Let’s face it, as sport administrators of small Sport Organizations we are in constant search for sponsorships.
There are lots of companies and individuals out there who are willing to spend their money on sponsorship in sports and no doubt some sports get more sponsorship than others. But how do you position yourself so that you are able to attract the right kind of sponsors who have the money and services you are looking for? Here are some things that you can do that will help you be visible and attractive to companies who are willing to spend their money to see you succeed.
Win as much as you can
Its hard to convince anyone to sponsor a team that is on a losing streak. Many people will feel that they are betting with an extremely high level of risk they will give you their money, but there are high chances that you will continue doing poorly. With whatever resources you have right now, start practicing like crazy. It helps the team to know that they are out to attract sponsors and the best will want to see them winning so that they can feel that they are supporting a worthy sports organization. This may be hard when you are just starting out and have very little to work with. Start off with the minimum necessary to make you a success and then build on it from there.
Have a strategy
What do you plan to do with your sponsorship funds when you receive them? Even in large sports organizations that are known for doing well in sports, sponsors want to see a kind of plan for how their money will be spent. It also makes it easy for you to negotiate for the amount that you want. It is prudent that after you get the sponsorship, you keep your sponsors informed on progress. They will most likely not want a weekly report or a monthly one, but one every 3 months will do for most organizations.
Make yourself visible through media
Its hard to convince someone who has never heard of you to sponsor your organization. Small sports organizations need to remain visible through the media that will best reach their sponsors. It may be hard to use TV and newspapers which require large capital outlays, but affordable media on the internet, if well thought out, can give you the visibility that you need. Start with free publicity and send press articles at least once every month. You won’t get full coverage, but as long as your story gets to the media, you are making progress.
Be careful on the salaries
If sponsorship funds will be used to pay salaries, you need to be modest about how much you will pay the professional (like a coach or manager). Exorbitant salaries are one thing that all sponsors look at they would rather that their money was spent on improving sports performance than huge salaries. My advice is to never let a sponsor pay for the full amount, but divide these kind of costs over several sponsors.
Look in the mirror !
No sponsor wants to walk into a sports organization and find that they have issues that are unresolved. Whether you are talking about employees, volunteers or finances, all these things need to look neat and tidy to a sponsor. It shows that you are running a good organization and that you are responsible. It can be tempting to hide some of these issues when you are negotiating but remember that if they are ever revealed (and they will!), you will have lost the faith of that particular sponsor and the word may spread reducing your sponsor pool.
So the most important aspect is that you need to look in the mirror, and ask yourself if YOU would sponsor such an organization. What are the weakest points of your organization? What image does your organization have in your community? Do you have an aggressive fanbase?
You need to deal with these negative points first, and then approach potential sponsors.
Once you get sponsors on board, do not relax if you want to continue getting sponsor support in the future. Your sports organization must continue to perform and well too so that sponsors will feel confident giving you money in future.
There is lot’s of information unsaid with this article. You are free to leave any suggestions in the commentbox