10 steps to getting your team a sponsor

Updated: June 14, 2016

10 steps to getting your team a sponsor

By Boyd Butler, Former Reading FC Commercial Director

Signing up a sponsor can make all the difference to a team’s finances but finding one isn’t easy. Former Reading FC Commercial Director Boyd Butler offers his ten-step plan.

1. Identify your market

Make sure you know your target market. Some companies will want to get involved to show they support the local community or to publicise a neighbourhood service but your most likely sponsors will be related to your players. Find out which parents own (or work for) a business that might invest.

2. Get a website

Websites are a good place to direct potential sponsors if they want to find out about your club – and once you’ve struck a deal, websites can give sponsors valuable exposure. If you haven’t got one, sign up with a company like clubwebsite.co.uk and get one for free.

3. Know what you need

Fix the price of the sponsorship and explain what it is you want. If it’s cash for 15 sets of kit, find out the price and show the sponsor the supplier’s quote. That way they’ll know exactly what it is they are contributing to. But remember to make sure you budget for printin g the sponsor’s logo on the front of the shirt.

4. Work out what to say

No businessman will hand over cash without feeling he is getting value for money, so you have to make a convincing case. Whether it’s a face to face meeting or a pitch on the phone, make sure you know what you’re going to say and that you get your message across.

5. Use the local media

Local radio and newspapers will publicise your quest for sponsorship, particularly if you have a press pack of things you will be giving the sponsor and a good angle for their story.
Make sure you are prepared before you meet with a sponsor

6. Offer added value

Make your proposal attractive by adding value. Ask the sports editor of the local paper if he would run a story about your sponsor with a small picture. If he says yes, let any candidates know they will get this exposure. Think of other ideas too, such as displaying the company logo on your website, newsletter and training gear.

7. Sell your connections

Tell your potential sponsor that each member of the team will hand out 250 flyers to local homes. That’s a leaflet drop of 3,000 homes. This could be a valuable service to a local business. Alert the local media to this.

8. Take a chance

Maybe there’s a local celebrity who you could pitch the idea to – it’s a long shot but it might just work. This season, soccer team Eastleigh Reds U13s struck a deal with The Prodigy after the band learned the team train to one of their songs, while Kingswell U9s can boast a deal with Swedish musician and “Celebrity Big Brother” star, Basshunter.

9. Deliver on promises

When someone does sponsor you, make sure they see the immediate benefits. Have a ceremony to unveil the kit with their company name on it and present them with a team picture. Send them any press cuttings that feature a picture of the team.

10. Don’t forget them

Rugby is a social game with plenty of opportunities for sponsorship

When you get a sponsor, don’t lose them. Invite them to games and text them the results after each match so they can follow your progress. If you have an end of season party, make sure your sponsor is the guest of honour and presents the Player Of The Season Award.

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