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5 Modern Obstacles to Sponsorship Sales (And How to Overcome Them)

The landscape for sponsorship sales and marketing has changed a lot in recent years. Previous generations of business owners clamored at the opportunity to connect their brand to an outside team, venue, or property.

Sponsoring even a single sport, cause, celebrity, or musical event proved an easy way to showcase your organization to hundreds (if not thousands) of consumers within a target demographic for an instant boost in brand reach and recognition.

Today’s entrepreneurs understand that the once fertile and relatively untapped sponsorship terrain has matured, bringing with it a new set of challenges and complexities. Modern sponsors are much more savvy when it comes to choosing the right events to sponsor, making it more difficult to sell sponsorship engagements to prospects.

Fortunately, success is possible for sellers willing to discern potential opportunity amidst marketplace disruption. Here are five potential obstacles and how to overcome them to get your next event sponsored.

Thick Firewalls (Is Anyone There?)

Feel like you’re struggling simply to connect with a live person when prospecting? It’s a common occurrence. The influx of sponsorship requests, inquiries, and proposals have prompted many people to ignore the flooding of unsolicited calls and emails they receive on a daily basis.


If you’re struggling to reach the right people in an organization, it’s officially time to up your gatekeeper game. Step one? Ditch the small talk. Launch your gatekeeper engagement from a place of integrity and respect, use basic manners, and add a personalized touch to the conversation that lets them know you’re listening.

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More Decision-Makers

Another major obstacle to selling sponsorship is that, in many companies, there are multiple stakeholders involved in the decision-making process, making it challenging to zero in on the right point of contact within each organization.

Some groups have an entire designated sponsorship department, while others look to C-level executives and other resources to make the ultimate decision.


Changing your approach is the best way to stand out in an oversaturated marketplace of sellers. Stop calling everyone and anyone just to hit your weekly contact goals.

Go through your prospect list to determine that the people you’re contacting are actual decision-makers in the process and refine your value proposition to best resonate with that targeted demographic.

Everyone Is Busy

Limited bandwidth is a major obstacle to companies selling sponsorship opportunities. Many teams and individual contributors straddle multiple projects and responsibilities, leaving little time to read emails, answer phone calls, or read proposals.


Put simply: get to the point as quickly as possible.

Also, get as visual as possible with any digital contact you make with your prospects. Eliminate long stretches of rambling text (no one is reading it), opting instead for concise, compelling copy, graphics, charts, and images that make your point in a single glance.

Contact Turnover

Rampant turnover can make managing your list of endlessly rotating decision-makers a full-time job in itself. Continuously recreating the blueprint of who is in charge of purchasing sponsorship ads can waste countless, precious prospecting hours.

Worse yet, many sellers begin the proposal engagement with a designated contact only to have that person move out of that position halfway through the process.


A well-maintained CRM can prove a formidable weapon against high volume contact turnover. Keeping your CRM database up to date as you continuously prospect ensures you’ll have access to the best information possible, whenever it’s time to check in on a potential buyer.

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Proving ROI

Many sponsorship prospects have limited marketing budgets and an already perceived value of a specific event or venue, making it challenging to change their view of ultimate purchasing return on investment.


Go into every selling opportunity armed with as many metrics as possible that outline the overall value of sponsorship. Utilizing an innovative CRM system can grant you access to a diverse range of statistics and essential analytics, so you can quickly and effectively address client concerns and illustrate the many relevant benefits that come with a sponsor partnership.

How are you changing your sponsorship selling approach to command attention and close deals?

Author the Author

Jennette Evanco is the Digital Marketing Manager at Spotio, a leading field sales acceleration platform.