Tuesday 4 November 2008

Finding sponsorship - sporters resources

Finding sponsorship can be quite daunting for sporters who do not have a support network to help them find sponsors - but there are many resouces which can help. Here you will find some basic do's and dont's when approaching sponsors in the first place, maintaining the relationship requires other skills.

The main thing about sponsorship is to remember it should be a win-win for both parties. So understanding what both sides what to get out of the relationship, discussing fair compromises and forging an agreement around this premis will result in successful long term relationships for both parties. Sponsorship agreements entered into for hope of a quick return are doomed for failure.

Don't kid yourself, securing a sponsorship deal will take a lot of work, but their are tools and websites which can help you in this endevour.

Do's When approaching potential sponsors…..
Do your homework, try to pick companies that are relevant to you and your sport
Avoid approaching companies from the same industry sector as any existing sponsors you may have
View all social and formal gatherings as potential networking opportunities
Make use of all potential contacts – friends, relatives, friends of friends, promote yourself on business network websites like http://www.e-sporters.com and http://www.linkedin.com
Most companies receive many sponsorship requests so try to make sure your letter/email stands out from the others, this requires personalizing the message as much as possible, this requires research
If you are offered the chance to meet in person, make sure you are fully prepared. Plan meticulously
Take a carefully prepared presentation with you to any meetings. This shows initiative and professionalism
Always carry business cards with you. It will make you look professional
Take time to determine exactly what it is you can offer a sponsor
Be confident. Remember that you have much to offer a sponsor. Sponsorship is not a one-way relationship
Prepare an annual budget, calculating all your outgoings. This will help you to determine the level of support you should ask for and to clarify the areas in which you need the most help
Check with your National Governing Body before committing to display sponsor branding on your kit. Rules vary from sport to sport and event to event
Try to develop a relationship with your local paper. Building your profile locally will put you in the ‘shop window’ for local businesses. Press coverage also gives you the opportunity to actively promote your sponsor
Don’t be afraid to ask. Many companies will be keen to help – they just won’t know how!

Dont's When approaching potential sponsors……
Don’t view sponsorship support as cash alone – there are many ways that a sponsor can help you
Don’t ask small companies for a large amount of cash – they will most likely say no, be realistic
When writing to potential sponsors, do not state how much money or product you want – leave that for the face-to-face meeting
Don’t over promise. Make sure you can deliver on your sponsor commitments
Don’t commit to anything that you think may cause conflict with your sport’s Governing Body or its sponsors. Check first with your lifestyle adviser or NGB

This site provides more detailed information: http://sponsorship.uksport.gov.uk/

Register for free on http://www.e-sporters.com - create your sporters profile, with your YouTube promo video, enter your experience, achievements, photos and what you are looking for and check the box "looking for sponsor".

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