In honour of the second favourite film from my childhood (the first is The Empire Strikes Back, thanks for asking); here are 5 myths that need busting about sponsorship.
1. Sponsorship is a numbers game
It is too easy to create a generic proposal and vet it out to every contact in your phonebook. The best way to approach sponsorship sales is to ensure your package is tailored and your approach is considered. It is essential to have a thorough understanding about why this is a good opportunity for your prospect, don’t just send it out to anyone.
2. We’ll be able to get sponsorship because we’re a good cause
This one is targeted primarily at the third sector. Yes, you probably are representing a really wonderful cause, but so is every other charity out there, and guess what, they’re all going after the same prospects as you. It is not enough, in such a saturated marketplace to just rely on being a ‘good cause’ – find your USP and create an offering that sponsors won’t be able to turn down.
3. We got this much sponsorship last year, so we should get the same again this year
In principle, this should be the case but unfortunately, it isn’t. In such a rapidly moving market place, marketing plans change, so the brand that sponsored last year, may not want to sponsor again this year. It is essential; therefore, that you measure the success of your sponsorship, and ensure the offering for the next year is just as good, if not better than the last.
4. Sponsorship isn’t hard; it’s like sales, isn’t it?
To put it simply, no. Sales only accounts for a tiny fraction of the sponsorship process. From asset creation to valuation, account management and measurement to project management, digital strategies and experiential – sponsorship covers it all. To be successful in sponsorship a lot of work is needed to get you up to the sale and even more work is needed once the sale is done.
5. Our event costs this much to run, so that’s what we’re going to ask for
This shouldn’t be the case at all. Brands aren’t sponsoring your platform because they want to help you out with the costs, they’re interested because they want access to your audience, and they see synergies between you – they want to use your event as a platform to showcase themselves. The brand needs to buy into you; they don’t want to be paying your bills.