Sponsorship – A Small Business Marketing Strategy


Why should you sponsor stuff? In this article, I will tell you why sponsorship can be a powerful marketing strategy for your small business. You will also takeaway a few ideas on how to get started as a sponsor today. First, let’s talk about exactly what is a sponsor.

What is Sponsorship?

A sponsor is someone who, or an entity that, provides funds or in-kind support of a person, project, or activity in exchange for something of equal value. Sponsorship refers to the support provided.

The sponsor is the person or entity providing the funds or in-kind support. The sponsee is the person or entity receiving the in-kind support. The things of value that the sponsee promises to the sponsor in exchange for the support is called property. Property is typically associated with some type of benefit or perk. We’ll get more into that in a moment. Next, let’s go over what types of things get sponsored.

What can you sponsor?

Your support can go toward any person, project, or activity that offers some type of value to you or your business. Here is a short list of just some types of property you can sponsor.

  • local sports teams
  • networking events
  • fundraising galas
  • charitable races
  • authors
  • concerts
  • new building wings
  • tee-shirts
  • swag bags
  • raffles
  • giveaways
  • luncheons
  • conferences
  • food drives
  • back-to-school events
  • workshops
  • port-o-potties

The list goes on. Almost anything can be sponsored and anyone can be a sponsor. Seriously. Anything and anyone! Check out these strange corporate sponsorships.

What should your small business sponsor?

Your sponsorship dollars should go toward any cause that is relevant and consistent with your brand story, mission, and vision. Ideally, when you sponsor a property, the benefits and perks included should help you to achieve your strategic goals.

Sponsor properties where you can do one or more of the following…

  • connect to your target market
  • increase your brand reach
  • get positive media attention
  • build your mailing lists
  • sell products and services
  • demonstrate social responsibility

The really cool thing about sponsorship is that it allows you a very targeted way to connect with pre-qualified leads. Sponsees should work with you to determine your marketing goals and create a mutually beneficial sponsorship plan to meet your needs. You get to achieve your marketing goals and the sponsee can generate the cash flow their project needs to succeed.

Typical Benefits & Perks

As mentioned earlier, the property you support will come with several benefits and perks attached. You want to work with the sponsee to ensure the benefits offered fit within your marketing goals. ┬áBenefits offered are only limited by the sponsee’s imagination so don’t be afraid to ask for perks outside this list.

  • category exclusivity
  • logo placement
  • exhibitor booth
  • banner advertisement
  • social media mentions
  • newsletter blasts
  • dedicated blog posts
  • content contributions
  • products and services
  • exclusive sales and discounts
  • speaking opportunities
  • income tax write-offs

Getting Started as a Sponsor

Becoming a sponsor is easy. There are literally thousands if not tens of thousands of people and organizations seeking sponsors every day. You can do a quick search on Google, Facebook, or any of your social media to find sponsorship opportunities. Events are one of the easiest ways to get started as a sponsor because there are so many happening all the time but there are definitely other opportunities out there. Remember these quick tips to get started as a sponsor.

  • Create a marketing budget. Know exactly how much you can spend.
  • Develop a plan. Your marketing goals should directly tie to your mission and vision.
  • Source sponsorship opportunities. Identify properties that can help achieve your goals.
  • Get it in writing. Make sure your sponsorship agreement clearly spells out expectations of both parties.
  • Fulfill obligations. Pay on time according to the contracted agreement and submit any marketing collateral as scheduled. Show up when and where needed.
  • Review. Take a moment to reflect on the partnership. Was it beneficial? Was there a return on investment? Use this review to determine your willingness to sponsor the same or similar properties in the future.

Sponsor Me!

Of course I couldn’t make a blog post about sponsorship and not make a bid for my own properties. I always have opportunities you can sponsor. Here are just a few opportunities you can partner with me to achieve your marketing goals.

  • My Book Tour – Get featured in my upcoming new release and/or host a book release party in your city
  • Jump$tart Business Basics Webinar Series – Place your logo or a 30-second video promo in my weekly webinars
  • Jump$tart Business Basics Live Training – Host our lunch break, pitch your company, and demo your products
  • Designing the Dream Conference – Run a breakout session, exhibit, smack your logo everywhere
  • Dream SAVERS Mastermind Retreat – Fill the swag bag, brand our tee-shirts, place an ad in the workbook

Contact me any time to discuss your interest in any of the above opportunities. New opportunities pop up all the time. Let me know how I can help you to achieve your small business marketing goals.

Are you currently sponsoring properties? Are you looking to be sponsored? Chime in on the comments below and tell us about it. If you found value in this post, please share it with your networks!

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