The most important asset in sponsorship

There is one thing that every single sponsorship property has to offer that every single sponsor wants…and very few sponsorship seekers realize they have it.

What is this magical thing that will make your sponsorship sales so much easier?

I’m going to tell you…but first a story.

FROM “NO THANKS” TO “SIGN ME UP!”

This is a true story.

I was in a meeting with the prospect of a client who had agreed to be interviewed by me in order to help my client develop their sponsorship strategy. It’s very important to include your prospects in the process and this sponsor was happy to oblige.

When I say sponsor, I really mean prospect since this particular company hadn’t put any cash on the table but was close to the team involved.

After 20 minutes of getting to know my prospect and his needs I asked him “why have you never sponsored this team?”

Straight to the point. His reply? The typical “we have no money for sponsorship, purse strings are tight, limited ROI etc.”

So, I reframed the question and instead of calling it “sponsorship” I asked him “What if we could fill a room with your target market and your most desired customers? And what if you could invest some of your business development money to host them in a private VIP event, just you and them, chatting about their goals, getting to know them in a laid-back environment and then run a contest to get them to give you their contact information for a future cup of coffee?”

His reply?

“Well, that’s different. I have a budget for exactly that type of thing. If you could do something like that for me, I could approve £25,000 as a starting point by the end of the week.”

When you call it “sponsorship” your prospect loses interest. When you describe a solution to your prospect’s main problem and an opportunity to get in front of their target audience, they’re all ears.

SPONSORSHIP SALES IS ALL ABOUT THEM, NOT YOU

What does this have to do with the most powerful sponsorship asset on the market today? Everything, of course.

In order to engage in sponsorship sales, you have to know everything there is to know about your audience, their needs, their problems, their goals, why they interact with you and why they care about the sport your are in.

Then you need to meet with the companies who care about that audience and rather than trying to sell “sponsorship” as your main objective, your goal is to get to know your prospect’s needs, goals, target market, what they want to achieve and what drives them nuts.

Then, you simply offer your prospect access to your most valuable asset…your audience.

But you offer it only in way that adds value to your audience (hint: it isn’t logo placement), in a way that adds value to your sponsor and in a way that adds value to your brand. This is how you build sponsorship relationships that last for years, that you can measure and that make your audience happy to be part of your career.

THE POWER OF AUDIENCE DATA IN SPONSORSHIP

Do you want to see your sponsor jump out of his chair and offer you money? Go to your next meeting with nothing in your hands, no sponsorship package or one pager, and ask them about their goals, their target market and how they get new customers.

When the time is right to talk about your audience, you will know. If you don’t have your prospect’s target audience, don’t try to sell them a sponsorship package. Instead, ask them who in their network they think would have interest in your audience and turn a “no thanks” into a handful of referrals.

Darrell James is the founder of KURB – The Sports and Entertainment Marketing Agency, for more information on how KURB can help you achieve your sponsorship goals contact Darrell directly on 01837 516165 or darrell@kurb.co.uk

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