Yep, there’s a plan for that too! You should know by now that I have a plan for just about everything. “But can’t I just post a Myspace bulletin requesting sponsorship?”, you ask. “NO!”, I reply. Well, I guess you could, but soliciting through social networks will not likely land anything that will remotely affect your music career.
Let’s break this down:
A SPONSOR is the individual or group that provides the support.
TO SPONSOR is to support an event, activity, person, or organization financially or through the provision of products or services.
A SPONSORSHIP is a cash and/or in-kind fee paid to a property (typically in sports, arts, entertainment or causes) in return for access to the exploitable commercial potential associated with that property. An example being, Bud Light may provide the funds needed to build a stage for a music festival in exchange for brand recognition, and of course, exposure to potential paying customers.
Keep in mind, this is a business expense, NOT a donation, and is expected to show a return on investment! Meaning, you need to present a well laid out plan to convince the sponsor it is worth putting money into your project/event.
Sponsors will usually want to see a detailed sponsorship proposal, especially for larger opportunities. So, how do you to make your sponsorship opportunity attractive to potential sponsors? While the following will not guarantee a sponsorship, it will significantly increase your chances of getting sponsored!
First off, provide sufficient, detailed information that will help the potential sponsor to understand exactly what it is they are being asked to get involved with. You will need to make a compelling connection between the products/services of a sponsor and your sponsorship opportunity.
Sponsors want know how much exposure they will get, so provide an estimate of the amount of possible exposure, based on a good and a bad scenario. Also, try to outline additional benefits that may be available to the sponsor. (media exposure, association with a good cause, etc…)
Where will the sponsor’s logo/images appear, and more importantly, how many people will see them? It’s safe to say that how the sponsor’s logo/images appear in the eyes of the public will directly affect the amount of money your sponsorship opportunity is worth. Describe the geographic region(s) where the sponsor’s logo/images will be seen. It is also very important to provide demographic information about the audience. Gender, age range, ethnicity,common interest, etc…, this is critical information for a sponsor.
Additional items to consider when drafting your proposal might be deadlines and/or multiple sponsors. Does your project/event have a deadline in which you must obtain funds by a specific date? Can it be changed to accommodate the sponsor? Also, when dealing with more than one potential sponsor, it is important to consider whether or not they may be competitors or incompatible in any way.
Finally, before submitting your proposal, try and put yourself in the sponsor’s shoes. Based on all you have outlined, if the roles were reversed, would you honestly feel you were getting a fair return on your investment? Keep in mind, when determining the amount of (realistic) funds needed for your project/event, a sponsor will not contact you if they feel you are being unreasonable!