How to get and retain sponsors for your organization.

Having established what benefits and opportunities are available, it’s then necessary to identify key companies to approach.A criterion for deciding whom to approach could be alignment between what you have to offer and what the sponsor might want and/or the acceptability of this match to both parties for example,it may not be acceptable to your organization to be sponsored by a tobacco company.

Look at companies that have similar values with the Olympic movement and choose them carefully.Financial institutions,car manufacturers, airlines, and telecommunication companies are all good targets, although there are many others.For example,the Amateur Swimming Association in England has received substantial sponsorship from British Gas,a utility company.

Sponsor names and logos on display in a

The process

This is the most difficult aspect.A personal introduction is best,the aim being to meet with key decision makers to present your proposal directly to them.If a personal introduction is not possible,a letter requesting a presentation should be sent.It must be worded carefully to be attractive and also interesting enough to make the recipient want to hear more.Ensure the letter is addressed to the correct person and follow it up with a phone call.When approaching potential corporations for sponsorship you should do the following:

  • Ensure that your marks and symbols are registered and otherwise legally protected so that you can control their use.
  • Identify the product (emblem, statements such as “official team sponsor” or programmes (e.g competitions, athletes, coaches, special events).
  • Draw up a complete list of products or programmes “for sale”sponsors should have no doubt as to what they can purchase.
  • Determine the market value of each product category or programme.
  • Assign your rights (e.g your emblem)to only one company in a particular product category e.g airline, bank, sports shoe firm) in order to develop as much exclusivity as possible.A sponsor of your organization should be sure that no rival ,by acquiring the same symbol,can mount a competitive promotion.
  • Package the products or programmes to meet the perceived needs of the potential sponsor.Ask yourself why a corporate sponsor would be interested in this particular project.
  • Advertise, promote and sell the products to corporations by emphasizing that;
    • Sport is universal and easy to understand
    • Sport attracts media attention/exposure; and
    • Sport has talented young individuals who not only bring pride to your country but who are worthy of support in their own right.
    • Arrange a meeting with a prospective client to make a presentation.
    • Ensure sponsorship agreements guarantee you a specific sum of money, regardless of the success of the company’s promotion.

Once a sponsor has expressed an interest,the major hurdle is to get them to sign a contract between you and them.The contract must be legally binding on both sides and should be drafted by legal advisors.As an organization,do not commit to anything you cannot deliver.

The cost of sponsorship will vary greatly from country to country.It may be an idea to talk to some friendly companies and ask them whether they think the sponsorship is pitched at the right level.Try to identify the cost of other sponsorship in your country and be aware of what your competitors could offer the sponsor.

When negotiating the value of the sponsorship, you should take into account how much you can receive as cash and the amount contributed as VIK.Although cash is always useful, it is often easier for sponsors to provide equipment and services.Also remember to consider what the actual cost of running each sponsorship is likely to be.

Retaining a sponsor

Having signed a sponsor, Your aims must be to develop a long term relationship with them.This servicing of the sponsor is crucial and poor servicing is the main reason why many sponsorship faill.Maintain communication with the sponsor, and provide new initiatives and opportunities for them to exploit their sponsorship.Update them regularly on all your activities and give them exposure whenever you can demonstrate to the sponsor how the sponsorship has benefitted them.

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