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Mars' M&M candies had been splashed over race cars before 2008, but it was only after Kyle Busch took over the ride that year that it became a consistent threat to win. In 2014, Mars signed a new deal to keep the M&M sponsorship on the Busch machine. If you're looking for sponsorship from the company, and you don't drive fast on Sundays, you'll need to wow them with a creative written proposal. After that, it comes down to persistence.
The proposal must point out the event has appeal to a broad audience and all ages. Mars execs, for example, have scouted for advertisers at the annual Cannes film festival. The company has also been a presence at sporting events well beyond the NASCAR tracks. "We want consumers to think about M&M’s, Snickers and other products when they’re preparing for a game or having a Super Bowl party,” said Lauren Nodzak, Public Relations manager for Mars Chocolate North America, in a 2012 article.
Mars is a global brand with $33 billion in sales in 2013, according to "Forbes." Nonetheless, an essential step in the proposal process, according to a 2013 "Inc." article, is to show an interest in helping the company achieve its goals. In the case of Mars, at least as of 2014, a major cause was environmental sustainability. One approach would be to express to Mars in the proposal document how -- with a corporate sponsorship -- you can support this mission.
Name Your Price
You must specify a specific amount of money tied to your potential sponsorship. Mars execs aren't mind readers, and only you know the amount of money you need. Generally speaking, corporations entertain requests beginning at about $10,000, according to a 2010 article in "Entrepreneur." Because Mars is private, it doesn't reveal its marketing spending. Mars' corporate sponsorships over time have reportedly ranged from $10,000 for women's tennis athletes to millions for Busch's car.
Submit Your Proposal
Contact Mars' U.S. snack food business at 700 High Street in Hackettstown, N.J. 07840. Call (908) 852-8324 to follow-up. Broadly speaking, you can miss out on a corporate sponsorship opportunity for lack of such a call according to the 2010 "Entrepreneur" article. Direct your communication to Mars' chief marketing officer, who as of 2014, was Bruce McColl.
- Inc.: Surprising Way to Fund Your Business
- Entrepreneur: How to Attract Corporate Sponsors
- Forbes: Mars
- Mars: People, Planet and Performance
- Marketing Magazine: Mars CMO Bruce McColl: 'We Want to Explode Great Creative Ideas'
- IEGSR: Candy Makers Unwrap New Sponsorships
- Babson College: Pitching Corporate Sponsors
- NJ.com: NASCAR driver Kyle Busch visits Mars headquarters in Hackettstown
Geri Terzo is a business writer with more than 15 years of experience on Wall Street. Throughout her career, she has contributed to the two major cable business networks in segment production and chief-booking capacities and has reported for several major trade publications including "IDD Magazine," "Infrastructure Investor" and MandateWire of the "Financial Times." She works as a journalist who has contributed to The Motley Fool and InvestorPlace. Terzo is a graduate of Campbell University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in mass communication.