Time – the Key Component for Success in Sponsorship Sales 5th June, 2015

Historically, the premise of a sponsorship deal was a logo on a shirt or a banner at an event arranged overnight. However, the way brands use sponsorship has evolved, working much harder to make a greater impact with a reduced budget. The experience is fundamental for brands now more than ever; therefore, sponsorship professionals must adapt the way they sell to brands. Time is of the essence.

Sponsors endeavour to exhaust all opportunities available to them and meticulously plan their campaigns; therefore the greater period of time given to a sponsor prior to an event, the more valuable the sponsorship can become. With regards to the major sporting event of 2015, the Rugby World Cup; Heineken have stated that the tournament will be their “biggest marketing platform of the year” in a deal announced prior to the finish of the 2011. Emirates have also have signed a deal well in advance of the event which takes place in 2019. In both cases the companies committed to the tournament over 4 years in advance. To allow sponsors the time to fully exploit the opportunities afforded to them, the Rugby World Cup sponsorship sales team would likely have begun devising a sales strategy 5 years in advance from the tournament. If time is critical for sponsors, it is even more so for ones trying to sell it.

Sponsorship sales teams should follow a crucial 5 step process before approaching brands:

5 Step Process

  1. Analyse the market – The start point for any sponsorship deal. Identify the key trends, how active and more importantly, how saturated the market is.
  2. Research the competition – Dig deep into your competitors. Analyse what’s good, what’s bad and apply those points to your property.
  3. Value – Uncover all possible assets of your property and your unique selling points. Using the two previous steps you should be able to provide a justifiable fee.
  4. Prospecting – Identify a number of brands who could benefit from the sponsorship. Have a clear reason of why you are approaching each brand. If you cannot find a reason, take them off the list.
  5. Tailor proposals – Condense your property into a tailored, informative proposal that will catch the eye of a marketing director, intriguing them to put yours top of their pile.

Although this process is time consuming, when done correctly, it is critical for success. Many sponsorship professionals lose out because they do not leave themselves enough time to carry out these crucial steps before approaching brands. In order to be successful in sponsorship sales you need to set targets for each component of the process to be finalised, don’t linger, don’t relax, and above all don’t waste time.