Obtaining sponsorships is about targeting the right company and the right person at the right time and being able to offer your prospective sponsor a worthwhile return.
And, as AR is arguably the only sport where even inexperienced teams believe they deserve to be sponsored, we’ve asked sponsorship guru, Max Cluer, to give you a couple of pointers so that your efforts are not only rewarded, but that your team and our sport makes a positive impression.
- Be open and honest from the onset with your proposed sponsor. Do not try and pull the wool over their eyes as any good sponsor will check up on you.
- Put together a professional CV. Compile a team portfolio, present photographs of your team, describe your goals and list other sponsors.
- Make contact telephonic contact with the proposed sponsor but take your proposal to them personally. Meeting them in person and shaking their hand is the first step in developing your relationship – one from which you can both mutually benefit in a symbiotic relationship.
- Make them feel important.
- Be excited and enthusastic about their brand and how you can promote it in its intended environment.
- Be humble in victory and gracefull in loss. Always report back no matter what the result.
- Remember that sponsorship is not about what they can do for you but rather what you can do for them.
- Explain the exposure available in the media and the potential exposure for the brand – but don’t promise them coverage as your team may not even feature.
- Be realistic when presenting your goals and objectives. Don’t aim too high, rather raise your goals as you become more experienced and successful.
- When presenting your sponsorship request, start small. Start out with product at cost + 10%. As your relationship builds you can progress to product at cost, then full product sponsorship and finally look at the cash option.
- Money will only be given to you once your sponsor is sure of your relationship with them, once you have proved yourself and once they trust you.
- Follow up on all your sponsors. They are your Number 1 priority in your team. First your sponsors, then your team and the individuals last.
- NEVER EVER lie or promise something to a sponsor that you cannot deliver as a person or as a team. You will not only lose everything that you have worked so hard for but it will also put up a big STOP SIGN for any future proposal to that sponsor.
- Report back on the product. Your feedback and constructive comments will not only cement your relationship but will assist your sponsor in improving their products and range.
- Try to get your sponsor involved. Invite them to come through to the races to see what the whole AR thing is about. Encourage them to enter a sprint race with you. Make them feel imortant and show them where and what they are putting their money towards.
- Once your relationships are established introduce your sponsors to each other. They may be able to work together on both business and team initiatives.
Remember you have to walk before you can run, but once you’re running its all downhill on a steep skree slope.
Author: Max Cluer
Max (Max Cluer Sports Marketing) is a Sports Marketing Consultant and is thus involved in not only the organisation of sporting events, clinics and workshops but also compiles and edits sponsorship proposals. He is an agent and consultant for numerous athletes and manages their sponsorship portfolios. email@example.com