Once the club has established what it needs, what assets can be sold and how the partnership can be evaluated, it’s time to find people and businesses to approach but it’s important to be strategic about it. You don’t want a sponsor whose values don’t align with the club’s values.
It is easiest to start with those within your club. Ask your members if they have relationships with existing businesses that could be a potential sponsor and to introduce you to them. This could be as easy as adding a “What is your occupation” question on all registration forms. This can help identify networks already in club land.
Also try an internet search of businesses in your local area and make a database of potential sponsors contact details. Don’t limit your search to the typical sporting businesses and companies – get creative. When you do a first round of calls to the businesses on your list, ask for the person responsible for sponsorships and if they were interested in meeting to discuss a potential sponsorship deal. The best way to sell the idea of sponsoring your club is to meet with the potential sponsors face-to-face.
It may be worth meeting with larger potential sponsors more than once. The first meeting should be about the sponsor - ask them what they want from the partnership, what are their objects and what assets would they be interested in and why. This will help ensure your Sponsorship Package is tailored to the sponsors needs and assets aren’t being ‘wasted’.