Oct 22, 2009 at 01:43 PM
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100 Reasons You’re Still Searching For Sponsorship

Things have to get better than this year right? The best part about 2009 is that it has re-focused both buyers and sellers on what really matters in sponsorship. Marketers are creating leaner, more effective sponsorship portfolios and properties (”sellers”) have been forced by the competitive environment to take an honest look at their sales practices and offerings. In the end, I’m convinced we’ll all come out better for it. Properties will sell better, sponsors will have more positive outcomes, and sponsorship as a practice will have more successful case studies. Until then…

100 Reasons You’re Still Searching For Sponsors

100. You sold exposure, your prospect wanted relevance

99. Your property wasn’t “green” enough

98. Your team fixed a race

97. You didn’t prospect for multi-nationals

96. Your title left and so went their business partners

95. The sponsor decided to create their own property

94. It competed with yours and took your sponsors

93. You bought a certified measurement

92. The sponsor did their own certified measurement

91. New legislation ate it

90. You focused on your assets

89. You didn’t focus on their needs

88. You spent too much time watching webinars

87. You didn’t spend enough time listening to sponsors

86. You called it alliance

85. You called it sponsorship

84. You called it partnership

83. Your prospect was thoroughly confused

82. You didn’t “sell up” through regional and local constituents

81. The proposal management system ate it

80. Your property isn’t big enough

79. Not enough media

78. Your consultant over-promised

77. The prospect’s agency ate your proposal

76. You didn’t look outside of sponsorship periodicals for business and marketing trends

75. You didn’t explore new categories

74. Your boss’ pricing expectations were unrealistic

73. You thought SpongeTech would sponsor forever

72. You sold name awareness, not brand

71. You sent a wrap-up report that looked like a sales brochure

70. Your prospect was too lazy to forecast ROI

69. Your sponsorship opp didn’t have cross-divisional appeal

68. You listened to “experts,” instead of your sponsor

67. Financials were hibernating

66. You sent your prospect to a paypal button

65. Your prospect is going more direct to customer this year

64. You didn’t have a witty reply to “its the economy”

63. Your prospect’s budget was too low

62. Your asking price was too high

61. Your sponsor got ambushed last year

60. Your prospect found a way to ambush this year

59. Your book of sources was outdated when it was printed

58. You didn’t follow-up with conference contacts

57. That contact from the conference referred you to…

56. The auto industry

55. They’re spending on the ——- festival instead this year

54. You didn’t know your audience demographics

53. Your team’s not winning

52. The jersey patch didn’t peak interest

51. Your athletes have competing sponsors

50. Your teams have a competing sponsor

49. You have a competing sponsor

48. You didn’t share contacts/leads with peer properties

47. You don’t know how much traffic your website gets

46. You didn’t start selling early enough

45. You inflated attendance numbers

44. You started with “banner inclusion”

43. Your prospects CEO doesn’t play [insert sport]

42. No sponsor summit

41. Your sponsors didn’t give you case studies 40. You didn’t sell your sponsor success stories

39. You looked at your sponsors as competing for attention at your event

38. Your competitor sold cross-partnership opportunities among his/her sponsors

37. You sold a multi-year package

36. Your prospect wanted to “test the waters”

35. Your existing sponsors didn’t activate making you look bad

34. Your sponsor changed marketing strategy

33. You didn’t offer the opportunity to shift assets with it

32. You didn’t look for ways to cross-partner with similar properties

31. You didn’t have a cause/charity tie-in

30. You thought social media meant myspace

29. Your sponsor went bankrupt

28. Your sponsor had layoffs

27. New legislation changed your sponsor’s objectives

26. You sold sponsorship manager, but..

25. Sponsorship manager left the company

24. Your sales agent ate it

23. You didn’t sell multiple constituents within your target co.

22. You didn’t focus on how the sponsor can prove ROI

21. Naming rights are so 2000

20. People don’t want to party (hospitality)

19. You had a PR nightmare

18. You didn’t use your network to find new company contacts

17. You kept calling… and calling

16. Your website is outdated

15. You couldn’t find the decision-maker

14. You went through the sponsor’s agency

13. You didn’t use all of the online tools at your disposal

12. You didn’t use that same agency to build support

11. You didn’t get creative with benefits

10. You waited expectantly from a single company in the category

09. You didn’t pitch to other companies in the category

08. You focused too much on signage and seats

07. You didn’t spend enough time selling spirit and “soft benefits” of your event

06. You already sold a category that was too broad

05. You pitched hospitality to scared banks and autos

04. You didn’t research your prospect’s biz

03. You weren’t flexible with fee structure

02. Your prospect didn’t want to be your 77th sponsor

… and when all else fails…

1. The Economy

Don’t let that get you down though. Afterall just think of the alternatives to sponsorship. You’re certainly not alone if you haven’t met your sponsorship goals this year. Some things you can control, some things you can’t. The point of this exercise wasn’t meant to be a downer, but rather show you that there are a million ways to sour a sponsorship deal, and only one sure way to win one…

The 1 reason you got a sponsorship:

You were agile, adapted to a volatile environment and sold to specific sponsor needs

Anything else to add to the list? Feel free to add it in comments below.

photo credit via flickr: gerlos