A sponsor of your club/National Sports Organisation (NSO) is essentially a benefactor.

Sponsorship refers to the financial aid given to businesses, clubs and/or organizations for the purpose of improving and supporting those enterprises. The lifeblood of any sporting club is the ability to raise sponsorship dollars to keep the club/NSO functioning.

The business community actively seeks sponsorship of community and grassroots’ clubs because it makes good business sense to be seen as a contributor to community welfare and a responsible corporate citizen.

What most clubs/NSO’s overlook when seeking sponsors is the need for the business to get value from its sponsorship dollars. Too often clubs ask for sponsorship as a donation. This may work in the short term, but for long term partnerships to succeed there needs to be a win-win outcome, a need for return on investment.

Often clubs/NSOs feel they have nothing to return to the sponsor’s business, that is, they may not feel they can help the business make more sales. Return on investment can also mean increasing the brand profile of your sponsor’s business (Branding). If your club/NSO can prove that it can promote your sponsors brand through signage and online, that may be enough to secure a sponsorship agreement.

When it comes down to it, clubs/NSO’s in the modern day and age should understand the fundamental principle of sponsorship, and that is that sponsorship is a two way street.

Clubs/NSOs have many assets that are commercially viable for sponsorship, unfortunately most don’t realise this. The following is a list of assets that can be sold to sponsors:-

  1. Naming rights for events.
  2. Naming rights for programs.
  3. Naming rights for the Ground.
  4. Naming rights for the Clubhouse.
  5. Naming rights for the scoreboard.
  6. Website banners and advertising space.
  7. Social media advertising space.
  8. Signage around the club.
  9. Newsletter advertising Text/SMS sponsor.
  10. Membership card sponsor Shirt sponsors – sponsors logo appears on shirts.
  11. Team sponsors – sponsors logo appears on team photos and on any media the team generates.
  12. Equipment sponsors – sponsor logo appears on equipment: vehicles, nets, posts, padding.
  13. Club merchandise – sponsors logo appears on team apparel, cups, drink bottles, hats.

Depending on the type of sponsorship, here are some ways to ensure a successful sponsor relationship:

  1. Promote the sponsor at every opportunity.
  2. Acknowledge the sponsor in every media story you release.
  3. Communicate with your members to ensure they look after sponsor’s rights.
  4. Invite the sponsor to events and to give prizes at awards nights Establish more than one key contact in case the main contact moves on.
  5. Keep your sponsor informed about club/NSO activities and news, especially any potential unpleasant publicity.
  6. Before signing a new sponsor, give existing sponsors the opportunity to address any concerns they may have.
  7. If you have sold naming rights, you must acknowledge them in everything you say and do.
  8. You must also ensure that the media are aware and adhere to the naming rights.

9. Organise a review of the sponsorship at the end of the season. This will demonstrate to your sponsors that your club/NSO is serious about providing value for money.

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