Head Start

Selling Sponsorships

July 26, 2021 Race Directors HQ Episode 10
Head Start
Selling Sponsorships
Show Notes

Selling sponsorships is arguably the biggest chronic challenge race directors face. Many race directors simply don’t like doing it, others don’t know where to start, and perhaps some have even given up after multiple frustrations and disappointments.

My guest today, Ben Pickel, is the Director of Sales and Strategy at Life Time Events. Ben has been working for years in the front lines of sponsorship sales, and knows a thing or two about the ups and downs of event sponsorship. His advice? Know your event. Understand what a sponsor needs. Accept that not everyone will say ‘yes’. And just go for it with integrity, perseverance and confidence in what you’ve  built and what you have to offer. 

Today’s episode is a long one - the longest we’ve done so far, in fact. But there was just so much ground to cover with Ben, from finding and approaching sponsors, to negotiating and closing sponsorship deals, so I hope you’ll bear with us till the end.

In this episode: 

  • Re-establishing the value of sponsorship when talking with sponsors post-COVID
  • What sponsors are trying to achieve through sponsorship
  • The difference between engagement-focused sponsors and sales-focused sponsors
  • How to manage sales-focused sponsors
  • The importance of having sponsors that align with your event's brand and identity
  • What event assets sponsors are interested in
  • How to approach your first sponsor meeting
  • How to figure out which person to contact in the sponsor organization
  • The importance of reaching out to sponsors in the first few weeks after the end of your event
  • How to present demographics for your audience in sponsorship proposals
  • The pros and cons of using sponsorship packages (e.g. Gold, Silver, Bronze)
  • Setting a price for sponsorship: how you would know whether you're over- or under-pricing sponsorship
  • Why most race directors tend to under-price sponsorship
  • The pitfalls of offering sponsorship discounts
  • Why you should focus on activating lower-paying sponsorships 
  • One-year vs multi-year sponsorships 
  • Title sponsorships: are the right for your event?
  • The value of in-kind sponsorships
  • How to deal with rejections from sponsors and how to make the most of a negative outcome

Thanks to GiveSignup|RunSignup for supporting quality content for race directors by sponsoring this episode. More than 22,000 in-person, virtual, and hybrid events use GiveSignup|RunSignup's free and integrated solution to save time, grow their events, and raise more. If you'd like to learn more about GiveSignup|RunSignup's all-in-one technology solution for endurance and fundraising events visit runsignup.com.

You can find more free resources on planning, promoting and organizing  races on our website RaceDirectorsHQ.com.

You can also share your questions about sponsorships or anything else in our race directors Facebook group, Race Directors Hub.