Best Practices: Adding Sponsorship Value

Properties need to go the extra mile to secure new partners and maintain long-term relationships.

While every property defines “adding value” differently, every definition largely boils down to one common theme: going the extra mile to give sponsors—and potential partners—something extra.

That can include everything from giving sponsors additional inventory at no cost to making sure an activation program resonates with a sponsor’s target audience and taking an active role in the measurement process.

ESP SR asked a handful of veteran sponsorship sellers how they go down the adding value road. Below, the sales vets share tips, tactics and best practices on securing new partners and maintaining long-term relationships using added value as the hook.

Bruce Erley, president, Creative Strategies Group
Include social media-worthy moments and other activation ideas in proposals.

Recognizing that it often takes more than Facebook posts, on-site display and other sponsorship assets to set an opportunity apart, Creative Strategies Group is placing more focus on including activation ideas in sponsorship proposals.

“The more you can come up with ways to combine the character of an event and a connection between the audience and brand, the more likely you are to be selling,” said Erley.

Erley points to Public Service Credit Union’s presenting sponsorship of Denver Comic Con 2017 as an example.

CSG sold the sponsorship based on an on-site activation program that was designed to help the credit union break through the noise at the pop-culture confab. The idea centered on an Instagrammable moment that leveraged the buzz around the release of Spider-Man: Homecoming.

The sponsorship agency brought the idea to life with a branded space that featured a mock-up skyline where attendees could have their photo taken climbing a building. (The building was set on its side à la the Batman TV series). The agency hired a Spiderman character from Marvel to add further excitement to the space.

“It’s not easy to get the attention of Comic Con attendees. There’s a lot of eye candy and noise going on,” said Erley.

Below, three other examples of how CSG has included activation ideas in proposals to sell and renew sponsors on behalf of its clients.

Colorado Lottery and the Cherry Creek Arts Festival

Looking to connect the Colorado Lottery with art, CSG developed an activation program at the Cherry Creek Arts Festival that featured art made from scratch tickets. The artwork featured a mosaic of the Colorado outdoors, the lottery’s beneficiary.

Toyota and the Breckenridge International Snow Sculpture Championship

Going one step further than product display—an activation tactic used by all automobile manufacturers—CSG had artists carve a Toyota Tundra out of snow.

Furniture Row and the Denver Auto Show
Furniture Row will activate its sponsorship of the 2018 Denver Auto Show with an on-site “man cave” outfitted with the retailer’s products. The retailer plans to add excitement to the display with an appearance by the No. 78 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series car and driver Martin Truex, Jr., both of whom it sponsors.