thank them for their time and move on to find the next potential sponsor. Continuing to push the agreement and asking them to reconsider will not only annoy them, it might also hurt your brand reputation.
Keep in mind that sometimes, a negative reply might just mean they are not ready right now. If you’re not sure, you can politely ask them if you should follow up and then respect their answer.
Don’t Give Up
Lastly, don’t give up. As mentioned earlier, finding a sponsor is not an easy task and there is always a chance that you’ll hear a no. However, that doesn’t mean you should give up. Evaluate your agreement, amend if necessary, make sure you thoroughly research every potential sponsor company and try again.
Avoid These Beginner Sponsorship Mistakes
Sponsors are valuable assets for any sports team, regardless of the sport they play. If you’re not careful, it’s easy to make a mistake that could cost you the sponsorship relationship you’ve established. Use the tips in this article to help you avoid those mistakes and don’t forget to download our handy cheat sheet so you can keep it as a reference.