What Do Sponsors Look For When Evaluating Sponsorship Proposals

In the corporate world, it is very common for companies to seek for sponsorship for their events and projects. Therefore, one of the most common questions for event organizers and marketers would be how do companies choose and evaluate sponsorship proposals.

For brands that have sponsorships as part of their marketing strategy, considering a sponsorship is rigorous process that often involve series of analysis and thinking.

If you’re in the event organizing and marketing industry, here’s a handy guide on what criteria do sponsors look for when evaluating sponsorship proposals. Having such insights would allow you to better tailor your messaging to capture their interest and eventually rise above all the other proposals.

Submitting the proposal

While proposals are known to be usually long and comprehensive, most sponsors would only look at the first two pages of the proposal to gauge and identify the benefits of the project to justify the amount being charged. To do this, the benefits page should contain the overview as well as the direction of the proposal. The page should be able to grab the interest of the  prospective event partner.

To accomplish this, there are two ways to create proposals –  the old school style and the customized version.

The Old School Style Proposal

It mainly revolves around the four classic offers that most companies would offer to potential sponsors which usually are the following:

1.    Logo exposure in objects and media

2.    A ticketing system

3.    Hospitality to guests, and;

4.    Official Designation for the sponsor

While considered a classic, the main challenge with this kind of proposal, however, is that it lacks innovation and often fail to communicate other added benefits that helps the proposing company stand out from the rest of the competitors who may also offer the exact same benefits,  but at a much cheaper rate.

With such stiff competition in the event world, it is safe to say that this type of proposal will definitely fail the moment a potential sponsor takes a look at the first two pages.

These days, creativity and innovation are crucial in winning against the competition. Sponsor companies are looking for partners who can offer them something new and unique. With the amount of competition that you have also vying for sponsors, it is important to stand out and not just offer exactly the same packages and proposals that your competitors can at often much more competitive rate.

The Customized Style Proposal

This is where the other type of proposal known as the customized style proposal comes in handy as it adds more content and benefits for the sponsors to see and explore. A customized proposal is different than the old school proposal in a sense that the customized one would tailor and fit the needs of the sponsor in the benefits page. With such approach, fresh and new ideas are brought up to keep the interest of the sponsors. Unlike the old school proposal, a customized proposal concentrates more on ideas rather than figures. Such approach allows sponsors to play around with the ideas and establish an opportunity for both both parties to actually collaborate in ensuring the partnership’s success.

Creating a letter of request

While most businesses would prefer to send the proposal to the sponsor right away, another method is to send over a letter of request first. The letter of request will serve as an introduction into the proposal proper. The benefits and the overview will be included in the request letter as well.

Determining the receiver

Whether you submit a letter of request or the proposal itself, the receiver of the documents will be just as important as the documents themselves. Here are some channels in which you can submit your documents to your desired sponsor.

·         Sponsorship Manager

In any case, the first person who usually receives sponsorship proposals would be the sponsorship manager. Do take note though that it is not the sponsorship manager who approves of the proposal. They will simply be screening the proposal to see whether or not the proposal is fit to be brought to the higher level management. The problem with this channel is that it usually takes very long to process. There is even a chance that the manager will ignore your proposal.

·         The Brand Manager

Aside from the sponsorship manager, another option would be the brand manager. The brand manager would usually make decisions on a higher level as compared to the sponsorship manager who would usually make the decisions regarding sponsorship. The key to impressing the brand manager is to highlight the benefits that the sponsor will get should they decide to tie up with the proposing company.

·         The Chief Executive Officer

If the project is big enough, then more often than not, it may be escalated to the CEO. However, a CEO, being busy, will usually pass it down to the managers because they rarely look at proposals unless it is a big scale sized one.

·         Sponsor’s Agency

Another option would be to go through the sponsor’s agency. However, agencies would more often than not also pay attention to the sponsorship proposals. With that said, it might not be a good idea to go through agencies.

·         Sponsorship submission forms

By going through certain channels, the proposing company may have to fill up some sponsorship submission forms. It will showcase how many tickets are to be printed, how many objects the logo will be in, and other details. The forms though, are simply a formality and a means to delay your submission. This would also translate to a rejection.

The best way to submit the proposal

Although all the channels have their own pros and cons, it can be observed that the best way is to make the customized proposal and submit it to the brand manager. The only way to get a positive answer is to provide good ideas and give them to the right person.

Although you may do everything perfectly, there still would be a higher chance of rejection as compared to approval. However, doing so may actually help open doors to future projects and future partnerships.