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How to Price Sponsorship Packages

by | May 2, 2024

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Pricing sponsorship packages is a challenge many face. After all, the stakes are high. Setting the price too low risks leaving money on the table and undervaluing your brand. Set it too high, chances are you might scare away potential sponsors.

I’m here to tell you pricing your packages doesn’t have to be a shot in the dark. Once you gain some insight into the psychology of pricing, avoiding common mistakes, and employing a few tried-and-true strategies, you can confidently assign a value to your sponsorship assets that will have sponsors lining up at your door. 

For more information about the stakes of getting your pricing right, take a look at my article on Common Sponsorship Proposal Mistakes to Avoid.

Now, I know what you might be thinking: “But wait, isn’t there a special formula I can use to price my packages perfectly every time?” Well, I hate to break it to you, but sponsorship pricing is more art than science. Every property is unique and has its own set of assets, audience demographics, and market conditions that influence the value of a sponsorship.

You can’t just plug some numbers into a spreadsheet and expect to come up with the ‘best price.’ You have to have a good grasp of your property’s value proposition, a keen sense of your sponsors’ objectives, and not forget a willingness to get creative and think outside the box.

Ready to learn the secrets of sponsorship pricing?

Read on to discover how to create packages that are both irresistible to sponsors and profitable for your organization.

Your Sponsorship DNA

The first step in pricing your sponsorship packages is to understand and communicate to the potential sponsor your unique value proposition. What makes your property special? What exclusive benefits can you offer sponsors that they can’t find anywhere else?

Take some time to really identify what sets your sponsorship opportunities apart. Gather audience data, and talk to your team to uncover those hidden gems that make your property shine.

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Whatever your unique selling points may be, convey them clearly and confidently to potential sponsors. Don’t be shy about tooting your own horn and painting a picture of the incredible value sponsors can expect to receive by partnering with you.

When you know exactly what makes your property special, you can create sponsorship packages that capitalize on your strengths and make sponsors feel like they’ve hit the jackpot. You can then price your sponsorship package accordingly, knowing full well that you’re offering something truly unique and valuable.

Sponsorship Recon – Conducting Thorough Market Research

First things first – you need to know what you’re up against. Take a good, hard look at your industry and see what other players are offering in terms of sponsorship packages and pricing. Are they bundling assets in creative ways? Are they offering unique activation opportunities that you hadn’t thought of? Are they pricing their packages in a way that makes your head spin?

Don’t just stop at surface-level observations – dig deeper and analyze the data. Look for benchmarks and best practices in your industry, and see how your pricing stacks up. Are you undervaluing your assets compared to your competitors? Or are you overpricing your packages and scaring away potential sponsors?

I’m not suggesting you should blindly follow their lead. In fact, that’s a surefire way to blend in with the crowd and miss out on opportunities to stand out and capture more value. Your sponsorship packages should be a reflection of your unique brand, assets, and audience – not a carbon copy of what everyone else is doing. Market research will give you a little more data to work with.

Take a look at the bigger picture and identify trends and changes in the sponsorship market as a whole. Are there new technologies or platforms that are changing the game? Are there shifts in consumer behavior or preferences that could impact what sponsors are looking for? Staying on top of these trends better positions you to create packages that are relevant and valuable.

Get creative in how you gather this data – attend industry events, conduct surveys and focus groups, or even just pick up the phone and have a conversation with potential sponsors.

The Sponsorship Chameleon – Customized Packages

Just like a chameleon, you’ve got to be adaptable!

The advice that I often see cited is to create stock sponsorship packages with tiers like “gold, silver, bronze.” I might be going against the grain, but I believe it’s a lazy, cookie-cutter approach that fails to recognize that every sponsor is different.

You’re essentially telling your sponsors, “Hey, we couldn’t be bothered to put in the effort to understand what you really want, so just pick one of these pre-made options and hope for the best.”

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Not only is this approach uninspired, but it also leaves money on the table.

I’ve discussed how your brand and property are unique, and the same applies to your sponsor. They’ve got their own idea of what a successful sponsorship looks like. And if you want to win them over (and keep them coming back for more), you’ve got to be willing to customize your sponsorship proposals to fit their goals. You can’t slap a one-size-fits-all price tag on your packages and call it a day.

But how do you actually do it? It all starts with having a diverse range of assets and benefits in your sponsorship arsenal. If you have plenty of options, the easier it is to mix and match and create the best package for each individual sponsor.

Also, be proactive in seeking out sponsor feedback and input throughout the pricing process. What are their marketing goals and objectives? What kind of ROI are they looking for from their sponsorship investments? What are their pain points and challenges when it comes to sponsorship?

If you can get inside the heads of your target sponsors, the better chance you’ll create sponsorship packages that will make them say, “Where do I sign?” Getting to know your sponsors well can also help you increase sponsorship ROI and brand value.

Don’t hesitate to negotiate and get creative in finding win-win solutions. If a sponsor balks at your initial price tag, it’s not time to throw in the towel – see if there’s a way to adjust the package or come up with a compromise that’s mutually beneficial. Sponsorship is a partnership, not a one-way street.

Post-Event Evaluation and the Feedback Loop

My final sponsorship tip is to monitor and adjust your strategy.

Sponsorship pricing is not a set-it-and-forget-it kind of deal. It’s a living, breathing, ever-evolving beast requiring constant attention and care. And the key to taming this beast? If you still need to guess it- feedback.

Sponsor feedback is the lifeblood of a successful pricing strategy. If you actively seek out and listen to your sponsors’ opinions, you can gain invaluable insights – what’s working, what’s not, and where you can improve.

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You’ve just wrapped up a major event, and you’re feeling pretty good about how things went. Time to kick back, right? Not so fast. It’s now time for your post-event evaluation, and you might discover some surprising trends.

Maybe you found out that your sponsorship packages were priced a little too high, and you had a harder time than expected securing sponsors. Or perhaps you realize that certain assets weren’t as appealing to sponsors as you first thought.

This feedback is pure gold. It’s the roadmap to guide you towards better future pricing strategies. Each event you host, and the more sponsors you work with, adds to your experience and the easier it all gets. Each event sponsorship package you put together is an opportunity to refine your pricing chops. With each iteration, you’ll gain insights into what works best.

Closing Thoughts

There’s plenty more to discuss when talking about ‘how to price sponsorship packages,’ so this short article is just a primer. You can read some of my other related articles on the sponsorship valuation process here:

Seven Sponsorship Valuation Questions: Part One
Seven Sponsorship Valuation Questions: Part Two
Sponsorship Valuation Best Practices
The Secrets of Sponsorship Valuation: Key Factors to Consider for Accurate Evaluation

I’ve also put together a free video training that focuses on three high-impact areas that will help you stand out from the crowd with a brand-new sponsorship model.

Watch it Now