There’s no doubt that sponsorship is a great way to market your business. It’s a scary thought for most small businesses, however, as it can often feel like you’re handing over large sums of money for unknown return. It’s money that you could probably otherwise put towards other areas of your business.
If funds are a concern for you, or your budget is limited, there are ways to take advantage of the exposure that sponsorship can give to your business.
Choose your beneficiary well
Before embarking on any sort of sponsorship giving, it’s important to determine who or what you’re going to support. Whether it is a sporting team, cause, activity, or event is up to you, but having some sort of connection or passion for it helps.
Having a genuine desire to support assists your marketing message greatly, and you’re inspired and happy to be involved. If there’s little like there, it’s easy to feel resentful, and conflicts are more likely to arise.
Share the niche
Part of selecting your beneficiary, and getting the most return on your sponsorship investment, is understanding their niche.
You may not necessarily need to have a product or service that complements or aligns with your recipient, but sharing your niche puts you in front of the people you need to be in front of. There will be no return from putting yourself in front of an audience that doesn’t need what you offer.
Ride the wave
If there’s a local, national, or international event happening, it’s easy to jump on and ride the collective wave. For example, when World Cup fever hits, supporting your local kids’ soccer club at the time can significantly increase your exposure in your local area.
You may choose to change the colours of your website or branding to tie in with a particular charitable or other event, to show your support.
If you’re really not able to support financially, is there something you’re able to offer those who are financial sponsors? Can you give them product or service that increases the value they’re giving to the recipient?
Aligning yourself with a financial sponsor, but allowing them to increase the value they’re giving, exposes you to a broader market, but also puts you and your business in the same class. The public’s perception of you increases exponentially, in a positive way.
What else do you have to give?
Like partnering up with a financial sponsor, your direct sponsorship may be the provision or product or service at no cost. You may provide pro bono services for a not for profit organisation or club, or product that directly relates to your beneficiary.
Whether this is a regular event, for example, a weekly sports game, or provision of prizes and giveaways for specific events or fundraisers depends on what you’re able to do. Participating regularly, however, will put your name in front of people more often, and they’re likely to remember you.
Above all else, and with all of the above, the most important element is authenticity. If you’re only in it for the publicity and exposure, your market will see right through you and you’ll lose trust. Be connected, and genuinely support and assist those you are sponsoring. This will be your most powerful tool, especially if you have a sponsorship budget.