Sponsorship portals. I love them. I hate them. It depends on how they’re used. If they ask two vital questions, this technology tool can be a real difference maker for the sponsor and sponsorship seller. If not …
First, a little background.
Sponsorship portals usually reside on a brand’s partnership opportunities web page. This technology gatekeeper helps sponsorship sellers reach the brand if the seller provides information about its sponsorship offer.
For brands that receive dozens or hundreds of sponsorship requests daily, this tool is vital in sorting the junk from the diamonds. However, some sponsors use it as a PR tool only. It conveys, “We allowed you to contact us; now go away.”
In our recent Sponsorship Success Method workshop, a few clients noted similar experiences with sponsorship portals. Our clients noted that most portals request basic information but need to enable the seller to upload a marketing deck or something to differentiate their offer.
By the time the seller provides name, location, audience size, etc., it’s clear the opportunity will be commoditized along with the hundreds of other seekers. Instead of a pile of paper proposals on a sponsorship manager’s desk, the pile is an electronic dead end. Both the sponsor and the seller may have missed a valuable partnership.
There’s a simple way to supercharge the portal’s value for the sponsor and seller. In its portal, the sponsor should ask the seller two questions:
“How can you help us?”
In addition to a request for data describing proposals in each category, ask the seller to suggest how sponsorship of their property can benefit the sponsor. It’s a simple question, but it offers lots of benefits:
- Can the seller articulate their value proposition to the sponsor in a few sentences?
- Did the seller do their homework before reaching out to the sponsor?
- Does the seller understand the nature of the sponsor’s product, the marketing challenges it faces, or how this seller has helped other sponsors?
“How are you unique?”
Sponsors look for difference-makers in each category. A clutter-cutting sponsorship is worth its weight in gold.
Why not pose this question up front?
Like the previous question, this question forces the seller to dig deep and state how its brand stands out. Perhaps it’s a unique audience, a different business approach, or a brand-new category.
For the sponsor, these two questions offer a wealth of information about a prospective partner. It has a similar benefit for the seller. Instead of sitting in the mushy middle of a database, the seller has a real shot at grabbing the sponsor’s attention and offering a compelling and authentic pitch.
Isn’t that all a sponsor or seller could ask for?