In order to maximise the event's sponsorship revenue potential the event organiser must undertake a full event sponsorship audit so that they can:
- identify what sponsorship benefits can be offered by the event
- identify which are the best companies to approach.
In an effort to safeguard sponsorship programmes, a number of major events now have specific requirements relating to the provision of venues free of any signage or branding – check whether the event owner has stipulated any “clean venue’ requirements.
Conducting a sponsorship audit is the first step in developing the sponsorship plan. The audit includes an analysis of the event and its associated features.
To develop a sponsorship structure and strategy for the event:
- Determine a sponsorship structure, for example a ‘family of five’ type strategy with secondary supply/associate sponsors.
- Keep a careful balance between companies if there are different levels of involvement, so that each is clear about how they fit in with each other – particularly about whether they are seen as sponsors or as official suppliers.
- Identify relevant companies/industry sectors to be approached.
- Tailor proposals to all companies. Do not use a generic ‘shotgun’ approach.
- Determine the value of the sponsorship packages.
- Outline the benefits and sales features of each package.
- Set the financial/sponsorship sales targets and timelines.
- Identify a range of other commercial/fundraising opportunities including donations, merchandising etc.
Quantifying sponsorship value
Establishing the price of any sponsorship programme is always difficult. Bear in mind the following principles:
- compare the sponsorship prices for previous events as well as the media value in terms of potential coverage, before setting the price you seek,
- be realistic and flexible in your negotiations,
- make sure that you offer enough tangible benefits to match the sponsor’s commitment and try to exceed this projection at the event itself.