How Has The Scene Changed?
The disc golf industry, like many others, has been affected by economic shifts and the tail end of the Covid boom. As a result, several retailers have unfortunately had to close shop. This shift has also meant that event sponsorships, once plentiful, have become rarer treasures.
Understanding this, the primary aim of this article is to provide insights into enhancing your likelihood of securing an event sponsorship during these economic times. By empathizing with the retailer's perspective, you can better pitch your event and provide genuine value.
Understanding Event Sponsorship Origins
Event sponsorship has deep roots in the disc golf community. At its core, it serves as a means for retailers to give back to the passionate community that supports them. But it's not purely altruistic; retailers also view sponsorship as an invaluable marketing opportunity to increase brand visibility and engagement.
Today, with tightened budgets, the "give me money" approach without a clear value proposition is unlikely to garner a positive response. So how can you effectively position your event for success?
10 Tips to Boost Your Chances of Securing Sponsorship
1. Preparation is Key:
Before even drafting that email or making a call, introspect. Step into the retailer's shoes. If you were the proprietor of, say, XYZ Discs, and had a limited budget of $1000 annually for sponsorships, what would sway your decision? What kind of events or proposals would you be inclined to support?
2. Define the Value Proposition:
Instead of just asking for funds, clearly articulate what the retailer stands to gain. This could include:
- Brand exposure through event banners and/or social media mentions
- Potential sales boosts from product placements in prize packs or event exclusives.
- Custom speech and shout-outs
- Exposure to new audiences
- After event recap
3. Expanding Market Visibility:
In a country like Canada, the disc golf community is already familiar with the major retailers in the scene. Thus, simply aligning with them may not necessarily boost their image to those who already hold them in a positive light. A big value to retailers is broadening their horizon and reaching new audiences.
Ask yourself, does your event have the potential to introduce the sport and, by extension, the retailer, to a fresh set of eyes? Are you involving local schools, communities, or organizations that might be new to disc golf?
4. Share Your Marketing Plan:
Are you using social media, local newspapers, radio spots, or community bulletin boards? The more diverse and expansive your marketing plan, the more attractive your event becomes to potential sponsors. They're not just investing in your event but in the promise of reaching an untapped audience.
Furthermore, the scope of your media coverage plays a crucial role. While local coverage is essential and appreciated, national exposure can be a game-changer. If you have connections or plans to get featured in larger media outlets, be sure to highlight that.
5. Offer Exclusivity:
If possible, give them a taste of exclusivity. Being the sole disc retailer sponsor for an event can be a tempting proposition. It ensures undivided visibility.
6. Digital Exposure:
In an era where digital presence can make or break a brand, make the digital exposure a focus in your pitch. Do you have a social media plan to promote the retailer? What can they expect? Pre, during and post event posts are very attractive.
7. Offer Data-Driven Insights:
If you've held events before, present metrics like previous attendance numbers, social media engagement rates, or any other figures that could provide the retailer with a glimpse into potential ROI.
8. Showcase Passion and Authenticity:
Remember, retailers are more inclined to support individuals and events that truly resonate with the essence of disc golf. Your passion for the game, your commitment to hosting a successful event, and your genuine interest in forming a mutually beneficial partnership can set you apart. Be genuine in your approach and communicate why your event is unique or how it adds value to the community. Share how long you have been playing and what your vision is for impacting the sport.
9. Offer Feedback and Recognition:
Post-event, ensure you provide sponsors with a recap. Share metrics, photographs, and feedback from attendees. Express gratitude for their support, publicly recognize their contributions, and let them know the impact of their sponsorship on the event's success.
10. Long-Term Relationship Building:
Even if you don't secure a sponsorship on your first attempt, don't be disheartened. Use the opportunity to build a rapport with the retailer. Stay in touch, provide updates about your event, and keep the channels of communication open. Building a long-term relationship can pave the way for future collaborations.
Navigating the sponsorship terrain can be challenging, but by employing the techniques listed above, you can significantly boost your chances. Detail your event, showcase its potential, and let your potential sponsor see the value and passion behind your proposal.
Ace Runners has always tried to support the disc golf community in every way we can. However, please understand that we have a limited sponsorship budget and we receive weekly requests.
If partnering with us doesn't work out, consider approaching smaller retailers. Being an authorized retailer with a physical store, we bear overhead costs like commercial rent, utilities, salaries, and insurance. In contrast, individual dealers operating from their homes might not have these expenses. So, exploring opportunities with them could be fruitful.