5 Steps To Gain & Keep Club Sponsors with Member Jungle
Running a club can be an amazing experience, full of rewarding moments and memories that can last a lifetime. However, all that isn't free, and sometimes your membership dues aren't going to be enough to do everything you want to do. Now getting sponsors for your club is an amazing way to fix this problem. You get extra money for your club, you get more brand recognition, and you are supporting local businesses.
However, sponsorships aren't going to just fall into your lap. Here at Member Jungle, we have been supporting clubs and associations for a long time, not to mention running our own clubs. So, here is our advice to get and keep sponsors for your club.
Step 1: Research Potential Sponsors For Your Club
First, you can brainstorm with your committee and list your past and current sponsors. If you haven't secured any sponsors yet, don't worry, everyone has to start somewhere.
Next, identify the companies you want to attract and highlight the ones you're interested in talking to. You are probably going to want to look for companies that are in the same or adjacent industries to your club. Consider why these companies are the ones you want to engage with. You want to look for sponsors who would benefit from promoting your club and members.
This could be for a variety of reasons, including:
- They are local, so they would be able to offer your member services or products
- They offer complimentary services that your members are likely to need
- They are just interested in financially supporting clubs in the local community
It's common for people to sponsor a club simply because they are a part of it or have children who are. Therefore, it's essential to spread the word to all club members to see if they know of businesses that may be interested in sponsoring.
It's also a good idea to list your sponsors on your website so people can see who sponsors you. You can also premake some sponsorship packages. Each package should include how much money you require and what that sponsor will get for their money. Try having Bronze, Silver and Gold level premade sponsor packages, each with increasing prices and increasing benefits to the sponsor. Make sure you include information on how they can become a sponsor too.
However, some companies, no matter how unrelated they are to your industry, may still want to promote your club to get their name out there. So, don't overly limit yourself.
You need to customise your approach for each company to increase your chances of these companies agreeing to sponsor your club. Avoid being too general, as each company is unique and will appreciate that you've done your research. Take the time to learn about them and their goals, enabling you to tailor your proposal to their specific needs.
Step 2: Plan Your Proposal To The Potential Club Sponsors
Before asking for sponsorship:
- Consider what resources you need and why you need them.
- When contacting a company, be transparent about your club and plans.
- Be honest about what you need from them and how you can benefit them.
It is a great idea to provide them with a document or printout outlining your club and how potential sponsor funds will be used. Leaving them with some written information on your proposal will be very useful. If you have premade some different sponsorship packages, now is the perfect time to give them this information too. Having different premade options at different prices for them to choose from will help you get a higher acceptance rate from potential sponsors. As you will be able to cater to all budgets.
Take the time to mock up digital examples of how your club will promote their business. Will they be on your website? On the back of club shirts? However you plan to promote them, showing them how this may look, is a great idea.
Here is a very rough example, but you won't need to do much more than this. Just mock up their logo or brand name onto some of your existing merch.
Step 3: Make Sure You Are Offering Your Club Sponsors Value For Their Money
We have already touched on this, but to secure sponsorships, it's crucial to communicate the benefits that companies will receive in return.
The Member Jungle system is a valuable tool for achieving this goal. You can offer sponsors various opportunities, such as creating a business directory to showcase their information on your website and app.
Additionally, you can provide free access to events, offer co-branding of promotional material, encourage your members to shop at their stores with discount codes, and even send a sponsorship thank-you package once a year. Displaying sponsor advertisements on your homepage or creating a separate "Sponsors" page on your website are other effective ways to promote sponsors.
However, the best way to advertise sponsors is through the business directory, which includes their name, written information, and location. With the help of the Member Jungle system, you can easily organise events and send push notifications to members, making sponsorship opportunities more attractive to potential sponsors.
Here is a great example of a business directory from the Rockingham Kwinana Chamber of Commerce.
Still looking for more ways to promote your club’s sponsors? Well here are all the ways you can promote your sponsors through Member Jungle:
- Include them on your website homepage
- In the business directory which appears in the website and the app
- Promote in the News Module
- Promote in the Blog Module
- Send push notifications to members
- Promote in System Emails or SMS messages (often people charge extra for these as add-ons to sponsorship)
- Create and promote them on a sponsors page
- Offer co-branded merchandise
- Offer discounts to members
Step 4: Pitch Your Proposed Partnership To The Business
Once you have identified your potential sponsors, it's time for the proposal.
Organise Your Pitch
Your proposal should include:
- Current statistics
- Your plans
- How the company will benefit from sponsoring you
- How the money will be used
- Your marketing strategy
- Contact information
The Member Jungle system allows you to easily access data on on-site transactions and email campaigns. It's essential to support your proposal with facts. Schedule a meeting with the person you need to speak to and take note of their name and relevant information to avoid forgetting. It's best to ask for sponsorship in person, but phone, email, or Zoom will also do. Though they are not ideal.
Closing the Deal
After they agree, promptly send the contract and follow up with an invoice upon signing. It is crucial to receive all agreed payments before starting any advertising. With the Member Jungle system, you can easily inform all members about your new partnership with your sponsor. If your members can get discounts at your sponsor's stores, make sure they know how to do that.
Writing the Contract
Contracts may appear daunting and formal, but they are vital to protect all parties involved. They clearly outline the agreed-upon terms and prevent any potential misunderstandings.
Remember that sponsorship is a business transaction, and the contract is crucial to this process. Obtaining two fully signed copies is recommended; one for your records and one for the sponsor’s.
Step 5: Maintain The Relationship With Your Club Sponsors
Establishing a long-lasting sponsorship deal with a company requires a solid and positive relationship. Make sure they know how much you appreciate them for supporting your club. These are business deals, but they are also a kind of friendship, and like all friendships, they need to be maintained. Make sure you keep the avenues of communication open and always be on the lookout for new ways both they and your club can benefit from the partnership.
Keep them in the loop about upcoming events, how the funds are being used, and the progress made in enhancing the club. You can add them to your email list to keep them up-to-date with the latest club news. Making them feel valued and appreciated is key to maintaining a healthy and successful partnership.
Where To Start Getting Sponsorships For Your Club?
At the end of the day, clubs are all about human connection and bonding over shared interests, and the skills that allow you to do that will serve you well in securing sponsorship for your club. So go ahead, start planning which business you want to work with and how you are going to attract them.
If you have any questions at all about how to go about getting sponsors or how the Member Jungle system can help you get and keep sponsors. Please reach out to us directly and ask us, we will be more than happy to help. Contact The Member Jungle Team.
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