Global sponsorship spending increased from $46.3 billion in 2010 to $65.8 billion in 2018. More and more organizations are sponsoring projects, events and causes. As a small business, you need all the help you can get to grow your company and raise brand awareness. Knowing how to ask for sponsorships for an event can skyrocket your chances of success.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
Draft a compelling sponsorship proposal that highlights mutual benefits and goals. Describe your selling points and communicate the value you can bring to potential sponsors.
Planning for How to Ask a Company for a Sponsorship
Companies sponsor events and organizations for different reasons. Some want to increase brand recognition and gain exposure in the media. Some see it as a way of giving back to the community. Others support certain causes or projects.
If you're looking for sponsorship, come up with a plan and craft your proposal. Search for potential sponsors who are interested in what you have to offer. Research their background and marketing objectives as well as their target audience. Based on this information, create a proposal that highlights what you can offer in exchange for sponsorship, such as:
- Access to your audience.
- Brand recognition and media coverage.
- Complimentary demographics.
- On-site signage.
- Logo included in promo materials.
- Product reviews.
- Online promotion.
Stress the Benefits of Sponsorship
Sponsorship isn't free money. Any company that supports your cause expects something in exchange, whether it's media coverage or access to a wider audience. That's why you need to focus on what you can offer that nobody else can.
For example, if you need sponsorship for a sporting event, reach out to sports clubs, gyms or companies that sell sports equipment and fitness apparel. Make it about the sponsor, not you, and show them that you understand their marketing goals and that your next event or project benefits their business.
Craft a Compelling Sponsorship Proposal
Next, prepare written materials, such as a sponsorship proposal, fact sheets and brochures. When drafting your proposal, make it clear why a company should support your cause. Describe your business and mission statement as well as your audience, media relations and the project or event for which you need sponsorship. Think of it as a business plan and highlight your selling points, back up your claims with hard facts and explain how the partnership will benefit both parties.
A sponsorship proposal should communicate the value you can bring to the organization. Let's say that your startup or small business has received a fair amount of media coverage. Perhaps you've launched an innovative product, and now you're ready to expand your operations. This would result in greater brand awareness and media attention for a potential sponsor.
Still wondering how to get a company to sponsor your event? Highlight mutual benefits and common goals and let them know where the funds will go. Your flyers, brochures and other materials should include this information too but in a more succinct manner. Send your proposal by email and ask to arrange a meeting with the company's representatives.
Ask for Your Worth
Now that you have a better idea of how to ask a company for sponsorship, don't sell yourself short. Remember that you're offering these companies new opportunities and access to their target audience. It's a win-win for both parties, so don't hesitate to ask for your worth.
To increase your chances of success, let each sponsor know that they're an exclusive partner. For example, you may have one food sponsor, one apparel sponsor and one media sponsor for a sporting event. Also, make sure you reach out to the right companies. A popular brand like Adidas, for instance, is unlikely to sponsor a small local sports competition simply because it doesn’t need the advertising. A local medium-sized business, on the other hand, will have more to gain from collaborating with you.
The more you know about a potential sponsor, the better. Once you have a list of prospects, try to find out more about their financial health. Don't ask for $500 from a business that can afford to give $5,000. If your sponsorship proposal is compelling and sound, you will get the money you need.
- Statista: Global Sponsorship Spending From 2007 to 2018 (In Billion U.S. Dollars)
- University of California 4-H Youth Development Program: Tips for Asking for Business Donations or Sponsorships
- Eventbrite: 10 Questions to Make Your Event Sponsor Fall in Love With You
- CareerAddict: How to Write a Sponsorship Letter (With Samples)
- Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images