How do I sell sponsorship for…?

I get this question or a variation of it every day, multiple times a day and at every speaking event, workshop and webinar that I run.

The variations of this question are endless, How do I sell sponsorship for

  • Festivals
  • Sports teams
  • Events
  • Athletes
  • Programming
  • Naming rights
  • Theatre
  • Runs and walks
  • Conferences
  • Charities
  • For profit entities
  • Small shops
  • Big shops
  • Big audiences
  • Small audiences

This question is rooted in the idea that somehow sponsorship changes based on what you are seeking sponsorship for.

It doesn’t.

The formula for sponsorship and answer to the question “How do I sell sponsorship” is unchanged no matter which of the above scenarios applies to you. There are no short cuts and no exceptions.

Here are the steps required to build your sponsorship program, no matter the type of sponsorship you are selling:

Build your Inventory and do a Valuation!

You can’t move forward until you know what you have to sell, how much to charge and whether or not it’s worth the effort. Valuation is complex and confusing, it’s true…but that’s no excuse to skip this step. Need some help with this stage? Check out our valuation course or, if you need more hands on help, have a look at our valuation services.

Understand your Audience!

You have to know everything about your audience, not just “middle class families” but preferred brands, what they like about you, dislike about you and whether or not you can impact a buying decision.

Build Activations!

Activations are built on audience data and designed to give your audience value or help them overcome annoyances. No activations? No sponsorship sales…it’s that simple. And by the way, a list of logo placement opportunities labeled “Gold, Silver and Bronze” are NOT activation ideas!

Prospecting and Discovery!

Once you know your audience, value and activation ideas (and only once you know this!) you can reach out to prospects. Not to sell them anything but to learn about their goals and what they are trying to accomplish.

Sponsorship Package and Closing the Sale!

After you’ve started meeting with your prospects, you can move to creating a sponsorship package and negotiate with your prospects until you come to an agreement that benefits you, your audience and the sponsor.

No matter what type of sponsorship you are involved in, what type of property you are trying to sell sponsorship for, the process is the same every time.

Chris Baylis is an expert in sponsorship valuation and sponsorship strategy. Chris works with brands and sponsorship properties to define their sponsorship goals, determine market value of their sponsorship assets and create strategies that work. Chris is the President and CEO of The Sponsorship Collective and an international speaker and consultant on all things sponsorship marketing.