Small Business Marketing Sponsorship Tips

January 15, 2009 at 5:30 pm 2 comments

Small businesses often get approached for sponsorship, whether it is for the local sporting team, craft show or another business’s seminar. Although money is tighter this year, no doubt many of you will still be approached and in certain cases utilising sponsorship can be an effective marketing tactic.

Before you decide to be a sponsor consider the following:

Relevance for Your Customers
Choose sponsorships that are relevant to your brand or business and appeal to your current and potential customers. Try not to choose sponsorships that only interest you or a particular employee. It is no use sponsoring the local football team if the players or spectators are not your target market.

What Are You Getting for Your Sponsorship?
Make sure you discuss with the organisation or event organiser how you can maximise your sponsorship dollars and get in writing what exposure your business will receive.

Some questions to ask are:

  • Where will my logo, brand or business name appear?
  • How and how often will my logo, brand or business name appear?
  • Is it an exclusive sponsorship or is it shared with other businesses? Who are the businesses that will be sharing the sponsorship and are they compatible with my business?
  • What additional benefits will I receive for my sponsorship?
  • To ensure the quality of your logo is maintained, insist on approving any material where your logo or information on your brand or business will appear.
  • What marketing activities are being done to promote the event and the sponsors?
  • Will I have access to the customer database?

Check past Sponsorship Results
If there have been past sponsors, ask why they are no longer sponsoring the event or activity and if possible speak to the past sponsor. Although information may be confidential, see if you can access the results that have occurred from past sponsorship deals.

Cost Versus Benefit
Analyse the cost of your sponsorship versus the estimated results you want to achieve. Compare your sponsorship costs to other marketing tactic costs to determine if your money could be better spent on an alternative marketing tactic. For example, if you sponsor a luncheon how many leads do you hope to generate from the sponsorship? Would you generate more leads from a direct mail or email campaign to the same customer base?

Setting a Budget
Set a budget for how much you want to commit to sponsorship. Plan in advance what event, organisations etc you wish to sponsor for the year and stick to your plan.  

Tracking Results
Tracking of sponsorship tactics is often difficult due to the wide audience they have the potential to reach.

 Some ways to track your sponsorship results include:

  • Measuring the media exposure from the sponsorship eg. mention of the event and your sponsorship in the local newspaper, on the radio station etc
  • New customers that have come from your sponsorship involvement eg. asking customers where they heard about you or undertaking market research which analyses customer recall of where they saw your brand or business name

Sponsorship can be a great marketing tactic; however it is always wise to work out what it will do for your small business before you commit to spending your valuable marketing dollars.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. bob crawshaw  |  January 15, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    Susan I enjoyed this post. Later in the year I’m running a workshop for not for profits on securing sponsorships.

    With your permission I’d like to include your ideas in that workshop?

    Another thing I’d add. Don’t just hand over a cheque. Be prepared to work with the organisations you’re sponsoring to maximize your results. Often you can gain more than you were originally promised because you’re the only business actively managing your sponsorship property.

    • 2. Susan Oakes  |  January 15, 2009 at 10:46 pm

      Thanks for your comment Bob and you made a very good point about not just handing over the cheque. The more you work together the better the result. It is fine to include these ideas and if you need any more information, please let me know as I believe there are untapped opportunities for NFP.

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