What do sponsors want? If you’re asking yourself this question, you’re already in the right mindset to win sponsors.
Sponsorship expert Todd Uglow teaches this principle to the next generation of event professionals. Before teaching event management at UNLV, Uglow worked with heavy-hitting brands like Major League Baseball, National Football League, and Professional Bull Riders. In a recent webinar, he shared the essential reasons brands want to sponsor your event.
“Nowhere does it say a company must buy your sponsorship,” says Uglow. “Your sponsorship opportunities should be presented as a win-win relationship.”
In this post, you’ll get five key motivations for brands seeking sponsorship. Keep these in mind as you reach out to sponsors — they’ll help you articulate the benefits of sponsoring your event.
Want to watch the full on-demand webinar and learn even more about winning event sponsorship? Head this way for 10 Tips to Craft the Perfect Sponsorship Proposal.
1. Get brand awareness
Brands will often sponsor your event so they can get in front of their target customer. This is especially true when they’re relatively new to the market and hope to introduce your attendees to their product or service. According to Uglow, this can be cost-prohibitive for cash-strapped newcomers, causing them to seek out smaller events with more affordable sponsorship fees.
But an established brand might also want to sponsor your event in an effort to reach a new target audience.
“After being outspent by their competition for many years, 7UP began sponsoring music festivals — most notably Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas — to reach the millennial audience,” says Uglow. “Using a commemorative soda can, they were able to position their brand to a newer audience.”
2. Increase sales of a product
For some sponsors, brand awareness isn’t enough. For them to sponsor your event, they’ll want to put their product or service in the hands of their customers — usually by offering them a free sample.
Winning these sponsors, though, depends heavily on your ability to fulfill your agreement. Uglow warns that food and beverage sponsors aren’t interested in opportunities that forbid them to serve food or drink to your attendees. So check with your venue before signing a contract.
“Budweiser was very interested in sponsoring an event of mine,” he says. “But once they found out they couldn’t pour their product for attendees, they quickly reconsidered the opportunity.”
3. Reposition their brand
Unlike other forms of marketing and advertising, your event can help alter the public perception of a brand in an incredibly impactful way. Uglow explains how one auto company used event sponsorship to change the way Americans think about their brand to help them to compete in their market.
“Even though Hyundai made a good car for many years, the perception in America was that they did not. So they started sponsoring golf tournaments and other prestigious events,” Uglow says. “It’s one of the reasons why Hyundai is competing directly — and even winning in some markets — with Honda and Toyota.”
During your initial meetings with a potential sponsor, ask them about their goals and challenges. As you listen to their responses, you might discover a unique opportunity for them to paint their brand in a different light with their target customer.
4. Block competition
“Understanding your potential sponsor’s competition is very important,” Uglow says. Not only can your event help a brand reposition their product or service, it’s also an opportunity to get ahead of their competition.
Let’s say, for example, your sponsor’s competitor runs national television ads and has billboards in every major city. Your event represents a unique opportunity to get their product in the hands of their target customer and can potentially help them earn market share.
Looking at your prospect list, consider their competition and find out if they’re sponsoring an event like yours. “If a brand is in a hyper-competitive market, you can offer them a chance to reach their customer somewhere their competitor isn’t,” says Uglow.
5. Social responsibility
The last, but not least, motivating factor for brands seeking event sponsorship is about more than just making a buck. Instead, they’ll want to sponsor your event simply because it will align their brand to a cause or mission their customers are passionate about.
“Many brands will tell you this is one of the key reasons they sponsor events,” says Uglow. “They want the world to know that they care about their fans and the community.”
Craft the perfect proposal
Sponsorship is a partnership between your event and your sponsors. It’s a two-way street that requires sincere interest in the sponsor’s objectives and how you can help them achieve goals. With a solid understanding of a potential sponsor’s needs and objectives, you’ll be better equipped to win valuable sponsorship deals.
But before you start crafting your proposal, watch the on-demand webinar with Todd Uglow and get the 10 full tips for crafting an effective sponsorship proposal. Watch Event Sponsorship: 10 Tips to Craft the Perfect Proposal here.