Corporate sponsorship is an extremely competitive domain. Corporations are overwhelmed with proposals and requests asking for financial assistance to in-kind support.
Sponsorship is important to corporations as it can:
- Increase brand loyalty
- Create awareness and visibility for the corporation its products and services
- Change or reinforce branding and image
- Blocking competitors
- Showcase the corporation’s products and services
- Product testing
- Stimulate sales for products and services
Corporate sponsorship is a business relationship and is motivated by expectations of specific exchange.
What you need to do to be sponsorship ready
Ensure you have significant lead-time.
One of the common mistakes amongst first time sponsor recipients is the lack of sufficient lead-time to:
- Conduct relevant research
- Develop a focussed strategy and proposal including sponsorship levels
- Compile a database of the target sponsors
- Give the potential sponsors sufficient time to evaluate the proposal and include the sponsorship request into their budget
- Have sufficient lead-time to fulfill the sponsorship obligations.
Research and resources
Before developing the proposal it is imperative that you have:
- A clear understanding of the needs, objectives and culture of corporations and stakeholders
- Marketing expertise, creativity and flexibility
- Strong objectives and strategies
- Skills in negotiation
- Strategic thinking
- Relevant resources including staff to fulfill obligations
- Excellent communications, monitoring and reporting
The following can be used in the development of a successful sponsorship strategy.
1. Develop Sponsorship Objectives
2. Establish Sponsorship Opportunities and Values
3. Research and Target Potential Sponsors
4. Negotiate Sponsorship Proposals
5. Manage the Relationship
6. Deliver Expectations and Measure Success
To ensure a proposal is read, it needs to be tailored to the corporation’s requirements, so they can see true value for their expenditure.
These days, sponsors/partners require more than their logo being visible. They require a significant return on their investment with the proposal covering pre, during and post the sponsorship period benefits.