Though it’d be awesome to run your facility simply from visitor profits, many athletic facilities these days have turned to other measures to keep their facilities afloat—namely, sponsorships. Not to be discounted, these branding partnerships can benefit the facility's reputation and sponsor alike. The former gets some much-needed funds, and the latter receives the PR boost of being associated with a community gathering space.
For the young or yet-to-be-built facility, though, it can be hard to attract big-ticket sponsors—which is why Fieldwallpads.com is here to help with a few tips below.
OFFER NAMING RIGHTS TO THE FACILITY
Start your future facility off right by allowing potential sponsors a role in the naming. While you may not like the idea of a branded partner’s naming idea coming before a more community-oriented one, the privilege is an expensive one for potential sponsors.
If you still want to maintain major naming rights, consider offering up smaller portions of the stadium, like seating sections. For obvious reasons, though, they’re unlikely to bring in as much cash as would the entire stadium.
CONSIDER WHAT YOU CAN OFFER
Of course, eventually, sitting around and waiting for sponsors will get tiring; you’ll soon want to go out and solicit them yourself. However, it’s not enough to simply phone a local business and ask them to partner up with your facility. You must bring your proposition to them in a nuanced, packaged deal that demonstrates the value the partnership will have for them.
For example, can you promote them on social media? Give their logo space on your athletic padding, as we detail in our blog? Do any of the things we talk about in another one of our articles to help keep them on board?
This is where it pays to know your customers. Understanding your facility's demographics will help you find sponsors looking to reach it.
WRITE THE LETTER RIGHT
Asking for sponsorships is a bit like writing a cover letter for a job position—it isn’t 100% necessary to personalize your inquiry, but the more often you do, the higher the chance you’ll actually be given the time of day. In written correspondence, you should show that you’ve thoroughly considered the company at hand by stating, in no uncertain terms, why this would be beneficial for them.
Consider also expressing personalized sponsorship packages to give yourself the best chance you can; companies like customized terms on which they can commit.
CAREFULLY CONSIDER THE SCOPE OF POTENTIAL SPONSORS
Building off the job-seeking metaphor, considering each sponsor is a bit like considering a jobseeker in terms of qualification levels. Suppose a hypothetical sponsor can’t offer you enough financially and otherwise. In that case, they’re underqualified or at the very least a poor fit; in other words—neither of you will be happy, as you’re unlikely to help them reach their target demographic.
On the other hand, if the sponsor has a far larger scope than your organization, you will be unlikely to receive consideration in the first place, no matter how pretty you gussy up your proposition.
The key to sponsor/organization harmony is seeking out businesses that stand to benefit greatly from a partnership with you. For instance, if your athletic facility mainly draws people from the surrounding community, you’ll be well-off propositioning local businesses since you deal with their target audience.
If you operate on a more national level, you might benefit more from brands with a similar reach—and vice versa.
LET SPONSORS SEEK YOU
Though you’ll probably be doing most of the seeking—at least until word gets out about opportunities—it’s always a good idea to be open to sponsors seeking you. Providing easily accessible information about what sponsorship opportunities might look like makes this process much easier for them. The City of Saint Paul’s municipal athletic department does this incredibly well, so check it out for some inspiration.
Though providing this info can be a handy ballpark estimate of the commitment required for potential sponsors, take care not to let it turn into the default offering. If what you write online works, it works, but forging a connection with each potential sponsor and seeing how you can best sweeten the deal pays dividends in the long run. It’s certainly better than a one-size-fits-all approach, which risks sponsors under-contributing, or worse: not contributing at all.
FIELDWALLPADS.COM: MORE THAN STADIUM PADDING
From top-of-the-line sports padding to wall decals, window decals, and more, we’ve got all the customizable products your facility needs to entice branded sponsors. Give our Clarion office a call today at 1-800-257-6405.