Show me the sponsorship value

Doing your homework So, you have a great idea, which is going to attract thousands of people, and you need the funds within the next couple of months!

Sorry to deflate the excited proposal balloon carrier – sponsorship seekers please take a GIANT step backwards. Whilst I feel the heavy burden and anguish by all seeking sponsorship and understand that it is a tough road to travel, there are a few basics that you need to have in place before approaching any potential investor.

Here are a few of the vital elements found lacking in sponsorship proposals received on a weekly basis.

Great idea you believe

  • Add supporting research to show how unique your idea actually is;
  • Prove you own the naming rights, that you are an officially registered entity; and
  • Show how you add more value than the next sponsorship proposal

Real numbers

  • Where is your budget? Not a headline budget, a full detailed budget breakdown to see what is required to stage your idea;
  • Include a cash flow, show how and when the funds will be spent;
  • Are funds going to be securely held between payments, perhaps in a Trust Account; and
  • Who is managing the funds, a reputable firm or banking institution?

Attracting thousands of eyeballs

  • Where is your marketing plan to promote the idea, inclusive of a timeline of promotions that potential sponsors can leverage and achieve cobranding values?
  • What level of rights do the sponsors get, how many sponsors are there going to be?
  • Are you going to be national or regional or international?
  • Who exactly are you trying to appeal to with your great idea – different genders, ages, locations – tell more about the audience you are trying to sell your idea to (not the sponsor investor people) the people who you think are going to like you/your service or product that you need sponsoring.

You need funds within the next month

  • Most sponsors take more than a year to review and agree on annual sponsorship spend, typical at least of the big corporate decision process.
  • Is it a once off or recurring investment?
  • Regional/ community focused brands may decide within a lesser period, but not within a six-month period.

These are just a few of the main areas of content that are lacking in sponsorship proposals. There are many more defined areas of content required.

Sponsorship is NOT charity. It is a hard and fast area of brand marketing that involves numerous touch points, promotional channels, it is well measured and calculated on site as it is in the roll out and post event. And more often than not, sponsorship takes a fair slice of marketing spend to not only support a sponsorship but to run a campaign that leverages the brand's association to it. Sponsorship proposals need to show true transparent value to fight against other marketing spend areas.

So, your great idea, that is going to reach thousands and needs funding within the next two months is not going to seal much interest and quite frankly a total waste of effort on all fronts, unless you include the content required for investors to take a serious glimpse at your proposal.

Sponsorship is an exciting tool for marketers, but for those seeking sponsorship, it can be a daunting task. Do your homework, excite and provide value to an investor by fleshing out all the necessary details in a succinct proposal that talks to the investing sponsors brand values, and if you can show them the value return that makes investing in you better that any other proposal on the table, then you are on the right track.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ is a website portal giving free listings to South African entities looking for sponsorship, providing an opportunity to investors and suppliers in the South African sponsorship industry a one stop shop for information on South African sponsorship opportunities.