The Ultimate Sponsorship Prospecting Formula

One of the main reasons people reach out to sponsorship consultants is for help with prospecting. I am often asked for my advice on how to get sponsors as though there is a magic formula that, if employed properly, will lead to more successful sponsorship packages.

There isn’t…until now, that is.


Want to know how to find more corporate sponsorships? Use my ultimate sponsorship prospecting formula:

A1 + I (A2 X V) = P

My Formula for Corporate Partnerships Explained

First let me start by saying I’m no mathologist. I have no idea if this follows standard algebra protocol so please don’t judge me.

Here’s how it works!

A1 = Your audience.

That is, who will attend your events, who cares about your brand, your alumni, your volunteers etc. Everyone who you will engage through your sponsorship activation strategies.

I = Your inventory of things you can sell in your sponsorship packages.

(A2 X V) = Your inventory is made up of your sponsorship assets plus their market value. Note: everything you sell has a market value and, in the case of intangible assets without an established market value, you have to find precedence. Get an experienced colleague or sponsorship consultant to help you with this.

P = Your prospect.

Check out this infographic to help simplify the prospecting process! Want a copy for yourself? Click here to get it…free!

The Case of the Appearing Sponsorship Prospect:

The Simple Way to Find Sponsors


When you take your audience and add your inventory (made up of your assets and value) your sponsorship prospect will present itself. I am getting more philosophical than I normally do, I know…but it’s true!

When clients come to me telling me they can’t find prospects, I send them back to the asset building stage. Once you know what you have to sell along with your target audience, the prospect becomes obvious.

Don’t believe me? Let’s test the theory!

Example 1:

I have an audience full of heart surgeons and my assets include branding, speaking opportunities, education events and product giveaways.

Physicians + Inventory = Pharma companies, professional insurance companies, BMW/Lexus dealers.

Example 2:

You have an event catering to high school students at a school that specializes in apprenticeship training. Your students have little buying power today, but will be choosing a trade. These students will attend a trade school and will need to learn highly specialized skills on the job (which are often in dangerous environments).

Future tradespeople + Inventory = Trade unions looking for talent, post-secondary schools, tool manufacturers, safety gear and training, small business loans/financial institutions.

Corporate Partnership Prospecting, Current Practice

What I see most often is the exact opposite of this. First sponsorship rights holders create a budget goal and hand it down to their various departments and sponsorship properties. They then pick a list of companies who “have a lot of money” and “sponsor everything” and away they go! No wonder my colleagues on the brand side tell me that they are throwing out thousands of unsolicited sponsorship packages every single week!

It’s usually after a few budget cycles of this practice that they come to me asking how to correct the situation. My answer is always the same:

A1 + I (A2 X V) = P

If you can’t define your audience in detail and are only offering “branding opportunities,” then you are going to struggle when it comes time to prospect. Instead think of prospecting as an outcome of good asset building.

Chris Baylis is a corporate sponsorship and cause marketing expert. Chris has managed the entire spectrum of the sponsorship process, raising millions of dollars for charities, associations and not for profits and is a board member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Connect with Chris via: The Sponsorship Collective | Twitter | LinkedIn | Google+