How to Stand Out When Competing for Sponsors

As the endurance industry becomes more competitive, sponsors are inundated with opportunities. Like you, they must become more discerning about their return on investment.

Good News: According to the Independent Evaluation Group’s 2017 annual year-end industry review, overall sponsorship spending was up in 2016.

Reality: Brands are growing more selective and taking a more cautious approach.

Sponsors look at the size of the event, but they’re also looking to work with organizers who can deliver measurable, personalized marketing opportunities for their brand into new audiences they haven’t yet reached on their own. They’re looking for insights about those audiences and how they interacted with the sponsor’s offerings.

Unfortunately, data from our 2017 Sponsorship Engagement Survey suggests that nearly 70% of organizers surveyed did not have a consistent, standardized way to measure the impact and effectiveness of their participants’ engagement with sponsors.

There’s a Solution!

Our innovative platform Virtual Event Bags is a unique, sustainable, mobile-responsive solution that provides a wealth of opportunity for your attendees and sponsors to engage in a scalable, measurable and flexible manner! The platform integrates seamlessly into existing technology and organizers can capture, summarize and distribute performance reports to sponsors in real time.

But don’t just take our word for it.

Meet 4 Organizers Who Found a Better Way

1. Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run – It’s Easy and it Works

While popular with participants, goodie bags are known for being a lot of work for organizers to prepare and a frequently discarded marketing method for sponsors, with no options for tracking effectiveness. Becky Lambros says Virtual Event Bags is easy: The staff is easy to work with, it’s easy to get started, and it’s easy to show sponsors its effectiveness. She says making the switch to digital bags is just about accepting a new paradigm, one which participants easily adjust to. The environmental impact is also a priority for Becky.

View Becky’s video testimonial.

2. Quad Cities Marathon – Sponsors Love it

Director Joe Moreno can’t say it enough: “We could never go back!” In this day and age, when participants are digitally savvy and everyone has a smartphone, it’s much more effective on race day to find which sponsors are offering what than it is through the old-fashioned goodie bag. Sponsors really like it, too. They know that all participants will see their digital content – and they don’t have to pay for printing fliers, brochures or coupons.

View Joe’s video testimonial.

3. Big Sur International Marathon –  It’s a Better Value for Sponsors

Goodie bags have evolved into containing more literature rather than discount coupons. Today’s consumers would just as soon get that information digitally.

Big Sur sponsors have found that digital sponsorship is more cost-effective; there’s no producing of items, no printing. For a small cost, they receive a much better way to engage with runners.

For organizers, the digital bag is super easy to set up, and it’s easy to monitor offers. Marketing & Communications Director Julie Armstrong recommends that sponsors do include coupons in their digital placements to provide that value-add to participants, who enjoy receiving discounts to restaurants and stores in the event city.

Julie has enjoyed working with the Virtual Event Bags team and seeing her suggestions incorporated in updates to the product.

View Julie’s video testimony.

4. Run Vermont  – It Helps Us Be Green

Did you know that the average event produces over 13,000 pounds of waste? That’s equivalent to FOUR cars.

Director Jess Cover was concerned about the vast amount of paper going into event bags that ultimately ended up in the trash. She provided digital Event Bag participation at no cost to sponsors, to increase the value of partnership for sponsors. Runners were informed before the event of the sponsors that would be exhibiting, increasing the chance that they would seek out the ones that interested them.

View Jess’s video testimonial.

Virtual Event Bags solves these problems:

  • Not having a way to prove partnership value to sponsors
  • Finding time to adequately present sponsors’ content to participants via dedicated emails
  • Fatiguing participants with too many communications
  • Ineffective connection between participants and sponsors
  • Learning complex technology that doesn’t integrate with existing solutions
  • Negative environmental impact of traditional goodie bags
  • Cost to sponsors of producing goodie bag items
  • Time spent stuffing bags

Are you ready to see Virtual Event Bags? Pick a time for your 30-minute demo.

Gina Calvert

Gina Calvert is the Senior Marketing Writer for ACTIVE Network, providing marketing and business resources for active lifestyle organizations across a range of markets, including government, nonprofits, camps, schools and endurance events, for more than six years.

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