Supporting Canadian Athletes

What Sponsors Want…

Sponsorship is defined as a business relationship between a provider of funds, resources or services and an individual, event or organization which offers in return, some rights and association that may be used for commercial advantage.  There are several reasons why companies sponsor – all of which are considered to achieve their brand or corporate objectives.

Before you start building your story, creating your pitch, your portfolio, or sponsorship package – you need to understand what it is that sponsors are looking for.  Some of the business objectives you might come across in your research of potential sponsors include, but are not limited to:

  • Increasing sales
  • Building distribution opportunities
  • Building and reinforcing corporate and/or brand awareness by heightening visibility
  • Reinforcing and/or adjusting corporate/brand image or values by shaping consumer attitudes
  • Positioning a brand/product in a new market sector or differentiating from competitors
  • Targeting specific brand and corporate audiences
  • Developing brand loyalty
  • Supporting advertising campaigns
  • Entertaining clients; developing business-to-business relationships
  • Building/Strengthening community relations
  • Improving employee morale / recruiting new employees
  • Tax write-offs

Based on decades in the sport sponsorship industry, Mark Harrison, President & CEO of TrojanOne, outlines five things that sponsors want for athletes to consider when reaching out to sponsors.

The Sponsor Wants …

To borrow equity & validate their brand promise – Sponsorship provides meaning and validates brand claims.  Think about who you are and what you stand for. What would your brand be and represent, and how does it fulfill your sponsor’s marketing objectives?

To tell stories – Marketing is storytelling. Each partnership is an opportunity to tell a distinct, engaging, and meaningful story about what the partners are building together.

To engage stakeholders/Consumers – There is someone that the sponsor wants to engage – it could be employees, media, high school athletes, etc. Find out who it is and how you can help the sponsor reach them through purposeful interactions.

Proof of impact – Demonstrate the depth of engagement by helping sponsors prove that their involvement with you is going to have an impact – both in their business and in society. Since Purolator launched its Tackle Hunger initiative in 2003, over 6.5 million pounds of food have been donated – showing real and measurable results from a partnership that draws a connection between a CFL player getting sacked and conquering hunger in Canada.

To get promoted– At the end of the day, the person with whom you are working wants to make a great impression within their own company and get promoted.  Figure out how to help them do their job better.  Help them write their internal recommendation so they are the genius behind the next big partnership that authentically engages their target consumers with their brand and drives bottom-line results.  If you go above-and-beyond to help your sponsor, they will become your champion within their company and amplify the relationship for years to come.

To understand how YOU can help a company achieve these objectives check out the How to Effectively Work with Athletes to Engage Your Employees and Clients, and Reach Consumers courtesy of Manifesto Sport Management.

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