You know you need them, but do you know how often businesses are approached for support? Although many businesses are eager to support community events, they also have their eyes on their bottom lines. They will only invest if they can see a return on the exposure your event provides. So, how can you bust through the crowd to secure a corporate sponsorship?
Think About the Why
Remember that corporations see sponsorships as:
- a substitute for advertising
- a way to build affiliation between their brand and customers
- a way to build their team by giving them a shared focus
The more you can demonstrate how your event will aid these areas, the more likely you are to secure the sponsorship.
With digital deliverables—whether a website, email newsletter, or social media—you can track and demonstrate impact through clicks and conversations. A number of races have found success with virtual event bags, a sustainable and mobile-responsive option that provides myriad ways for your sponsors to engage in a measurable and flexible way.
You’ve tracked the numbers, so be sure to follow up after the race to share those numbers and demonstrate the sponsor’s ROI. Always be thinking ahead about how to retain sponsors. It’s much easier to keep them than to find them in the first place.
If you’re approaching new corporations for sponsorships, start early. While you’re wrapping up isn’t too early to think about the next. Corporate budgets are set a year or more in advance, and you want to leave yourself plenty of time for a slot on that spreadsheet.