14 Sponsorship Sales Tips From a Sponsorship Buyer. 3


If you are in the business of sports marketing, then you really can’t ignore social media. It doesn’t really matter if you choose Facebook fan pages or Twitter accounts or Linkedin to engage with your audience, there are some fantastic opportunities out there if you play it right.

This goes for athletes looking for sponsorship as much as it does for fans of the sport. If you are looking for sponsorship, then you need to understand your market, your product and who the influencers and experts are.

Yesterday, J. W. Cannon, Sponsorship Manager at ING, posted some tips from his Twitter account that are thoughts from someone in the business. It’s worth keeping these in mind when you are asking people for money for your campaign.

  • Sponsorship sales tip #1:  Understand sponsor’s objectives. RESEARCH! What are they doing, how are they leveraging it?
  • Sponsorship sales tip #2:  Make proposal pretty, make it quick, make it perfect. Mistakes/ugliness = lack of respect for my time.
  • Sponsorship sales tip #3:  Be creative with your proposal. Show me that you are a businessperson AND a human being.
  • Sponsorship sales tip #4:  Be realistic with your proposal. Look at your own budgets. What do you need?
  • Sponsorship sales tip #6:  Have an editor. Labor over details. Spell-check doesn’t catch “shit”, when you really meant “shot”.
  • Sponsorship sales tip #7:  Understand “in-kind” or “couponing” does not mean “FREE” to me. Just like gov’t, someone has to pay!
  • Sponsorship sales tip #8:  Understand measurement. Days of “impressions” are gone & replaced w/ more complex engagement metrics.
  • Sponsorship sales tip #9:  Share the load. More “turnkey” the better. Words “opportunity to do ‘X’” should never be in proposal.
  • Sponsorship sales tip #10:  Skirting decision makers (i.e. me, agency) & going to sr mgt usually doesn’t work out well. Trust me.
  • Sponsorship sales tip #11:  Templated proposals NEVER a good idea. Today I got one meant for competitor, but addressed to me!
    • RE #Sponsorship Tip #11: Great quote from @tpmcghee on this: “I may not be the only guy invited to the dance, but make me feel that way.”
  • Sponsorship sales tip #12:  Marketing budgets for biz objectives. Donations come from philanthropic budgets. Know the difference.
  • Sponsorship sales tip #13:  Unless I request it, save 100pg PowerPoint decks w/ lots of pictures for someone who cares. Like mom.
  • Sponsorship sales tip #14:  Chill w/ super aggressive follow up. Silence almost always a clear indicator of your answer. Got it?

We like number 8 the best…

  • Janeinspain

    What happened to number 5???

  • Sponsorship BUYER’S tip No 1: Have the decency and good manners to take a the trouble to inform the person who has gone to a great deal of effort to prepare and present a proposal to you, even if you don’t wish to take it further. If you’re feeling particularly human, give them some insight into the reason for your decision. They deserve some respect for putting their living and their dreams at risk in order to do something inspiring. GOT IT!

  • J.W. Cannon

    Note: I’ve been on the selling side of the table to know how difficult it is. I get it, and it is especially hard in this environment to sell to corporations when money is extremely tight.

    However, the respect door also swings both ways. Nobody is “owed” a response per se just because they submitted something. We literally get 100’s, if not 1000’s of proposals a week so it is impossible for us to personally respond to all in the manner we would like. We’re always courteous enough to reply to proposals and offer feedback when warranted, unless it is obvious that the person doing the selling made no effort to learn about our business and put thought into a proposal.

    I refer in this example to the super agressive folks – i.e. send a proposal, call my office, call my cell within an hour, then repeat 24 hours later.

    Now, do you “get it?”

    Don’t assume we’re all heartless folks on the brand side. 🙂