Design and Implement a Successful Sponsorship Program

If you're like the rest of your peers around the country securing sponsorship dollars, new and legacy, you might want to review the tips below as you move forward.

JP Moery, President, The Moery Company and Patty Leeman, Chief Analyst, The Moery Company recently conducted a workshop, on the title of this blog!

They structured their presentation around the following four concepts.

  • Why do sponsorships matter;
  • How to build a new sponsorship program;
  • How to assess sponsorship cost vs value; and
  • How to sell sponsorships.

My notes from the session are as follows:

Why do sponsorships matter?

Studies show it's a:

  • $600 million game
  • 75% considering new sponsorships

Sponsorships today meet multiple goals for the association and for the sponsors.

How to build a new sponsorship program?

Data tells, stories enable you to sell - interview potential sponsors, ask them what they want?

Build a program that goes beyond the 3 days at the annual meeting, they want to be connected the other 362 days a year.

Not only do you need to interview potential sponsors, you need to interview staff to make sure you can deliver what you're going to put in the prospectus.

The key is to have consistency amongst your staff to ensure you are delivering the product, and oh by the way, make sure you can deliver what you've put in the prospectus.

You need to start at least six months in advance so you can deliver the product of the sponsorship.

Do you segment your sponsors? Do you know where your sponsorship money is coming from?  How about the bulk of the money?  I bet it's coming from 20% of your list of total sponsors - think 80/20 rule.

How to assess sponsorship cost vs value?

Move to program based budgeting to figure out the real costs. What is the product or program going to cost, not just the cost of the pen, but the staff time to order, put in bags, etc.?

How to sell sponsorships?

The first two things to ask yourself and be mindful of:

  1. What is the buying season for the sponsor?
  2. When are they flush with money?

Once you've figured that out, it's time to put the other pieces into place. It's important to put the demographics in the prospectus.  Remember, the prospectus is built for the sponsor.

Write the prospectus that answers the business objectives from the sponsors perspective.  Naming rights are hot right now, think podcast, fly-in sponsored by ABC company.

How about the opportunity to speak on a panel?

Thought Leadership Program?  Think content produced over a 12 month period.  This can be very beneficial for both parties.  Pick an issue that is hot in your community.

By the way, don't forget to grow your current sponsors first before chasing that new potential sponsor.  I bet you're already doing this in your membership space. Think tiered dues where you upgrade a member to the next level.

Are you renewing their sponsorship right after the event for the next year when they are on a high from the meeting or program that just finished? If not, you should be.

Are you using a CRM (a customer relationship manager system) to keep track of your communications so you can track your progress with your sponsorship contacts?

Straight from JP, "If it's not in your CRM, it didn't happen!"

And their final thoughts:

  • Interview your sponsors;
  • Get the data to assist in creating your prospectus;
  • Develop prospectus for sponsor audience; and
  • Capture all communications in your CRM.

For more information on The Moery Company go HERE.