In my last blog, I outlined the Four Key Principles Of Creating Good Sponsor Reports. However, even when you have those bedded down, what do you include in a good sponsorship report? This is a question which has undoubtedly been asked by just about every sponsorship professional on the planet.
Whilst there are many elements which can create an impact, for me, there are a few non-negotiables which will set you on the right path to success.
Before you Start
Before we work through the non-negotiables there are some rules to remember:
- Don’t just report on the contracted benefits that have been delivered. Your sponsor will already know this so you should be sure to also include things your sponsor doesn’t know.
- Don’t just deliver a generic report. Deliver a tailored report which is relevant to the sponsor, their situation and requirements.
- Deliver your report in a manner and format which is suitable for the purpose of your partner. There are three key formats in which reports are created, they being:
- slide deck; or
- digital link (private web-page)
What to Include
As I said before, there are a few non-negotiables that I like to see in sponsorship reports.
Sponsorship reporting is all about story-telling. Your aim is to show that you have done a good job or that you have a positive plan to move forward. As such, a great way to start on a positive note is with a thank-you message.
A lot of sponsorship managers get the CEO or Chair to write a generic message. Personally, I used to add a twist and would get a personal message from the sponsor’s favourite player (if a sport/team) or from someone they have helped (if a charity sponsor).
Key Generic Metrics
Next, rather than moving into what you were meant to deliver and how was it done, I have always found it a good idea to put some work and thought into promoting the key metrics your organisation has achieved. This works on two fronts – first, it helps to outline additional potential opportunities which aren’t being taken advantage of and, two, it can reinforce a positive story about your organisation and removes the uncontrollable factors, such as performance, and instead focusses the conversation on business objectives.
Some of the areas you may wish to consider to include in this section are:
- your reach (including any growth since they last saw a report);
- your growth areas (not necessarily just sponsorship metrics but business growth too. Sponsors like organisations which are well-run and show results);
- your audience; and
- the demographics of your database/fans/community
Contracted Benefits Snapshot
This is where a lot of sponsorship professionals start, end and ultimately fail in their reporting. While this element is definitely important, it is not the total focus of a sponsorship report. When reporting on the contracted benefits make sure you include:
- what the benefit was;
- when it was due;
- when it was delivered; and
- proof of delivery.
Objectives + Goals Aligned and Status
The non-tangibles is an area often forgotten in sponsorship reporting.
Remembering that you have gone to the effort to remove the uncontrollable elements from the conversation, by focussing on data and metrics (which equate to opportunity), you then must take the next step in reminding the sponsor of the set goals of each objective and how you went against achieving those.
Don’t be afraid of reporting goals you didn’t reach. A good report will be used to assess the suitability and realistic nature of those goals and give both parties something to work towards.
This is really where a confident rights holder (or that with a good support agency/structure) will rise to the top.
Take the information you have outlined above and suggest ways to improve, move forward and see further success in the future.
The Path Forward
I always thought it was a good idea to give sponsors an insight into what plans or key things lay ahead for the organisation. Again, this isn’t just at the sponsorship level, but perhaps some exciting opportunities or good news stories that you may look to leverage.
Finishing it all off
Using the above, you should create a report which is tailored for your partner, either combining the above with some known other important inclusions, some graphic design and personalised images and definitely by putting your own style and language to it.
Remember, the goal is to use the report as a discussion point and planning platform to move forward and not just a giveaway which is left open to interpretation. Always put time and effort into delivery and discussion and use that to make your sponsor feel important and special.
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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