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Sponsorship Package Essentials: The Ultimate Guide

by | December 19, 2023

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The sponsorship package is a document shrouded in mystery. For so many years, myths have perpetuated, and sponsorship seekers have staunchly held onto the old way of doing things. 

This has muddied the waters for today’s sponsorship seekers, who often follow those old ways, which is only to their detriment. 

That inspired me to update my original guide on sponsorship packages. A lot has changed since I originally published that article in 2015. I want you to get up to speed on what today’s sponsorship packets need and what you can omit, so let’s get going.

Okay, So What Is a Sponsorship Package, Anyway?

First, let’s get straight with a definition. A sponsorship package, sometimes called a sponsorship packet or sponsor pack, details everything you will provide the sponsor for that specific opportunity. 

In other words, it’s all the benefits, assets, activations, and services outlined and presented neatly. 

Understanding Today’s Sponsorship Package 

As I alluded to in the intro, the sponsorship package has changed rapidly, even within the last couple of years. Misconceptions about what the packet should and shouldn’t be have caused some to continue using out-of-date practices, shooting themselves in the foot in the process. 

Here is what a sponsorship package isn’t

Gold, Silver, and Bronze Tiers

I was really beginning to think the gold, silver, and bronze tiered sponsorship levels were dead, but wouldn’t you believe it, there are some people who still advocate for it today. Color me shocked. 

More so than advocating for it, these people follow it. 

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Listen, I was a sponsorship seeker myself once, working under a boss. Then I got into sponsorship consulting, and now I’ve worked with hundreds of clients across all industries and walks of life through the Sponsorship Collective. I’ve teamed with some people whose job is sponsorship and others who got pushed into the role. 

I have not had success with gold, silver, and bronze tiers. I just haven’t. That’s not because I’m doing something wrong. It’s because they don’t work.

Your sponsorship package should be designed more like a menu. Imagine if you went to a restaurant and opened the menu. You could freely browse the options, selecting your appetizer, entrée, side, drink, and dessert. 

That’s how it should be when a sponsor selects from your services. If they want a little bit of Column A and a tad more of Column B, that should be their right.

So, then what’s the problem with gold, silver, and bronze tiers? Isn’t that just a way of organizing information?

It isn’t. You’re selling assets and services as an all-or-nothing. 

Rather than freely browsing a restaurant menu, imagine all they sold is package deals. You really want the filet mignon, but oops, the only way to get it is to have green beans and a potato as a side and shrimp as your appetizer. Don’t want all that? Too bad. That’s the only way to have the steak.

It sounds unfun, right? Now you can see why sponsors don’t go for it. 

A Shopping Catalog

Sponsorship seekers also slip into the bad pattern of attaching prices to all their services and benefits. This isn’t the right way to go about it. 

When you list a price, it’s then set in stone. It’s even worse if you didn’t bother valuing your assets, as you could end up majorly underselling yourself. 

The only person who’s responsible for knowing the price of your sponsorship opportunity is you. If a sponsor sees you’re selling naming rights for $20,000 and knows it should cost twice that, they won’t tell you. Why would they? 

Here’s the thing about pricing. It’s negotiable. If you can prove that your audience is worth the sponsor’s time, they’re often willing to pay you more than even what your valued price is due to the perceived ROI of working with your customers. 

However, they won’t ever fight with you about costs or push to pay you more. When you put prices in your sponsorship packet, you tell them “this is what I’m selling it for.”

Leave the prices out. Value everything, keep those numbers available, but don’t splash them on the pages of your sponsorship package. 

A Way to Close the Deal 

As I always say, the sponsorship package doesn’t make the sale. You do. 

Granted, it’s a sales tool, but it’s not like the sponsor is going to take one look at the packet and have a contract ready for you to sign so you can begin working together tomorrow. That’s getting way ahead of things.

You need a negotiation stage before you get to that point. Closing the deal right now doesn’t give you any wiggle room to negotiate. 

A Checkbook  

Please discard any notion that it’s a good idea to include cut-out checks for the sponsor to fill in and send out. That hasn’t worked in…well, ever. Only the most old-school sponsors still buy that, and I imagine that even most of them must be tired of it by now. 

What Should Be Included in a Sponsorship Package?

Okay, so that was a grand old list of what not to include, so let’s review what should go into your sponsorship package. 

Opening Letter

The sponsorship package and proposal go together like bees and honey, peanut butter and jelly, macaroni and cheese. You get the idea. 

They’re usually a package deal, with the proposal explaining your opportunity and the sponsorship package going into more detail on incentives. 

I have templates available for download here that I highly recommend you check out. The sponsorship proposal is often mismanaged by beginners, who use page upon page to write about their causes and organizations. 

My template is a quick, no-nonsense breakdown of what each page should contain. Use it and get this part of your sponsorship program right. You’ll feel more confident as you proceed. 

Audience Data

Between the proposal and the package, you need audience data. Lots and lots of data, and the more richly detailed and highly curated, the better. 

I’m talking about 25 data points for each audience segment you have. How many will that be? That depends on your industry, really, but more is best.

Right now, you probably have your customers, attendees, or donors broadly divided by vague geographics, psychographics, and demographics. You need to be ultra-picky and split your audience by each of those criteria.

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For example, break down customers living in Brooklyn by borough, or food service workers by title, like chef or bartender. 

This might seem like splitting hairs, but it’s anything but. Sponsors want this information, even expect it from you.

If yours is a business of any kind, you have a target audience, right? You should. Well, your sponsors also have target audiences, and your detailed data tells them where your audience fits into their target market.

I recommend spotlighting your audience as an asset because they’re the most valuable one you have. 


The rest of your benefits, services, assets, and activations go into your inventory list. This is a rundown of everything you’re selling to the sponsor. 

It will include logos, but those are at the bottom of the totem pole. If you want to impress sponsors, you have to be willing to think bigger. You know, like naming rights, exclusive content, interviews, product placement, and contests and giveaways.  

All About the Benjamins – Pricing Your Sponsorship Services  

You’ve built your sponsorship inventory, but you’re admittedly clueless on how to set the price for your inventory. 

Don’t feel bad, as many first-time sponsorship seekers struggle to do the same. Allow me to explain how it’s done. 

Valuation Basics 

The process of determining the value of your sponsorship package is known as a valuation

Valuing requires you to research the market value for every service and asset you’ve created. For example, if you’ll provide a newly designed website for a sponsor, that can cost around $5,000. 

After ascertaining the price, it’s time to determine how to price your own services. When doing this, it helps to know your strengths and weaknesses. I know, admitting weakness is never fun, but it’s what you have to do to provide an honest assessment. 

I mean, you could say each of your assets and services is worth $5,000, but valuation is sort of like an eBay listing. Just because you’re putting a service out there for a certain price doesn’t mean anyone has to buy it at that cost. 

So, bearing that in mind, is it better to err on the side of caution and lower your prices, or price them higher?

You should price them what they’re worth. Invariably, some assets will be worth a lot, others worth a little, and some worth a lot less. That’s why the whole gold, silver, and bronze sponsorship package seems appealing to some sponsorship seekers. 

Putting Everything Together

Once you’ve got pricing for one asset or service, follow through and do it again for another one, then another, and so on and so forth. Every benefit and service you plan on offering to the sponsor should be researched and priced.

However, that doesn’t mean every asset and service you planned needs to be presented to the sponsor. Go through the list again with a fine-toothed comb. If any assets are low-value enough that they don’t add to your package, delete them. 

Add everything else up, and now your sponsorship package is beginning to take shape. 

Building the Best Sponsorship Packages – Tips and Pointers

Are you ready to sit down and put together your sponsorship package? Here are my biggest takeaways as you get started.

Focus Less on Design and More on Content

An appealing design is great, right? Who doesn’t appreciate a nice treat for the eyes?

However, watch yourself. If you’re focusing more on the design and visuals of your sponsorship package to the detriment of its contents, you’re going about it the wrong way.

At the end of the day, the sponsor doesn’t care what kind of design flourishes you use. They’re barely going to pay attention to that. They want to get to the meat of the matter: your audience data and assets, activations, and services. 

Besides, I’ve found that most sponsorship seekers who get obsessed with the fine visual details like this are usually going for a bombastic design to hide less-than-stellar services or gold, silver, and bronze tiers.

You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig. Rather than a pig, give your sponsors the bacon by providing audience data and a full list of services. 

Keep It Concise 

Your sponsorship proposal and packet are not 30 pages altogether. The sponsorship package takes up as many pages as it does to fit in the required information, but remember that the proposal should be six pages, tops. 

Customize Everything

Before you sit down and put together your assets and services, you should have a discovery session with the prospective sponsor where you review their challenges and struggles. Your assets are based on the information in that discovery session.

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Recycling the same services from one sponsorship opportunity to another is the incorrect way to go about it. That’s my biggest gripe with tiered sponsorship. It’s often generic as all get-out, with tiers decided before even talking with the sponsor. 

Those kinds of sponsorship levels don’t work anymore. You need customized assets and activations that seem made just for the sponsor because, well, they are. 

But Don’t Mention That You’re Customizing It

One of the worst words you can put in a sponsorship package besides “tiers” is “customized.”

But wait, I literally just told you to customize your sponsorship package. I know I did. I’m standing by that.

This is one of those cases where actions speak louder than words. There’s no need to broadcast in your sponsorship package that you customized your assets. It should be clear by reviewing the content that you did.

Besides, customization is no longer seen as a special treatment. It’s what you should do for every sponsor. 

Telling a sponsor you customized their sponsorship package is like making a big deal out of doing a basic task at work. It’s what you’re supposed to do, so there’s no need to broadcast it. 

Include Contact Information

Once you send the sponsorship package and proposal, you should let the sponsor look everything over and then begin negotiations. In the meantime, make it easy for them to reach you by providing contact information.

Sure, the sponsor probably has some of this info already, but it’s nice to have it all in one place. Include your email address, website URL, phone number, and social links. 

No Pricing 

Remember the golden rule. You might have valued your assets, but there’s no need to put the pricing in your sponsorship package. Wait until you meet with the sponsor to begin negotiations, then you can discuss the cost. 

When Do You Pitch Your Sponsorship Package?

That depends entirely on the sponsor and what they want. 

Sometimes, they want to see a proposal after the discovery session or the next meeting. In other cases, there is less formal documentation going back and forth. 

I’ve closed sponsorship deals that never included a proposal. 

Even if that’s the case for your sponsorship opportunity, you still need to put in the work. In other words, you still have to choose tailored assets and services, and you must still do a valuation. You also need audience research.

You just don’t have to formally put it in writing. 

The right time to pitch to a sponsor is when they’re ready for it. If they ask for your proposal or more information about your audience and services, you know it’s time. 


Do Nonprofits Need Sponsorship Packages?

Yes, they do. From event sponsorship to sports sponsorship, nonprofits, and everything in between, there is no sponsorship genre that precludes customizing and valuing your assets. 

Can I Call a Gold, Silver, and Bronze Tier Something Else?

Well, you could, but you won’t get sponsorship that way. The tier names aren’t the problem. It’s the content and how you entrap great assets in the gold tier with less good assets so you can get a purchase. 

How Do I Come up with Activation Ideas?

Brainstorm internally with your team. You can also ask the sponsor for their thoughts and opinions, which they’re usually more than willing to share. I also have a wealth of posts on the blog about activation ideas across all types of sponsorship. 

Wrapping Up 

The sponsorship package is one of the most important documents as you seek event, festival, or sports sponsors. Unfortunately, it’s also the one that causes the most confusion besides the sponsorship proposal. 

I hope explaining the basics of sponsorship packages has helped you feel confident in preparing yours. If you need extra help, the valuation experts at the Sponsorship Collective are available. Contact me today for a quick call to discuss your needs.