Selling Sponsorship with Small Audiences: A Guide for Aspiring Properties
In the dynamic world of sponsorship, the size and engagement of an audience play a pivotal role in attracting and securing sponsorships. This reality can pose a significant challenge for new businesses or entities with smaller audiences. As sponsorship consultants, we often encounter sponsorship sellers who grapple with the dilemma of pursuing sponsorships with their current small audience or focusing on audience growth. This article aims to shed light on this predicament and offer guidance on effectively selling sponsorship for properties with small (or no) audiences.
The Importance of Audience in Sponsorship
Sponsorship is a mutual relationship between a sponsor and a sponsored entity, often termed a “property.” The value of this relationship heavily relies on the audience that the property can offer to the sponsor. In the realm of sponsorship, an audience isn’t just a number; it’s a group of potential customers, fans, followers, or stakeholders who engage with the property’s content or activities. This audience becomes an invaluable asset, as sponsors are keen on leveraging this engagement to promote their brand, products, or services.
The Challenge for New or Small-Audience Sellers
Securing sponsorship can be daunting for new businesses or entities with tiny audiences. These entities might have passionate visions and innovative ideas, but their appeal to potential sponsors is limited without a substantial audience. This limitation is not just about the audience size but also about the level of engagement and the demographic specifics that align with the sponsor’s target market.
So, if you’re in this situation, what should you do?
Strategies for Sponsorship Seekers with Small Audiences
- Focus on Audience Building: The adage “First you market, then you sell” rings particularly true in the sponsorship context. Before seeking sponsorship, it is crucial to focus on building an audience. This can be achieved through various marketing strategies such as content creation, social media engagement, community events, and collaborations that resonate with your target demographic.
- Leverage Unique Selling Points: A property can stand out even with a small audience by highlighting its unique selling points (USPs). This might include niche market appeal, a highly engaged community, or innovative content. Identifying and promoting these USPs can make a smaller audience more attractive to specific sponsors.
- Seek Appropriate Sponsorship Opportunities: It’s essential to align with sponsors whose objectives and target markets are a good match for the property’s audience, no matter its size. Smaller, local businesses or niche brands might be more open to partnering with entities that have smaller but highly targeted and engaged audiences.
- Provide Value Beyond Numbers: Demonstrating how a small but dedicated audience can bring value to a sponsor is crucial. This might involve showcasing high levels of engagement, specific audience demographics, or unique opportunities for sponsor integration that larger entities might not offer.
- Create a Compelling Sponsorship Deck: A well-crafted sponsorship deck that clearly outlines the benefits, audience insights, and potential ROI can make a significant difference. It should highlight how, despite the smaller audience size, the partnership can yield positive outcomes for the sponsor.
For entities with small audiences, the journey toward securing sponsorship involves a strategic balance between audience growth and identifying the right sponsorship opportunities. It’s about understanding your unique value and effectively communicating this to potential sponsors. Building a substantial and engaged audience should be the primary focus, coupled with a tailored approach to seeking sponsorships that align with your audience’s characteristics and interests. By adopting these strategies, small-audience entities can enhance their appeal to potential sponsors and pave the way for productive sponsorship relationships.