How to Make a Sponsorship Brochure
You know through this blog how to write a killer sponsorship proposal. In some instances, you might take some of the information from your proposal as well as your sponsorship package and tie it all together in an appealing sponsorship brochure. The keyword here is appealing, so how do you make a sponsorship brochure that pops?
Here are 5 easy steps to follow for creating your sponsorship brochure:
- Determine which information will go into your brochure (most brochures are 6 to 10 pages long)
- Decide on the graphical direction (fonts, colors, images, backgrounds, etc.)
- Use a template or create your brochure layout from scratch using a computer program
- Look through your brochure with a fine-toothed comb for mistakes and errors
- Save your brochure and email it, or print it on fine-stock paper and then send it
If this will be your first time creating a sponsorship brochure, then this is one guide you’re not going to want to miss. I’m cramming this post full of useful information on sponsorship brochures, including why you should make one, how, and when the best time is to send your sponsorship brochure to your target sponsor. Keep reading!
What Is a Sponsorship Brochure?
Let’s start at the very beginning. What exactly is a sponsorship brochure?
It’s not the same as your sponsorship proposal or your prospectus, as your proposal is a written letter. That said, the sponsorship brochure will include some elements of your proposal, especially your sponsorship package.
If you need a refresher, a sponsorship package is your tiered pricing for your assets. I’ll talk more about assets, valuations, and your sponsorship package later in this guide, so keep reading for more information there.
As I said in the intro, most sponsorship brochures are between 6 and 10 pages long. The length of the brochure depends on the information you include, at least in part, as well as how you format it. Graphics-heavy designs might take up more space on a page than a brochure that doesn’t go overboard on the graphics.
Here’s the basic page-by-page formatting for your sponsorship brochure.
Page 1 – Title Page
Like in your sponsorship proposal, the first page of your brochure should be your title page. You want your company or organization name here, the name of the event, and the event date and location. You can keep this page rather plain or use a graphic, but choose carefully. The title page sets the mood for the rest of the brochure, after all.
That means that if you keep the graphics simple on the title page, you’ll want to continue that throughout the rest of the guide. Likewise, a full-page graphic on your title page will set the expectation that several more full-page graphics will be in the brochure.
Page 2 – Event Explanation
The second page should describe the event and a bit about your organization, but don’t take up the whole page doing this. After a paragraph or two, shift to discussing the sponsorship opportunities you’re about to lay out in the form of your sponsorship package via the brochure. Write about your sponsorship package in a way that’s not too salesy yet incentivizes the sponsor company to want to keep reading the brochure.
Pages 3 through 6 or 8 – Sponsorship Package
Next, you want to lay out your sponsorship package(s) over the next several pages. In some sponsorship brochures, they dedicate a page to each package, which I think is a good approach to take. This prevents information overload and lets the target sponsor chew on each option.
Last Page – CTA
To wrap up, you want to end your sponsorship brochure the same way you did your sponsorship proposal. That is, by including your contact information, such as your phone number and email address. This makes it easy for the sponsor company to get in touch with you.
Why Make a Sponsorship Brochure?
Making a sponsorship brochure sure sounds like a lot of work. Can’t you just describe your sponsorship package in your proposal? This way, you don’t have to tinker with any photo editing programs.
Sure, you could, and in some cases, that may be perfectly appropriate. When the mood calls for it though, a sponsorship brochure is a great choice for the following reasons.
Jazzes up Your Presentation
The target sponsor you seek to work with has likely seen hundreds if not thousands of sponsorship proposals before. At this point, they all sort of blend together. Part of what could clinch the sponsor partnership is you standing out from all those other organizations with your presentation. (It also really helps when you have something the sponsor company wants, such as a good audience).
A sponsorship brochure is a different way of presenting the information pertinent to landing a sponsorship. That ought to get the target sponsor company to perk up a bit and pay attention.
Helps Your Sponsor Visualize the Event
Another great reason to choose a sponsorship brochure is to showcase the type of mood and environment you’re going for with your event. You can use stock photos or images of your past events to show the target sponsor what a blast it is. Helping the sponsor see your event and what it could be with their support makes it easier for them to envision where they can fit in. This again may make them more receptive to working together.
Includes Your Sponsorship Package in an Appealing Fashion
A sponsorship brochure is also the perfect place to include your sponsorship package, but nicely and neatly. The sponsorship package is one of the most important parts of the sponsorship arrangement, so giving it the attention it deserves in the brochure is always a wise idea.
Informs and Excites
Not only are you informing your target sponsor about the event and your sponsorship packages through your brochure, but you’re also hyping them up along the way with images and fun graphics.
This is your chance to inject some personality into your presentation so it’s not stuffy. If you can get the sponsor company as excited about your event as you are, then it seems only natural that they will want to work with you.
How to Make a Sponsorship Brochure Step by Step
Alright, so you’re convinced that you should make a sponsorship proposal, but you don’t know the first way to go about doing it. Fortunately, in this section, I’ll elaborate on all the steps from the intro so you know just what to do.
Step 1 – Determine Which Information Will Go into Your Proposal
Before you begin creating the sponsorship brochure, you need to make an outline. The information from the first section of this guide that breaks down the sponsorship brochure page by page will tell you what to put and where, so make sure you use that.
Now I want to take some time to discuss the sponsorship package, which is arguably the most important part of your brochure. As mentioned, your sponsorship package is a list of all your valuated assets from the most to the least valuable.
Let’s rewind a moment. If you haven’t already, then you want to start by making a list of assets you could offer to the sponsor. These are all the tangible and intangible things that are of value to a sponsor that will make them want to partner with you.
Here’s a classic example: your organization is hosting an event and you need funding. In exchange for the sponsor’s funding, you might give them advertising space throughout the event hall or even their own booth or table. Those are all tangible assets.
Intangible assets would include access to your audience or even co-naming the sponsor in your event title. As those assets suggest, your intangible assets can be just as valuable if not more so than your tangible ones.
You won’t know the true value of any asset until you evaluate each one. Then, what I recommend doing is going to the sponsor, discussing the assets you think would appeal to them, and collaborating on what will go into your sponsorship package. This is far more appealing than the gold, silver, and bronze tiered packages that have been done to death.
Why? It’s like I always say, the tiered package forces the sponsor to pay the most money yet only receive some of what they want. It’s happened to me, where a former sponsor had to dip out on working with me because they spent their sponsorship budget on another event’s gold tier package. This kind of situation creates bad feelings, especially on the part of the sponsor, who feels like you’re holding the assets hostage that they want.
You can still formulate your sponsorship package into three tiers if that feels more natural to you, but these should be customized tiers that utilized the input of the target sponsor.
Step 2 – Choose Your Graphical Direction
You’ve made your outline for your sponsorship brochure, and now you’re ready to move on to the backbone of the brochure: the graphics.
Since your brochure is well, a brochure, its visual appeal must be a top priority. Like I discussed earlier, when choosing a graphical theme or style, you’re committing to repeating that style throughout the brochure. Make sure that’s something you can do.
If you go with a simpler graphic style for your first brochure, that’s okay. It’s better than trying to cram every page full of large images and fancy designs.
Besides how attractive your graphic style will make your brochure, you also want to think about style from a pricing point of view. If you add a border to your brochure but leave the pages otherwise plain, then your overhead is less. If you want to add images, then you’ll pay more to print full-color photos than a plain white page with some text and a colored border.
You might also decide to purchase images, which isn’t horribly expensive. That said, buying a stock photo or several does add to your overall project costs, which you want to keep reasonable.
I would recommend choosing how graphics-heavy to go on your brochure based on your organization’s personality, the type of event, and the personality of your sponsor.
Step 3 – Make Your Brochure Layout
Once you’ve decided what your graphic style will be, it’s time to get to work putting together the brochure layout.
I bet you think you need an image editor such as Adobe Photoshop to make a brochure, but that’s far from the case. Whether you want to create your sponsorship brochure from scratch or use a template, the programs you use every single day likely have a brochure creator you never knew about.
If your budget is tight, Canva is a free web-based graphic design service that lets you make brochure templates right on their website. You can select from sales and company brochures, message brochures, and more. When you find one you like, simply drag and drop the brochure template into the editor.
Then you can begin tinkering with every element of the brochure, including graphics, images, the placement of elements, background color, foreground color, text placement, and font. You might stick close to the original template or flex your creative muscle and change a lot of the elements.
When you’re done with the cover, continue adding pages as needed until you’re done. Canva doesn’t require an account to download your brochure, but to edit it later, you do need to sign up. Keep in mind that some templates and features are only accessible if you pay for them.
Are you a Microsoft Word user? More than likely, you are. If you have an open Word doc right now, you can open a brochure template. In the search bar at the top right of the latest version of Word, type brochure. You can then look through the available brochure templates.
When you choose one you like, you can edit it like with Canva. Your first page is the inside flap of the brochure as well as the front and back of it. Then, the second page includes the inside right, inside middle, and the left of your brochure. Once you understand that, it’s smooth sailing.
If you happen to be a tried and true Adobe user, Adobe Spark has an array of editable templates, including some great ones you can use for free.
Of course, if you’re a photo editing whiz and you’d rather make your own sponsorship brochure from scratch, that’s an option too. Your brochure will be completely original so you don’t have to worry about too closely mimicking the designs of your competitors.
Step 4 – Triple-Check Your Brochure for Visual Alignment and Grammatical Issues
Whether you used a template or you did it from the ground up, your sponsorship template is now complete. You followed the page structure I suggested and you’re pretty proud of how everything came together. Now it’s just a matter of sending the brochure to the target sponsor, right?
Not so fast. I recommend you go through everything in the sponsorship brochure with a fine-toothed comb before you deem the brochure is completely finished.
If you’re not using Word to make your brochure, then you might not have a built-in spell checker, so it’ll be on you to make sure that you didn’t misspell anything. You also want to check for grammatical issues, as these will turn off a target sponsor, especially the really easy, avoidable mistakes. (That goes for typos too, by the way.)
I would also suggest you print your brochure on basic printer paper to see how the whole thing looks just in case something didn’t turn out right. Using Word’s brochure template as an example, the formatting is a little confusing until you get the hang of it. You would hate to find that your second page is now on the back of the brochure when you already went through the trouble to print the brochure on nice paper. That’s just a waste of your time and money.
You might not intend to send a printed copy of your brochure to the target sponsor, but printing it at least once lets you see how the whole brochure flows, so don’t skip this step.
If you used a template, then you shouldn’t have to worry about graphical alignment issues, unless you added a lot of your own graphics. Printing will also tell you if these issues are apparent so you can fix them before the target sponsor ever sees.
Step 5 – Print Your Brochure or Email It
After a second and even a third or fourth check, your sponsorship brochure is immaculate. You even had several people look over it and it’s free of spelling and grammar issues as well as graphical glitches.
Great! Then you’re ready to move on. You want to prepare the brochure for the target sponsor to see it. If you’re just emailing the brochure to the sponsor, then make sure it’s in a readable file format. Ideally, you want to send the brochure as a PDF, as it’s more professional that way.
If you must, you can also send the Word doc to the target sponsor, but I’d always suggest a PDF. Lots of programs and online brochure builders should let you save straight to PDF. If not, you can always convert the file. Just make sure that you’re not sending your target sponsor a TIFF or something like that.
If you’re printing and mailing your brochure or just printing and bringing the brochure to your next meeting, don’t just choose the type of paper randomly. Sure, you used basic printer paper for testing the brochure. When it’s time to print the real deal though, you want high-quality brochure and presentation paper. You can find this at any office supply store, including online.
No, it’s not cheap to buy brochure and presentation paper, but it’s worth it. As you print out your brochure, make sure you fold it the way it’s supposed to go. Then, I’d recommend putting it in a protective file so it’s in good shape until your target sponsor can see the brochure.
When Should You Present the Sponsorship Brochure?
After all your hard work, you can’t wait for the target sponsor to see your sponsorship brochure. Although you’ll be eager to pass the document along, you have to wait until the time is right. It’s like I said in my post about nailing the first sponsorship meeting, that first in-person interaction is more like a casual Q&A than a sales pitch.
You’re getting to know the target sponsor to ensure that working together is in the best interest of you both. Once you determine that it is, you’ll have your second meeting. If the target sponsor asks to see your sponsorship proposal at this time, then you’ll show them the sponsorship brochure as well.
You might have that second meeting without passing along the proposal. In that case, hold off on the brochure too, as they’re kind of a package deal.
Once your target sponsor has the brochure in hand (or on their computer), give them a few days to mull things over. If you’re lucky, you might hear back from the sponsor company within a week. If more than seven days have passed and it’s been radio silence, you definitely want to check in and see if the sponsor received your documentation and if they had a chance to look things over.
Hopefully, they’ll have loved your sponsorship proposal and your brochure and you’ll get the answer you seek, that the sponsor wants to work with you!
A sponsorship brochure takes your sponsorship package and some info from your proposal and ties it all together in an appealing, concise way. You can use a sponsorship brochure to visualize your event for the sponsor and get them excited about your presentation.
Now that you know how to make your own sponsorship brochures, you’re one step closer to achieving the sponsorship your organization needs. Best of luck!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Baylis is the President and CEO of The Sponsorship Collective and a self-confessed sponsorship geek.
After several years as a sponsor (that’s right, the one investing the money!) Chris decided to cross over to the sponsorship sales side where he has personally closed tens of millions of dollars in sponsorship deals. Chris has been on the front lines of multi-million dollar sponsorship agreements and has built and coached teams to do the same.
Chris now spends his time working with clients to value their assets and build strategies that drive sales. An accomplished speaker and international consultant, Chris has helped his clients raise millions in sponsorship dollars.