Sponsorship Levels

Creating Lasting Partnerships Instead

Why We Recommend Custom Sponsorship Packages

You might find this article helpful if you are an event organizer considering creating “Gold, Silver, and Bronze” tiered sponsorship packages for your charitable gala or 5K race event. We suggest taking five minutes of your time to read it, as we have a better alternative to offer. Rather than settling for pre-packaged sponsorship levels, why not create lasting partnerships that generate mutual benefits for everyone involved?

Custom sponsorship packages enhance the sponsor’s experience and boost the event’s success. They focus on the unique benefits of sponsorship over traditional advertising. While custom sponsorship packages may seem like more work, you may raise more money from fewer sponsors. That means you meet your fundraising goal with less time and resources spent on sponsorship proposals and agreements and more time cultivating relationships.

An Agency’s Take on Sponsorship Levels and Sponsorship Tiers

The terms “sponsorship tiers” and “sponsorship levels” are often used interchangeably in the context of sponsorship agreements. Both refer to grouping different sponsorship packages offered to sponsors, usually based on the value or extent of benefits provided.

Sponsorship levels make sense when there’s a clear difference in the depth of the sponsorship relationship. Here’s an example of three levels from the event sponsorship world:

  1. Title Sponsorship: The sponsor’s name is part of the event. We love the creativity of Duke’s Mayo Bowl in college football. The highest relationship level is placing a sponsor’s name in the event.
  2. Official Sponsorship: These sponsors have a clear, interactive relationship with the event. They may pay different rights fees or receive slightly different benefits, but they all participate in the sponsorship relationship and activate around the event at the same level.
  3. Preferred Supplier: These sponsors provide in-kind support through donated goods and services. They have non-financial involvement in the event but not at the level of official sponsors and the title sponsor.

Sponsorship sellers use a cookie-cutter approach to create sponsorship levels with fixed prices, such as gold, silver, and bronze, when short on time or resources. It’s convenient to send out a one-pager laying out the three prices and contents of the three packages. However, did the sponsor need ALL the frills in the gold package? Maybe. Maybe not.

Think of it this way: if you wear a size 10 (US) shoe and Zappos only carries sizes 8, 12, and 13, would you buy a shoe from them? Me neither.

Just like the name “package” implies, the sponsor is buying a commodity like a package of cookies. It’s a commodity, not a real sponsorship relationship.

Why Custom Sponsorship Packages Beat Sponsorship Levels And Sponsorship Tiers

Sponsorship is a mutually beneficial relationship where the sponsor offers financial and in-kind support while the recipient helps the sponsor convert their audience into customers. This relationship provides powerful benefits for you and your sponsor as you work hard to help each other achieve their goals.

This relationship starts by creating a package customized to the sponsor’s needs.

Benefits of Custom Sponsorship Packages

Customized packages create potent outcomes for three reasons.

Increased Relevance. It is essential to tailor packages to each sponsor’s goals to make sponsorship more impactful for sponsors and more engaging for the audience. If the sponsor wants to feature its new product, provide the opportunity. If the sponsor needs to generate sales leads, offer sponsor benefits like a list of event attendees to create this opportunity. Get creative to find ways to give the sponsor the brand exposure they will find valuable.

Stronger Relationships. If you create a package that provides genuine benefits to the sponsor, they will be likelier to continue doing business with you. Custom packages help establish solid and long-lasting relationships with sponsors.

Unique Opportunities:  Every gala provides table tickets to the same high-end meal. Custom packages open doors for individual sponsorships that stand out and offer more than fixed levels. They can include special event mentions, exclusive access, and creative promotions. This is so much more than just simple logo placement.

Creating Custom Sponsorship Packages

If you’re willing to ditch the Gold / Silver / Bronze tiered packages, here’s how you get started creating powerful customized packages:

  1. Create Your Menu: Just like you LOVE to pick your meal from a great restaurant’s menu, create your menu of package components. Mix promotions, event participation, and unique perks that address various sponsor needs, including brand awareness and lead generation. Encourage your sponsors to pick from the menu and make them feel like buyers. People enjoy making a purchase but don’t like feeling pressured or coerced into buying something.
  2. Use Price Ranges: Instead of creating fixed price options, your sponsorship letter can note that you have “sponsorship opportunities ranging from $5,000 to $25,000.”  This allows you to seek the highest price for each package based on the value of the menu items your sponsor picks.
  3. Have a Conversation: Start by understanding what sponsors want to achieve. This forms the base of a valuable sponsorship package. Each sponsor has unique goals, which you can meet with each custom sponsor package. Every strong relationship begins with a simple conversation.

Summary of Why an Agency Recommends Custom Sponsorship Packages

Sponsorships are changing. A one-size-fits-all approach needs to be updated. Custom sponsorship packages offer more value and engagement, creating meaningful partnerships that last beyond the event.

To learn more about modern sponsorship strategies, contact us or explore our articles linked here.

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