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The Skeleton Proposal and Package Levels

by Emily Taylor
  
24 01 2011

OK, so we get a lot of calls asking for demonstrations or explanations for how SponsorPark works.  I love those conversations because I get to learn a lot about the various sponsorship efforts going on out there.  It’s clear in the short time I get with these clients that there are some people that are deeply passionate about their efforts and are willing to be proactive and hard-working to increase the potential for successful sponsorships.  There’s another category of individuals that seem to really care about their sponsorship opportunities, but they simply don’t really know what they’re doing and need more help; and others that, well, you can tell after 5 minutes they aren’t interested in going above and beyond, or considering healthy change in their best practices.  One of the sections in our proposals where I can really see this play out in is the packages and benefits section.  So, for the benefit of the two former –especially that of the individual with passion but in need of direction, I believe I would be remiss if I were not to clarify the intended purpose of this section so that it can be used in line with sponsorship best practices. 

The packages and benefits section is the place on our “skeleton proposal” where you are able to cascade and loosely define various sponsorship levels you have to offer.  Since SponsorPark is a resource used for gaining our sponsorship opportunities exposure with potential sponsors with aligning interests, this is lovingly referred to as a “skeleton proposal” because you are simply offering baseline information in order for sponsors to know if there is indeed a reason to carry the conversation further.  I urge our users to use this section carefully.  Sponsors reference this section because they want to know a ballpark of what you’re asking for from your partners in terms of pricing and benefits.  It’s easy to cascade multiple packages of platinum through bronze, bullet pointing the inventory of benefits associated with each package, but the problem you run into is that you have not yet customized. Most sponsors are really interested in how you’re going to take the partnership to the next level, and so it’s wise not to use this as an asset dump.  Be careful to clarify a general idea of the hierarchy of sponsor partners, and assign a price range so that they know if their funds are in alignment.  It’s fine to highlight a handful of benefits you can promise access to, but Do NOT try to list every benefit under the sun, name it your gold package, and expect a quick purchase. Clarifying that you are very open to starting a dialogue to customize upon interest is essential to communicate.  We DO however, encourage that you communicate these ranges of levels for two reasons:

  1. You have to set a direction for investment. If you communicate a range (ex: package one=1,000, package 2= 10,000, and package 3=50,000); you have now clearly identified that you have a hierarchy in sponsor involvement and what price range you are ballpark going to ask for.  You’ve likely also considered how each section needs to be fulfilled in order to meet your own needs; you can still customize, but now you’ve set some boundaries.  You have also protected yourself because if you don’t indicate this hierarchy and you don’t organize your needs accordingly, you can very quickly nosedive into sponsor soup while you try and customize according to their needs without having organized in such a way that all of your needs are met too.  Everyone will stay happier if you indicate levels and create boundaries around how many you need, where you are flexible and where you are not.
  2. In the SponsorPark world, we work to gain you exposure.  When you assign a price range with various packages or levels, you allow for your opportunity to come up in more searches.  If you have just one package with overall expenses and you don’t break down levels, you will not be found in nearly so many searches and your exposure is limited.  Or you simply indicate no price and state that you’re open to customizing upon interest, you have given no helpful information to a sponsor to consider you as a match, left big questions marks as to your value, and you will not come up in a price specific search. Exposure is drastically limited.
    So essentially, we want you to communicate the core, or the skeleton of what you have to offer. Indicate levels of sponsorship and openness to customizing upon an open dialogue uncovering each partner’s needs.  Offer enough information to answer key questions of pricing and levels, but not so much information that you don’t allow for creativity upon a dialogue. Customization can be done once interest is established and an invitation offered to connect and communicate more.  When we send you an email telling you that Joe Smith at XYZ company is interested in you, at this point you can reach out to this specific company, add the meat and potatoes and customization to your proposal with their specific need in mind, and start a dialogue in order to get that sponsorship sold. 

I truly hope that helps as you get started with your proposals!  Skeleton proposals get the party started, and target the best partners more efficiently as you engage more potential sponsors.  If you have any insights on package creation you are welcome to post your own tips and tricks for the benefit of the sponsorship community!  Let the writing begin…

 

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Above and Beyond, Creative Relational Investments

by Emily Taylor
  
18 01 2011

I recently had a precious baby boy.  Upon his arrival I found myself jumping to invest in him in ways I would have previously considered torturous.  Feeding every 2-3 hours, changing 1,000 diapers a day, trying to figure out what scream means what… it’s quite a party over here!  Fortunately between the kisses, smiles and cooing, he wins my heart over every time and I can honestly say it has been a pleasure.  And while my incentive to do the aforementioned is because I want to nurture my child; the truth is that we’d have a real problem practically speaking if I weren’t taking those action steps. Now – your sponsors aren’t going to require 2am feedings, but your relationship with them definitely should reflect some intensive investments; otherwise, you’ll have a problem too!  

I strongly encourage you to do a gut check on your relational investment into your sponsors. The beginning of a new year is a great time to reflect on what you did in 2010. Grab a blank sheet of paper, pour yourself a cup of coffee, and start inventorying your efforts in a list format.  Break it down by what you consider to be an average effort, something you promised, it’s nothing unique (though valuable), and then list the ways you were extra creative, and went above and beyond for each of your sponsors.  This is a great way to get past your emotional perspective and understand the practical reality of what you’re doing. Then ask yourself if there’s a particular sponsor who you are investing proportionally more time in than the others.  Obviously for major sponsors you’re doing more (they’ve earned it), but if you look at the above and beyond investments, is there room for growth with a particular sponsor?  You might also ask if there are any outside reasons why investing more might benefit all parties. Perhaps if you help foster a cross-partnership which still benefits your efforts you drive in the stake even stronger, further cementing the loyalty of the partnership and adding value in a creative way.

Once you’ve taken the time to inventory these efforts, you can then start getting creative and brainstorming ways that you go can go above and beyond throughout this year and allocating the talent or resources needed to do this.  Obviously you’ll need to do this exercise periodically as you continue signing on additional sponsors or customizing new or existing partnerships- bottom line is don’t stop considering how you can invest in this relationship.  I like to think of this relationship as you walking backwards on an escalator – if you just stand still and do nothing, you’re actually going to lose ground; it takes hard work, a little blood sweat and tears to actually move the needle on the relationship. The same old thing won’t cut it anymore, so on a scale of 1-10, where are your efforts landing?

Keep in mind that you’re in a partnership –so your sponsor needs to be looking for ways to do the same for you.  You might consider reversing this practice and taking inventory of those partners who are taking the time and making the investment in you as well.  These partners are worth keeping around because they truly understand the concept of a sponsorship partnership – a relationship worth fostering; and they understand that they need to be of value to you.  It’s not just about money…

 

Categories:   General | Sponsorship Valuation | tips
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Spotlight on Sponsorship! The World Natural Bodybuilding, Fitness and Figure Championships and Fitness Expo

by Stephanie Lochmiller
  
11 01 2011

As a way to draw increased awareness and attention to some of the standup sponsorship opportunities on our site, we set apart one blog per month to put the “Spotlight on Sponsorship”! If you have a premium level listing on SponsorPark, and would like to have your event featured, please contact [email protected] to submit your event, as we are currently looking to fill our 2011 Spotlight calendar.  This month our spotlight shines on the the World Natural Bodybuilding, Fitness and Figure Championships and Fitness Expo.

What is The World Natural Bodybuilding, Fitness & Figure Championships and Fitness Expo all about?

The World Natural Bodybuilding, Fitness & Figure Championships and Fitness Expo is the result of an innovative groundbreaking partnership that will make Natural Bodybuilding history. This will be the first ever non-sanctioned drug-tested world-title event that’s open to professionals from any drug-tested bodybuilding & fitness organization around the globe. The event will award the largest purse in the history of the sport, $100,000! Based upon the overwhelming growth of the sport and the need for a signature competition that showcases the best in the world, the event will become THE event that professionals turn to year in and year out for the ultimate honor in Natural Bodybuilding. By providing this international platform for the sport, creators hope to bring more visibility and recognition to these supremely conditioned men and women and their efforts to do it “drug-free.”

With the first organized drug tested sanction developed in 1975, the Sport of Natural Bodybuilding has been growing for over a quarter century. The purpose of the sport is to create a drug-free arena for both male and female athletes to compete in. Currently there are numerous sanctions that promote both amateur and professional shows within the sport, but no one professional show exists that truly defines one world champion across all ranks. The World Natural Bodybuilding, Fitness & Figure Championships & Fitness Expo were created to provide the sport of Natural Bodybuilding, Fitness and Figure with a signature event and expo that showcases the very best in the world.

The World Natural Bodybuilding, Fitness & Figure Championships will be held at The America's Center convention complex, located in the heart of downtown St. Louis. It features 502,000 contiguous square feet of exhibit space in six halls, 80 meeting rooms and the St. Louis Executive Conference Center. The competitions will be held in the state of the art 1411-seat Ferrara Theatre inside the complex. All pre-judging and final competitions will be streamed live via free web-cast.

The Fitness Expo will be held in Hall 5 of the America’s Center. This 80,000 sq foot facility can accommodate up to 400 10x10 exhibit booths. Exhibits range from commercial products and service displays, to interactive marketing and product sampling. On Friday night the expo will feature live MMA Cage Fights for an audience of 1200. Top amateurs will battle out inside the cage for a chance to earn their pro status.  Slated for November 10-12, 2011, this 3-day event mega-event will be the culmination of the entire bodybuilding, Fitness & Figure season which typically ends in late October to early November. One World Champion will be chosen in each category and the sport will have a new platform and inspiration to drive its already incredible athletes.

What makes this opportunity unique?
In order to ensure full support and cooperation inside the sport itself, event planners have personally met with the Presidents of all the major natural bodybuilding federations and garnered their commitment to support the Championship. The end goal is to grow the sport as a whole, and they all understand that our event will only add to the growing popularity of natural bodybuilding.
The three event chairpersons have diverse backgrounds (Media, Bodybuilding, Supplement Company CEO) that will ensure great success and marketing of the event. They understand the different sides of the sport and bring unique ideas to not only ensure success, but to revolutionize the sport.   

Surviving Sponsorship in a heated economy
According to event organizers, the sport saw a slight decline in participation in 2009 due to the economy, but the 2010 competition season rebounded well and many of the shows had more competitors than ever.  Their sponsorship package is unlike any other in the Natural Bodybuilding World due to its international coverage, diversity of events and large marketing budget.
Sponsor Park has been a top-notch experience so far. The personal attention we've received to help market our event to potential sponsors has been fantastic. They understand what sponsors look for in events and how to make sure your event meets the specified criteria.

Preferred Partners
While the obvious partners for an event such as this would be anything related to the health and fitness industry, other great partners would include organic food vendors, to shaving creams.   If a potential sponsor has a campaign focused around health and image, this event would be a fantastic partner and outlet to accent message.   For more information on this opportunity, visit their SponsorPark listing

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