Chances are, as a small business owner, you’ve been approached by people, charities, institutions or groups about sponsoring something. Maybe it’s a youth sports team, a concert in the park, or an online event.
The groups assume that small businesses have a built-in audience and the financial means to help underwrite an event.
Even though they love you, do you want them?
You should consider saying yes for six very good reasons, including good karma in your community and an increase in your visibility. Most importantly, sponsorships can generate leads, partnerships and sales.
1. Sponsorship creates goodwill
Good will is important – vital, even – but a bit amorphous. Basically, it’s the reputation your business has in the community in general and among customers specifically.
People like and appreciate a business that can sponsor an event. Sponsorship will co-brand your business with that event and, in most cases, improve your business’s reputation.
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2. Sponsorship can lead directly to sales
Consumers are more likely to buy a product after being exposed to a business through a brand marketing event.
Here’s some anecdotal evidence: I went to an event. One of the sponsors had a huge food truck there. We are still eating at the sponsor’s restaurant 20 years later.
Continuing with the restaurant example, let’s say you own a restaurant and have an opportunity to sponsor a youth or adult sports team. When players are hungry and looking for a place to eat after practice or a game, they’re more likely to come to yours if you have a relationship with them.
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3. Increased visibility is always good
. Especially in these days of theater with short attention spans, BEING SOMEONE is more important – albeit tougher – than ever. Sponsoring an event helps you get noticed.
Most people have never heard of your business. But they will if you sponsor an event, and even better: If their first exposure to your business is because you’re a sponsor, that first impression will be a lasting and positive one.
4. It can help you reach your target market
When thinking about sponsoring something, consider whether the team or event resonates with your target demographic.
If so, your sponsorship puts your business directly in the line of sight of your target market. How awesome is that?
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5. It can generate great leads
Ideally, sponsorship should consist of more than plastering your name on a program or website. A good sponsorship package should include some sort of lead generation mechanism. This could be an email opt-in form or a special networking event.
Whatever the case, sponsorship can and should lead to warm leads.
6. Partnership opportunities
By being out there in your community – whether online or offline – you expose your business to more potential customers – and put yourself in front of other businesses and professionals. Who knows what opportunities may come from this? Maybe some very good ones.
The bottom line is that sponsoring an event does not cost, it is paid.
For more marketing tips, check out my new site, PlanetSmall Business!