This is by no means a fool proof guide, you’re going to have to use your noggin and judge each sponsor before approaching them, but here are a few tips to get you started:
What’s the first thing you do when someone random contacts you? Stalk them on the internet of course.
This is exactly what a potential sponsor will do to you to check you’re legit and worth their investment. Building a website to tell sponsors a little more about your team and Adventure is a great way to make a strong first impression. Check out our handy guide to building websites here. Think about adding a sponsorship page with a shopping list of things that you need sponsored, fuel, visas, spare parts etc. This will show your sponsor that you’re on it and mean business.
At this point, you can start to define the specific things you can offer sponsors. Think about what you’re good at, if you’re a media wizard you’ll have an easy ride. Examples of things that you could offer are:
- Their logo on your website
- Their logo on your car/t-shirt
- Social media mentions
- Videos or images of their products in the backstreets of Ulan-bator
Divide your sponsors into levels, those that sponsor more get more from you. Then use this as a bargaining tool, “If you sponsor £100 more you’ll become a Gold Sponsor and get your logo on our car”
You should think of selling sponsorships like selling a product. What makes you and your Adventure different from everything else? This could be your unique team name, your mode of transport or even where in the world you’re going. Outline all of this in a few sentences, keep in mind:
- Your event’s mission or cause – this is Cool Earth and Adventuring in the name of the Rainforest. Check out the flyer in the fundraising pack for help.
- What can you offer that is of value to sponsors – this could be logo space on your car, photos or videos of their product in crazy places, or your huge social media following.
- What differentiates your event from others?
- How big is the potential audience? How many people will be at the launch and along the route?
- How the sponsor will benefit from the relationship.
The lowest hanging fruit are the people you already know plus their friends, family and colleagues. So get badgering. If your mates can’t help they may know someone that can.
Think about what kind of companies would be interested in sponsoring you and your team’s brand, otherwise you’ll be wasting your time. What will you need for your adventure and why? A head torch for finding your loo roll in the middle of Turkmenistan is a must, and a business might want an image of you using it.
We all lead busy lives, and it’s never going to be someone’s top priority to give you money or products for free. So it’s vital to reach out to your potential sponsors at least once more, if not twice.
There are some great apps to help you out, we like the Boomerang plugin app for Gmail, it automates the task of scheduling and auto-sending follow-up messages to unresponded emails.
As soon as you’ve secured your sponsorship, deliver on what you’ve promised. Whether it’s mentioning them on social media once a week, or sending them a product placement photo, start as soon as you can. This will build their trust in you, and you can then use them as a case study to secure further sponsorship deals.
So there you have it, our top-tips on gaining sponsorship, it’s hard work, but can really pay off.