1. Know Your Assets. There really is no point in trying to sell a partnership arrangement if you don’t understand and manage the assets you have. Take time to compile an audit to support the development of packages.
2. Align your brand with like-minded companies/individuals. Do your due diligence. Make sure you align yourself with like minded businesses/individuals who share the same values. Although somewhat unforeseen, you don’t want to be in the position of Nike, Anheuser Busch or Giro who pulled their sponsorship arrangements with Lance Armstrong this week.
3. Play the role of an agency. This point relates closely to my post last week. It’s really important to think outside the box and provide creative solutions to sponsors so that they can achieve their objectives through your partnership.
4. Go the extra mile. In our current economic environment where budgets are always being scrutinized and companies are resistant to establishing long term partnerships, it is important to surprise and delight with value add opportunities. Why? Well, it’s much easier and cheaper to renew and grow an existing partner down the road than bring a new partner on board.
5. Customize pitches. Don’t fall into the mistake of so many organizations. I cannot stress how important it is to customize a partnership proposal for each and every organization you approach. Take time to add industry insights from your research and create unique out of the box activation plans to wow any potential sponsor.
6. Keep It Simple. Stay focused. To avoid clutter and the potential for creating a logo farm, try focusing on establishing a few large sponsorship deals rather than lots of smaller deals. Small deals will create clutter and a lot of extra work and diminish the value for other partner. By compiling a sales plan that prioritizes categories of sponsorship, you will be much more focused in your efforts.
7. Develop mutually beneficial partnership objectives. Establish objectives for each partnership with each sponsor and keep these the focus of everything you do. And of course, make sure the objectives are SMART.
8. Evaluate performance. This point seems to be over looked way too much in my opinion, but if you don’t evaluate the performance of your partnership on a regular basis, then how do you know what to improve and focus your efforts on moving forward. A sponsorship arrangement should be viewed as a strategic partnership that is integral to one another’s business plans.
9. Compile Year End Reports. The single most important thing you can do for any partnership after establishing a legal contract is to compile a year end report highlighting the benefits and ROI a sponsor has received from your property from the event/previous year. This evidence validates the cheque that each sponsor signs on an annual basis and is a really useful tool for senior executives to review to understand the value that they receive from a partnerships.
10. Have fun! Last but not least, make sure you have fun doing what you do. It shows and will only add value to all the other points above.
I shall elaborate on several of these points over the next few weeks, so please stay tuned. In the meantime, I’m curious to know what habits, if any, you would add to this list if you could?