Blog Post

BEFORE YOU SELL SPONSORSHIP

Many sponsorship seekers contact us looking for an agent to sell sponsorship. Unfortunately, CHARGE does not offer this service. Instead, we help clients prepare themselves and their properties to improve the chances that they will be successful selling sponsorship on their own.

If you’re looking for someone to sell sponsorship for you, you may want to hit the pause button.  At least as long as it takes to read this article.  There are a few things you should know before you hit the sponsorship market.

Sales Brokers Are Pricey, Especially If They Fail.

If you need a third party to sell sponsorships for you, you will likely pay a retainer fee that could range from $5,000 to $12,000 per month. Often, brokers ask for one-year minimum commitments and sales commissions ranging from 10% to 30% in addition to their retainers.

Few, if any, serious brokers will sell for you for “commission only.”  Why?  Because it is just as hard to sell a $10,000 sponsorship as one for $1 million. Unless you are a superstar brand, you likely won’t find a great broker who works on this basis.

If you find someone who agrees to work for commission-only, we would not recommend hiring them. Such arrangements create no skin in the game for either you or the broker. Since you’re not paying them, you can’t dictate how fast they work or whether they work at all. Six months or more will go by, and you’ll be frustrated with a lack of success.

“Sell No Sponsorship Before Its Time.”

A company called Paul Masson Wines advertised its wine with a memorable television commercial. The company pledged to “sell no wine before its time.” In other words, the winemaker promised consumers a high-quality wine by not rushing its product to market.

Prospective sponsorship sellers also should take Paul Masson’s pledge. If a seller isn’t sponsorship ready, the sales process may be frustrating and fruitless.

Successful sellers know they are ready when they can do three things well:

1. They know their audience and how it matches up with the sponsor’s customers.

These sellers can describe the demographics and psychographics of their audience and how their audience can benefit the sponsor. Sponsors see their existing and prospective customers among the seller’s audience. This clarity about the audience creates confidence that the sponsorship will produce a return on investment for the sponsor.

2. They have great marketing.

They know how to speak to their audience through social media, video, digital, public relations, or email. These sellers can quickly demonstrate how the sponsor’s message will reach the seller’s audience. They have a substantial and engaged audience on social media, a robust customer email list, and frequent unique visitors to their website.

3. They speak sponsorship fluently.

Good sellers speak the language of sponsorship. They understand which of their assets and opportunities solve sponsor challenges and build the sponsor’s brand or help the sponsor sell more products. These sellers easily communicate to buyers that a sponsorship relationship will yield success.

What Should You Do?

Sponsorship can be a game-changer for organizations. For those properties ready to charge forward, we recommend a few steps to get started.

First, you should take CHARGE’s free survey assessment to gauge whether you are sponsorship ready. As you move through the survey, you will get a clearer sense of how you stack up against other sellers, how buyers will view you, and where you may need some work.

Second, you should find a way to get the support you need to leverage sponsorship. The greatest athletes succeed only with coaching and practice. Like other business skills, great sponsorships happen the same way. That’s why CHARGE coaches properties as they prepare to hit the sponsorship market. We can even help you identify and value your assets as well as help you prepare your sales materials.

We tailor these services to the needs of our clients. Many of our clients ask us to get them up to speed as quickly as possible. To help these clients, we created our Jumpstart service: a half-day program to point them towards sponsorship success.

No matter what you choose to do, we wish you the best of luck as you build powerful sponsorships for your organization.

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If you would like CHARGE to help your organization succeed with sponsorship, schedule a call with one of our experts today.

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