Over the past two weeks, I have been asked two very important questions around reporting to sponsors, they being “How do I create a good sponsorship recap report?” and “Do I need to create and prepare reports for my sponsors?”
To answer those questions, there are a few basic principles that I believe all rights holders’ partnership execs need to keep top-of-mind because they will make a report format easy to create.
Principle 1 – Understand decision making
Have a mindset of what happens within a sponsor’s business to justify spend with you and to warrant continued support
It is most likely that the person you are dealing with at the delivery level of sponsorship is not the decision maker in terms of budgetary spend. For that reason, the person you are dealing with needs to present, sometimes at regular intervals, internal reports which acquit, justify and lay the platform for future spend.
In order to ensure that happens, it is in your best interest to help deliver that information to your contact in a manner which will best help you and your contact move the relationship forward.
No doubt, if your contact wants to move the relationship forward, they’ll give you guidance on how they’d like the information presented.
Principle 2 – Different Organisations
Understand the type of business you are dealing with and who the reports are aimed at
There are many different types of organisations which provide support to rights holders, each of which have their own reasons and requirements for and from reports. They include:
- Member Owned Organisations – They will require a full audit trail that all benefits were used appropriately and all spend was in accordance with the governance procedures.
- Private Companies – They will be looking to align benefits to broader objectives and most likely (hopefully) will utilise sponsorship as part of their broader marketing mix.
- Public Companies – Much like member owned organisations, they have a much larger emphasis and responsibility to an audit trail and acquittal to ensure proper appropriation of shareholder funds which need to be publicly reported.
- Government – They need to acquit spend based on certain program KPIs and, as such, funds are linked to achievement or delivery of goals/benefits which help deliver outcomes.
Principle 3 – Reporting Process
How can reporting help you, as a rights holder, internally?
If your organisation has a practice of regularly preparing reports, either for internal use or external reporting, then you can build a process off the back of that which will provide you with not only efficiencies but, just as importantly, a standard process for creating the reports you need.
Approaching reporting like this is a helpful and is used by leading rights holders around the world to ensure they are on track in delivering on goals, objectives and investment for their partners.
Reviewing the outcomes of your reports will also help frame your workflow and priorities in terms of continuous improvement.
Principle 4 – Reason
Why are you delivering a report?
As part of my conversation with one of those who asked about how to create a report, the conversation turned to what they were hoping to achieve. Their answer was “renewal”, however, I don’t believe that this is the right approach.
For me, reporting is about assessment and setting a conversation in play about how to move forward. As such, an end of year report should be the starting point on preparing for success the following year. Or, a mid-term report will enable you to talk about how you can stay ahead of the curve in terms of changes with your partner. Furthermore, reporting gives you the chance to generate positive sentiment and trust.
Bottom line, reporting isn’t the ideal catalyst for renewal. Instead, renewal should be given its own space and done well before what many see as traditional, end of period, ‘reporting time’.
With the key principles behind good reporting top of mind, we can now move into the key features of a good report. This will be the topic of my next blog.
If you have any questions around the principles outlined here, or any other aspect of reporting, simply get in contact and ask using mark (a) sponserve.net.
Mark Thompson // Managing Director
Mark specialises in sponsorship and diversified income strategies and has used this expertise across the Community, Semi-Professional and Professional Sports sectors. He combines hands-on experience in managing the expectations and obligations of sponsors with marketing and stakeholder engagement to deliver outstanding results.
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