The team at SponServe are constantly asked “Should I package or tailor opportunities for prospects?” The answer is both. Read on as Mark discusses when you should use either approach.
The art of sponsorship sales is a skill that is learned. Some people do it really well and some don’t.
Some people do well using certain techniques and others don’t do so well while using exactly the same technique.
The key is how you deliver and present.
First, you need to think
First off, you need to ask yourself two questions:
1. What am I trying to achieve? and;
2. Is this a long term play or a short-term play?
The key to creating a real partnership is being able to create alignment between what you are offering and what the objectives of the sponsor are.
The goal is to create a win/win situation, where everyone sees value and enjoyment, and the basis of the partnership can then be focused on a solid business case and strong relationship.
This lends itself to a tailored package.
But then, there are situations where you need to first build a connection and create some form of engagement to work on the relationship. Sometimes this is where a standard package can be useful.
What are the benefits of each?
Tailored packages are my favourite approach to create real engagement with sponsors.
When I travel around and speak with rights holders I see sponsorship benefits constantly being under-utilised by sponsors. Sure, sometimes this is unavoidable, but when it is the same benefit on a constant basis I have to think “Does this sponsor actually value this opportunity?”.
This rights holder, I think, is putting themselves at real risk of losing that sponsorship; not through any fault of their own. Well, sell sort of ….
Tailored packages allow you to really dig deep, from the outset, about what it is that the sponsor wants or needs out of the partnership. You can find out what their objectives are and deliver a package that will derive real for them.
For example: There are some large multi-national airlines which really value brand exposure. These guys are after opportunities which get their brand out to the mass-market. What they are trying to achieve is that when anyone wants to fly anywhere, they are automatically in the picture as an option because their brand is familiar and in the mind of the spectator or fan. Why then would you focus your sponsorship properties for these guys around community activations, ticketing or hospitality if their sole purpose is to use you as a PR machine?
Instead, real value for these guys, are things which will drive their media valuation report up. Things like Naming Rights, Apparel Branding, Prominent signage and so-on.
By answering their core-objectives, with tailored offerings, you are able to develop real alignment and become a core element of their marketing mix. Plus, your ROI and acquittal is far easier.
Packaged opportunities are a really traditional and old-school way to approach sponsorship sales. You build a package and try to sell it as is. Sometimes this can be seen as lazy but, if used well, there is a place for them.
There are 2 reasons you would sell a package. One, to give an opportunity for smaller community businesses to be able to partner with your organisation or, two, to get an initial engagement with an organisation with the goal of moving them up the chain to a more significant, tailored package down the line.
The best packages we see are the ones which still create a strong element of engagement through things like Event Day Sponsorship, Player or Artist Sponsorship or Business Networking Sponsorship. These can be lower in cost to the sponsor, and cost you less to deliver, but still give you an opportunity to have a focused period of time to introduce your organisation to the sponsor and potentially up-sell them at a point when their engagement is at its peak.
Another good time to sell packages, which we don’t see much of, is around your distressed stock….. You know, the stock that you have not sold and probably won’t sell….. This boils down to you losing the opportunity to make money from a property once the event or opportunity passes. This is actually a blog post on its own, so stay tuned for more on this one.
A place for both
In summary there is a place for both, but best practice tells us that tailored packages give you more chance to create a real partnership where packages can be used for more strategic reasons.
Mark Thompson // 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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