Our Suppliers Paid Us To Choose Them (Here’s How We Did It)

Here’s How We Got Suppliers To Pay Us To Use Them – Sponsorship Lessons

Yes, you read that correctly. I’m going to show you how we get brands to pay us for GIVING AWAY their products.

When many of us begin our sponsorship journeys, searching for those lucrative deals, we often jump straight to global mega brands like Nike, Coca-Cola and McDonalds.

The challenge with this approach is 99% of people think the same way and attempt to approach the same handful of mega brands. Don’t worry, these brands have spent millions of dollars to be top of mind for much of the world’s population, it’s why they jump straight to the forefront of our thinking when seeking sponsorship (I mean, they’ve got enough money right?).

What this means though is many of us simply miss the opportunities sitting right in front of us. Those companies we already have a relationship with and already have a degree of trust or understanding with.

They are your Suppliers, Fans, Donors, Participants and Members (Or as I like to call them, your low-hanging sponsorship fruit).

In this post I’m going to share with you how we got our suppliers to pay us to choose them, and how you can too.

1. Understanding your costs

It’s important to understand what makes up your operating costs for your organization. I used to work for a half-marathon and 10km fun run and walk. We used to attract 15,000 participants a year and spend roughly $100,000 on hire equipment like fencing, marquees, stages, tables, chairs and generators for the event.

For all organizations, events, clubs or charities, you will have operating costs in order to deliver your service.

Find out what your biggest costs are and what would make the biggest impact if you didn’t have to pay that much.

2. There needs to be competition

This strategy has the best chance of succeeding if there is competition between businesses who provide those goods and services which impact heavily on your operating costs. Even if there’s not, trying this method may still get your suppliers to pay you, or heavily discount their services.

In my case, I figured $100,000 worth of business to one hire equipment company for a couple days work was a decent amount of coin.

And since there was more than one hire company in town I figured that $100,000 worth of business might be attractive to one of them. We also had a few other minor events throughout the year which we’d need additional hire services.

Having more than one competitor in the hire equipment space means I have the ability to shop around.

3. Ask for sponsorship in return for securing your business

Once you know there is competition for the products and services you purchase in order to run your organization then you can now ask around all of those suppliers to see if they’d be willing to sponsor you in order to obtain your business.

For me, I went to our current hire equipment provider and asked if they’d be interested in sponsoring one of our other events we ran (an awards evening which we struggled finding sponsorship for). I sweetened the deal with all of the additional sponsorship benefits they’d receive by coming onboard as a sponsor, and they could continue being our supplier of choice for our half marathon and 10km fun run.

They weren’t interested.

No worries, I quietly went about talking to their competitors and what do you know, the very first one I approached jumped at the chance to come on board as a sponsor and also secure the $100,000 worth of business.

Each business is different and you’re simply asking if they’re interested in such a deal. Some may be keen, and some may not.  

4. The Win-Win-Win results

Whenever you’re looking to get other brands or businesses involved by way of sponsorship, you have to remember who you’re doing it for. 

It’s always about your fans, participants, donors, members and guests. It’s about providing a better product or service to them.

The good news is, this deal did exactly that.

The new hire equipment company were happy to front up a decent sponsorship by way of cash for our awards dinner which we held later in the year, in exchange for securing the $100,000 worth of business associated with our half marathon and 10km fun run.

Not only that, they were a superior supplier, they provided a better service and their range of products was larger.

They could see the potential in us promoting their services to all of our participants and also gave us a 20% discount on all hire equipment throughout the entire year for any additional events we ran.

In the end the results looked like this:

  1. We received a cash sponsorship for an event we normally struggled to get sponsorship for
  2. Our customers, and us got a superior service
  3. The hire company got a decent sized contract as well as all of our additional event business, and much of our participant’s business

Talk about win-win-win huh?

Many of us forget to ask those we already have relationships with for sponsorship, including our fans and supporters. That’s the low hanging fruit and should be the first place to look.

5. Get access to more sponsorship insights, strategies and sponsorship knowledge just like this

For more insights, strategies and sponsorship knowledge then check out KICK *SS – Your guide to getting sponsorship deals the easy way 

You’ll find our best insights, video training, worksheets, templates and strategies just like this one. Grab it today because we all want better sponsors.

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Dear Sponsorship Seeker

Working in a passion niche like Sports, Events, Charities, Content Creation or Gaming is a tremendously rewarding and often fun environment to work in.

Do you know what isn’t so fun about working in this niche though?

The constant struggle and requirement of securing new revenue to keep the doors open.

Every day, constantly balancing up between staff costs, operating costs, growing the organisation, investing in future developments and generating revenue.

Pursuing sponsorship from brands to help ease this pressure would surely mean everything would become so much easier, right?

But, how does someone actually get Sponsorship.? It sounds easy enough. Get some brand to pay big money in exchange for putting their logo on some marketing material. Boom, done!

Here’s how it normally goes.

It starts with developing sponsorship proposals with professional designs, great pictures and all the benefits that came to mind.

The proposals come with well thought out sponsorship levels like Gold, Silver and Bronze packages with varying amounts of free tickets, logo placements, the ability to activate and brand awareness opportunities.

It gets sent out to all the usual suspects, Nike, Coca-Cola, Banks, Insurance Companies, Car Companies, Travel Companies and so on.

But, for the most part, it falls flat on it’s face and hardly anyone even replies. Or it’s some generic email response which is generally a polite form of a big fat NO.

When a brand finally does come on board it’s so tough to keep them, let alone knowing how much money to ask for without scaring them away.

Half of them have regular staff turnover which means the relationship manager changes often, and of course their replacement wants to change or challenge everything that was already agreed upon.

Most of the time it seems next to impossible to actually get the brand to spend money on leveraging their sponsorship, while at the same time they’re wondering why they’re not getting sales from the sponsorship.

It was all supposed to an easy fix to the financial struggle of working in a passion niche. Now it seems more like a full-time job.

That doesn’t sound so fun anymore.

If only there was a way to approach brands and not only do they return emails about sponsorship proposals, but they get excited to chat about it and interested in hearing more. How much of a difference would that make?

Imagine having enough confidence and not worrying about how much money to ask for?

Finding a way to get brands to open up their wallets and spend extra money on leveraging their sponsorship over and above the money they originally paid.

Being equipped with amazing tools, measurement techniques and award-winning strategies that put you at the top of your sponsorship game?

If you’re tired of going it alone and want this kind of support, then it’s time to hit us up.

Because things won’t change unless you take action.

or send us an email  hello@sponsorshippantry.com

Dear Sponsors

It all started with the purchase of that seemingly ‘great’ sponsorship.

It was supposed to get lots of media attention and create all sorts of great opportunities for the company.

Now senior management are asking the team to show a return on investment and demonstrate the impact this sponsorship has had on the business.

There are rumours of budget cuts coming, that’s probably why the pressure is growing from the top.

No doubt the sponsorship budget will be one of the first budgets on the chopping block. The sales team is already piping up with the usual comments ‘we make money and all you do is spend it’.

It’s hard not to feel overwhelmed and lost. There must be a way to measure results and be great with sponsorship, other companies seem to spend millions on it, so surely, they must know how to do it, right?

Getting some extra budget for leveraging is what’s really needed, not a budget cut!  

What if there was a way to not only protect the sponsorship budget, but to actually grow it so the company can do some cool leveraging while getting great returns?

What if there was a way to successfully measure results and return on investment? A way to hand on heart say ‘heck yeah, this is totally worth it!’?

A way to impress senior management, achieve organisational objectives and also make your customers absolutely pumped.

The fantastic news is this is exactly what Sponsorship Pantry can help you with. We’ve stood in your shoes and we know exactly how to get your approach to sponsorship cranking along.

Any sponsor can have a powerful, efficient and accountable sponsorship portfolio.

It’s time to hit us up, because doing the same old thing will continue getting you the same old results.

or send us an email  hello@sponsorshippantry.com