Sponsorship Decks Are Not About Me

Have you ever heard the following quote?

“You may think the world revolves around you. Newsflash. Not everything is about you!”

Someone who acts selfishly may be on the receiving end of this advice. However, when it comes to building sponsorship decks, this quote is a good suggestion as well.

In a typical sponsorship decks, the “About Us” section sits near the beginning. It’s the portion of the proposal that introduces a prospect to the property. Sponsorship sellers fill the About Us section with property history, event information, and data about the property and its audience. More often than not, the About Us segment is lifted from the About section of the property’s website.

I have seen this approach too often.

There’s only one problem. At this point in the prospect’s proposal review, there’s so much information about the seller that the buyer cannot envision how the sponsorship helps solve its business challenges. The sale may be lost at this point.

Let’s flip this approach in a way the buyer finds attractive. The About Us section should reflect how the property serves as the solution to the sponsor’s most pressing business challenges. In fact, when the seller structures this section well, it could be renamed “You Might Think This is About Us, But It’s Really About You.”  All kidding aside, these are some of the ways we take the red pen to a selfishly written About Us page:

  • Don’t reference the property’s history without context. Note how it contributes to substantial brand equity for its sponsors or provides a long-term stable marketing platform.
  • If you talk about the date of a sponsored event, reference how it aligns with key milestones in the sponsor’s product selling cycle.
  • Don’t just refer to attendance numbers. Tease how the attendees line up nicely with the sponsor’s customer demographics, which you will discuss later in the proposal.
  • It’s not enough to describe the property’s brand. Highlight how the brand is unique from its closest competitors and how that benefits sponsors.
  • Don’t refer to generic opportunities to “increase sales” or “enhance the sponsor’s brand.” Foreshadow the specific challenge the sponsorship addresses for the prospect. The About Us page should incentivize the reader to power through the rest of the proposal to lay out how the sponsor’s business is better with the sponsorship than without it.

A few of our clients push back on this advice, claiming there’s no way they could obtain this type of information about their prospect. This should not be the case. Unless homework like this is done through research or a discovery phone call before the proposal is sent, the likelihood of the proposal’s success is low. To solve their problem, you have to know them. Once you know them, you can build a sponsorship to solve their problem. Because the world doesn’t revolve around sellers. Successful properties know that, when it comes to sponsorship, not everything is about them.


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