1. MAKE THE SPONSORSHIP ABOUT MARKETING
When pitching your organization to a local businesses, start by talking about how this is a marketing opportunity, not just a charitable endeavor. Start by explaining that youth sports is an effective local marketing channel and the community impact is simply a welcome bonus.
2. CLEARLY DEFINE WHAT YOU’RE OFFERING
Before you start pitching different businesses, make sure you create a list of all the different sponsorship assets you’re offering. Here are some popular assets that youth sports leagues typically use:
- Banners at fields
- Logos on jerseys
- Web Banners on your website
- On-Site Booths – A business can show up at the field, set up a booth, and pass out any promotional material they would like.
- Sponsored Email Blasts to Parents – An email from the local business that is sent directly to parents associated with the league. These are typically sent to get the word out about a promotion the sponsoring business is running.
- Sponsored social media posts – The same as above, but through Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
All of these assets can be effective. The important part is that you make it very clear to the business owner what you’re offering. Also, make sure you can execute on everything promised.
3. QUANTIFY IT
Being able to pitch a compelling story as to why a sponsorship would be great marketing is the easy part. Quantifying it is where it get a little tricky.
Two great metrics to use for quantifying a sponsorship is reach and impressions. Reach is the total number of people that interact with a sponsorship. An impression is every interaction someone has with a sponsorship. For those math fans out there, here is the equation:
Reach x Number of times someone sees a sponsorship = Impressions
While your numbers for reach and impressions don’t have to be exact (at LeagueSide we use a very rigorous evaluation process for our sponsorships), here are some easy ways to calculate reach and impressions:
- Reach: Determine the total number of people involved with your league or team including kids, parents, and fans.
- Impressions: Determine how often these people will interact with each sponsorship. For example, if your reach is 100 people and 5 games are scheduled for the spring season, you could expect about 2,500 impressions for a banner at your field if people look at the banner 5 times during a game (100 people x 5 games x 5 view per game). Add another 5,000 impressions for logos on jerseys (100 people x 5 games x 10 views per game), and another 500 for a website banner (100 people x 5 games x 1 view per week). Add these up and your total number of impressions would be 8,000.
4. PROVIDE SIMPLE AND CLEAR PRICING
Struggling on how to price everything? Simple and clear pricing is the best approach.
You should create a pricing package that make it easy for a local business to say yes (as seen in our sponsorship template) and provide options for one season or a year. Keep in mind the costs associated with each sponsorship, like printing a banner, and include this in your price.
5. KEEP IT PERSONAL
We’ve spoken a lot about how this is a great marketing opportunity for these businesses, but sponsorships are also about being a part of the community and giving back.
If you’re trying to raise sponsorship dollars from local businesses, make sure you’re building a personal relationship with them. Take the time to customize each sponsorship letter and be authentic when you’re pitching them. If you work hard to provide each business with a great sponsorship experience, they will continue supporting you in the years to come.
Now get out there and get some sponsorship money for your organization!
Need some more help or interested in getting regional and national sponsors for your organization? Join the LeagueSide Network by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.