Supporting Canadian Athletes

Identifying potential sponsors/supporters

There are a number of factors to consider when building your list of prospective sponsors.  Now that you have a better idea of what you represent and the values you are looking for in a partnership, this process will be more targeted and efficient.

Caroline Calvé – Identifying & Values

Sponsor target market identification process

Sport New Zealand outlines this process below.

Carefully identifying your target market of potential sponsors will minimize time wastage and ensure good potential sponsors are not overlooked. There can be a temptation to look at only current contacts or high-profile businesses.  This is very limiting and is avoided by a systematic approach as outlined below:

Create a list of suitable businesses operating in your area (national or regional).  A suitable business is one that has one or more of these qualities:

➢ A brand image (or product brand image) that appears to have a fit with your brand image and values

➢ Suitable size and profile (do they have the capacity to provide what you need)

➢ Already uses sponsorship as a marketing tool (therefore has some expertise and systems). This information is often available on a company’s website.

While creating this list also keep in mind the organizations that are new in the market, or launching new products to consumers. Sponsorship is a key tool for businesses that are raising their profile or targeting new consumers. Every business has to start out somewhere – don’t be afraid to take risks.

Revise the list to include only those businesses you believe have the potential to afford to sponsor your property.

Fish where the fish are. It is important to make a preliminary assessment of a sponsor’s ability to pay a sponsorship fee and undertake activation. Sport sponsorship activation can take various forms including advertising to promote the sponsorship, promotional campaigns utilising athletes, the team or other property being sponsored, online competitions, product promotions and many more. Most successful sponsorships are fully integrated into the sponsor’s overall marketing activity.

Another aspect of affordability is timing. Large sponsors will have a sponsorship portfolio with several arrangements in place, which expire at different times. Knowing when sponsorships are due to expire or be reviewed can enable you to present a new opportunity at a time when the sponsor is most receptive.

Is there partnership potential?

Given what you have considered about your sport, property, business and brand, is there a strong case to be made that you can meet a potential sponsor’s needs? Put yourself in the shoes of the marketing manager. Would you consider investing in your athletic personality as opposed to advertising or any other form of promotion? Make a list of three to four compelling reasons why the sponsor should seriously consider your property and what makes the relationship a good fit.



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