Supporting Canadian Athletes

10 keys to successful sponsor servicing


1 Ensure you get the ‘sell’ right

Sponsor servicing starts before the contract is signed. It involves ensuring that the assumptions, promises and objectives are clearly understood and recorded.

2 Plan with your sponsor

In conjunction with the sponsor, create a timeline, roles and responsibilities for how and when each element of the sponsorship will be achieved. Remember that responsibilities are a two-way street.

3 Constantly communicate with your sponsor

Throughout the sponsorship ensure you communicate with the sponsor and inform them of all relevant activity.

4 Constantly report to the sponsor

As each element of the sponsorship is fulfilled, ensure the sponsor is informed about what was done and what the result was.

5 Facilitate the planning of the sponsor’s leveraging activities

It is in your interest that their promotional activities succeed.

6 Deliver on every element of the contract

Develop an in-house plan to meet expectations, and ensure someone has a clear focus on delivering every aspect of the agreement, on time and to agreed specifications. It also pays to identify an area where you can over-deliver to demonstrate your commitment to the partnership. Ensure you tell the sponsor where you have gone beyond the terms of the contract to benefit them.

7 Get close and familiar

Consider ways to engage the sponsor’s senior management and staff in your product, or any other approach that will foster widespread goodwill in your sponsor’s organisation. (This will help secure the relationship in the future)

8 Discuss the sponsorship’s performance

Keep the sponsor informed on all developments related to the sponsorship. They are a stakeholder and partner and need to be informed.

9 Protect your sponsor from ambush marketing

Do all you can within your power to prevent a sponsor competitor from marketing themselves around your product. Ensure your partner knows what you are doing to protect them. This can be a complex area and if there is risk of ambush marketing that may result in a direct or indirect financial loss to a sponsor or encroachment of a sponsor’s rights, then legal advice should be sought.

10 Provide thorough post-analysis, while planning for the future

In report form, document how each element of the contract was fulfilled and to what extent. Remember that it is far easier to keep a current sponsor than to find a new one.


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