So, you have done the hard work and you’ve signed a new sponsor. Well done; but what next? Your next moves will dictate how easy you will make your life in managing this new sponsor and also could save you loads of time.
The first few weeks of signing a new sponsor is one of their most engaged times – everyone is excited by the new partnership and what it may bring. As such, there are a few things you can do which will show your new sponsor that you are organised and efficient but will also save you time and probably some frustration down the track.
So, set a good impression from the outset by following these simple steps.
1. Exchange New Sponsors Contact Details
Both your sponsor and your organisation will have multiple contact points, depending on what is needed. It may be contact details for your sponsors’ CEO or your CEO for invitations to events, marketing staff contacts for the day-to-day management of the partnership or media contacts for approvals and executions of content.
Whoever it is, outline roles and swap contact details so that everyone involved has the opportunity to feel engaged and part of the partnership. This is also a good opportunity for you to understand who is to be invited to what (in order to avoid embarrassment later).
2. Exchange IP Details
Swap all logo’s that will be needed throughout the partnership including those in the right sizing and format for websites, print, social media and apparel (if required). You’ll easily be able to source jpegs and pngs but make sure you get .eps and even .ai copies.
It is also a good idea to share designation terminology about how your partnership is to be recognised such as “proud partner of SponServe” or “The SponServe Hawks” so that there is clarity around how you refer to each other in publically shared material.
3. Share Calendars of Events
Ensure that your partner has a full copy of your calendar of events and highlight any event that they receive benefits to. If your partner has any special occasions such as milestone dates, product launches etc, ask them for a calendar of these events so that you can stay abreast of any big moments in their year but also to help you plan communication with them (by knowing when they may be busy).
4. Set Schedule of Catch- ups
This is a little unconventional, however, setting an expectation of how often you will be in touch or would like to catch up with your partner is a good idea. If possible, and predominantly for major partners, set a schedule of regular catch ups so you can both stay across important developments, deliverables and happenings in each of your worlds with pre-set times so that the deserved attention is set aside from the outset.
Create a recurring or series of appointments for the catch-ups and invite the key contacts. It’s always better to chat and decide not to meet i.e. cancel this month’s catch-up, than to spend a few days trying to get in contact and then not be able to find a mutually agreeable time for another few weeks.
5. Set Reminders & Record Deliverables
Set reminders for yourself around key deliverables and share payment schedules with finance and make a record of your agreed benefits and agreement details within your sponsorship management system.
6. Make a Note of Partnership Objectives
Finally, but certainly not least importantly, you should make a list of the objectives of your partnership in a place that helps keep them top of mind.
Knowing these objectives will help you in many ways including how you can add additional value to partners in ways that will be valuable, ensure benefits being delivered are focussed on these and you can also keep tabs on if/how objectives are shifting through your regular contact with your partner.
The ability to track and stay on top of this will be the key factor in renewing this partnership when the time comes.
7. CREATE A WELCOME PACK
Some sponsorship managers I have spoken to will create a ‘Welcome Pack’ for new sponsors which contains this information and a checklist of what you need from your sponsor. This is a great idea and will show your sponsor, from the outset, that you are organised and efficient which will fill them with confidence, straight away, that you are there to help guide them through this experience to make it enjoyable and successful for all involved.
If you follow this New Sponsor Roadmap, you will get off on the right foot and avoid the stress of chasing things with tight timelines and also give yourself more time to work on the ongoing management of your partnership.
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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