sponsorship for your club needs some thought. Clubs need extra money
to expand, provide a better participation experience, conduct events,
upgrade facilities, attract talent and develop talent, amongst other
Evidence suggests that:
This information has been designed to help clubs that may not have had much experience in gaining sponsorships.
Decide what it is you want the sponsorship to achieve, then decide what the best sponsorship arrangement for your club might be.
Which of the following does your club need sponsorship to cover?
Clearly define who your members are, the program or activities your
club offers, geographical area your club plays its games in, the club’s
history, size, and values, and the people you are trying to attract to
the activities your club wants sponsored.
This information is very important to sponsors; it allows them to
decide whether or not they want an association with your club and its
members or if the people your club attracts to activities are in the
sponsor’s target market. The target market is the group of people to
whom the sponsor feels it can sell its product or is keen to promote its
When approaching sponsors, it helps to develop information about members and people that attend your functions:
These are important to a potential sponsor.
The sponsorship deal is not just about your club; it’s a partnership.
Sponsorship can be obtained through:
All sorts of companies are prepared to provide sponsorship; you just have to show them how they will get value for money.
Discuss potential sponsors with other people in your club. The
information you have collected on your members and those who attend your
functions will be a big help. Think about which companies or
organisations would like to advertise or promote their products and
services to these people.
Gather information from media services. If an event is being
advertised on TV, who are its sponsors? Local newspapers may list events
sponsored by companies that want to deal with the people in your
suburb. The use of social media such as a webpage and/or Facebook
(there are plenty of others) needs to be considered.
Don’t overlook the possibility that small companies may be
interested. Too often we think only to ask the big corporations who get
regular approaches for sponsorship.
If one smaller company is unlikely to be able to afford your package,
consider the possibility of breaking the package into smaller lots and
offering them to a number of smaller companies.
Be careful of clash of sponsors – potential sponsors chasing same market share must be avoided if possible.
There are no limits when it comes to sponsorship; you just have to
remember to make your sponsorship proposal relevant to each company.
Companies don’t like to think that they are just one in a hundred
companies being approached on a mass basis.
Once you have a list of potential sponsors, do a little research on
them. Does the company have policies about sponsorships, e.g. do they
only sponsor state-level teams? Perhaps they don’t go for cash
sponsorships, preferring to supply equipment. If possible find out when
the company prepares its annual budget so your proposal can be
considered for the coming year.
Potential sponsors are usually looking for a club to provider:
Sponsors will be looking to see that sponsoring your club will be
more effective than spending money on some other form of promotion or
advertising. Sponsors want to be associated with success. They are also
looking for a professional performance from your club.
The following is a list of the types of ideas that could be included
in a sponsorship proposal (it’s a big list and your club normally
wouldn’t include them all). But don’t restrict your club to this list,
there will be other ideas that need to be considered.
Your club should cost anything that it agrees to supply sponsors.
There’s no point in having sponsors that cost your club as much or more
than the sponsorship received from them.
There is no single way to present a successful proposal and there is a
lot to be said for an original approach. A starting point, however,
might be along the following lines:
A budget of this type is an excellent idea because it makes it clear
to the sponsor that it is not a donation and reinforces in your mind
that you have something to sell.
Remember to value items not at what they will cost on the day, but at
what the club might reasonably expect to pay if someone sold it to
them. For example, if the ingredients for a ham and salad roll cost $2
but shops usually charge $4, then charge $4.
The following is a sample of how a sponsorship budget might appear:
Develop a clear definition of what the club is offering a sponsor. In
the above example the word signage appears, leading to two
If your club meant that the sponsors should supply their own sign,
but the sponsor thinks the club is going to supply a sign, relationships
can get pretty strained! Worse still, your club could end up out of
Once you have a proposal and a list of potential sponsors, talk to them!
If it’s a cold call – ring the companies and ask to speak to the
manager/owner or Marketing Manager. Briefly tell them who you represent
and what the club’s plans are. Be positive; suggest to them (rather
than ask) that the club will send a sponsorship proposal. If it seems
like no one is willing to speak to you, try to get the name of the most
appropriate person and send a proposal anyway. Remember the club has
nothing to lose.
Follow up the sponsorship proposal with a phone call at least five
days after the proposal has been delivered. Try to find out when the
club might expect a reply, if there is there any other information that
you can supply, or are there things in the club’s proposal that the
prospective sponsor would like explained?
If the proposal is accepted, arrange a meeting to discuss it in
detail, begin to personalise your contact and develop your
relationships. It might be a good time to get something in writing from
the club’s sponsor.
Very important. Many sponsorships fail because a club fails to deliver on what is agreed to.
Never promise more than the club can deliver – make
sure that what is promised in any sponsorship deal is delivered on time
and to the satisfaction of the sponsor or the club will be looking for
If you promised it, then deliver it!
If you think of something else the club can offer a sponsor, and the
cost or difficulty is minimal, do it! Sponsors react favourably to
receiving something they didn’t expect or wasn’t in the agreement
Try to build a relationship with your sponsor. Don’t overdo it, but
there is a lot to be said for some friendly contact. Call and ask how
things are going from their end; is there anything they are having
difficulty organising for the club’s event? Ask a sponsor out for lunch
if you think it might help to build up the relationship and the club
can afford it. This can be before or after the event.
Follow up after the event or sponsorship; call the sponsor and find
out how the sponsorship worked for them. They may provide valuable
information for the clubs next proposal, with ways in which the event
can be improved. There might be something that the club can provide now
which may mean continued sponsorship in the future.
Mementos of a sponsorship are also a nice gesture. Something as
simple as a block- mounted photograph can make a big impact. Once again,
if your club has an original idea don’t be afraid to use it.
Be loyal to a sponsor. If they treat you right then return the favour. Loyalty is valued!
When purchasing products or services consider whether you can get them from an existing sponsor.
When your event is taking place make sure your sponsor’s rivals
aren’t having their services or products sold or promoted by your club.
This will devalue the sponsorship.
Attention to detail and looking after your sponsor’s needs will enhance your relationship with them.
The club should provide its sponsors with a brief report, which would include information such as the following:
Do not submit enquiries with this form.