Most businesses receive a lot requests to be a sponsor for an event. So how do you choose which you should do and which you should politely decline?
The key is to have a decision process aligned with your business goals.
Over the years, I’ve been on both sides of this process. Today, I receive about 40 sponsorship requests each month. Years ago, I worked for a non-profit organization where I was responsible for asking businesses to be sponsors. That’s how I realized this:
The secret to sponsorship bliss is congruence among the benefits of the sponsorship and the goals of your business.
Here are 4 questions that will help you determine which sponsorships have more value for the investment.
It might be helpful to assign a value of 1-4 to each of these items as you evaluate sponsorships. That could give you a quick score to help you easily compare sponsorship opportunities. (Try to use the even-numbered scale so you don’t fall into the trap of choosing the neutral middle number.)
1) Does this organization or event have a relationship with my business?
Customers, vendors, and other key influencers should get a higher score if your business goals include protecting or strengthening relationships with those groups.
2) Will this event generate good publicity for me?
This is tricky.
Most sponsorships will offer to display your logo on a poster, on a banner, or in program. But if your logo is going to be one in a sea of many other logos, it won’t be noticed very easily. The lower the chance of being noticed, the lower the score.
The most beneficial opportunities for publicity allow your business to be the exclusive sponsor. If those are too pricey, look for options that include several relevant, well-done, well-placed social media posts along with news releases. News coverage, to most readers, is more trustworthy than ads or posters.
3) Can I have face time with potential customers?
If the sponsorship gives you a chance to interact in a new or different way with prospective customers or other key groups, give it a higher score.
And if your business gets a chance to speak to the entire group – even for just a few minutes – that’s even better.
The highest value here is in the opportunity to interact with prospects in a non-sales setting. If you get to mingle among them and make a personal connection, the sponsorship could be a great way to get in front of prospects to start the relationship-building step of the sales process.
4) Does the event or organization support my company’s values, brand, and reputation?
Even if your values or brand promise aren’t written down, you probably have a good idea of what you stand for as a business. If the sponsorship helps you uphold those values, you’re likely to be helping to strengthen your brand. The closer the match between the organization requesting your support and your company’s values, the higher the points.
Do you have more tips? Let me know what has worked for you!
© 2016 Jessica Walter, MS, APR
All content provided here is for informational purposes only and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of any organization with which the author is involved. Although the author makes an extensive effort to provide a complete representation of facts, there may additional helpful information provided by other sources. Whenever researching your own situation or devising a strategy, it is recommended to gather information from many sources. The author sincerely hopes that you find this information helpful and urges you to be inspired, to inspire others, and to be gentle with yourself as you continue on your path.
About the Author
Jessica Walter is a Communications Strategist with a passion for inspiring companies to live into their full potential. She’s found that the essential equation for long-term success includes Marketing, Culture, and Leader Development.
Jessica has been a marketing executive for a regional bank, a communications director for a health system, a public affairs officer for a Dept. of Defense command, and the assignment editor for a TV newsroom.
She holds a master’s degree in Leadership & Business Ethics from Duquesne University, a bachelor’s in Mass Communication from Towson University, and the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) from the Universal Accreditation Board. She is also a Certified Lean Systems Leader.
You can reach her at Jessica.firstname.lastname@example.org.