The three things missing from every sponsorship package (and the one thing there is too much of!)
As part of our work at The Sponsorship Collective, we review hundreds of sponsorship decks every year across Canada and the US. There are some simple changes that every sponsorship seeker should implement to make the strongest deck possible.
A good sponsorship package is never a replacement for good sponsor-centric sales techniques and relationship building but if you are going to make a sponsorship package, at least make it best in class.
The following three things are missing from 99% of sponsorship packages that we see yet 100% of the sponsors we talk to want to see this information.
Before you dive in, if you are involved with a charity or a non profit looking for sponsorship, check out these titles in our “sponsorship for causes” series:
Cause Marketing versus Corporate Sponsorship
Sponsorship Cause Marketing Common Mistakes
Definitive Guide to the Sponsorship Proposal
The Biggest Problem with Sponsorship and How You Can Fix It
Corporate Social Responsibility a Users Guide for Nonprofits
How to Start a Sponsorship Program for Your Nonprofit
3 Most Common Barriers To Good Cause Sponsorship
Things Sponsors Say: “We Don’t do Sponsorship”
What I Wish I Knew at the Beginning of My Sponsorship Career
Audience data? As in how many people are involved with your event or organisation? Well, yes…and no. Sponsorship is a marketing spend (not philanthropy) and your sponsors are using you to market something. The question is, what are they marketing but more importantly, who are they marketing to? If you don’t know who your audience is, you will struggle to secure sponsorship dollars.
In order to properly present your audience to your sponsors, you should spend the first 3+ pages of a sponsorship deck talking about your audience, including:
- Number of children
- Highest level of education
- Employment sector
Connection to and interest in your cause
- What motivates them to participate with/donate to your organization?
- Why did you choose to attend your event?
- What are their favorite parts of participating with this organization?
- What are some of the things about participating with your organization/event that could use improvement?
- Financial Services
- Credit Card Provider
A big mistake most sponsorship seekers make is by creating a set list of benefits, often divided across three or four levels (gold, silver bronze, for example) and hoping that a sponsor will pick from the list and send in a cheque.
The problem with this approach is that it leaves money on the table, frustrates sponsors and makes the sponsorship seek look like an amateur (which is never a good thing!). Instead focus a few pages on some really interesting activation ideas.
Activations are unique sponsorship opportunities that add value to your event attendees while giving your sponsor a chance to stand out. Think of the last event you attended, that one thing that stood out was an activation. Maybe it was a misting station on a hot day, maybe it was a free back massage or a cool photo booth. Chances are you remember these activation ideas far better than that pamphlet you found in your welcome kit.
Rather than offering your sponsors the same boring things they see in every other sponsorship deck, show off 3 cool ideas that would help add value to your audience.
Strong Call to Action
I know what you’re thinking: “We have this one covered! We give our sponsors a tear away for them to include with their cheque when they mail it to us.” This is NOT a strong call to action!
A strong call to action would be something like this:
“If you want to get in front of 40 year old, high net worth moms, with 3+ kids, who plan to buy a new house in the next 18 months, let’s talk.
Everything we do is custom, so you only pay for the benefits you want. Give us a call let’s find something that fits your budget and your goals together. It will only take five minutes, guaranteed.”
Show off the fact that you know your audience and that you wont force your sponsor to buy a bunch of logo placement or exhibit space that they don’t want. Don’t encourage your sponsors to make a purchase from a sponsorship package and send you a cheque, instead get them on the phone and start building those relationships.
What About Pricing?
The one thing that every sponsorship package has (but shouldn’t) is a price list. This is a controversial topic and we take the exact opposite stance of most others in the sponsorship space.
My question to you is this: If you haven’t talked to your sponsor yet and don’t know what they are trying to accomplish, how can you possibly guess at how much to charge them?
I do not recommend adding prices to a sponsorship deck. Your sponsors might even complain about the missing price list…which is awesome! As soon as your sponsor complains (or asks) about your price list, tell them that you would never dream of charging a sponsor for a bunch of assets that they don’t want! Use it as a chance to have a conversation, discuss budget and goals and get to know your sponsor.
Every time I have used this approach, I find that my sponsor’s budget magically increases once they see how many options they have to build unique activations for their specific target audience.
Take a look at your sponsorship deck and add some more audience data, activation ideas and a powerful call to action then ditch the pricing info. Once you’re done, start calling your prospects and see how much better those conversations go.
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.