Feb 05, 2010 at 04:29 PM
written by Gail Bower

Breaking Down A Sponsorship Solicitation

Consistently one of the most-asked questions from consulting and coaching clients is about the nature and content of corporate sponsorship letters and solicitations. The tendency or urge that you may have is to send copious detail to a stranger to substantiate why your sponsorship opportunity is worthy and to be efficient by providing so much detail so as to be thorough.

These seem like great reasons; however, if you consider that the person at the other end of the spectrum may only have a nanosecond to skim your information, maybe your approach needs reconsidering.

Yesterday, I received a sponsorship solicitation that I'm sharing with you (with the sender's permission) to illustrate an alternative.

For the record and as I've told the sender and written about before, generic, unsolicited outreach is not an approach I'd recommend. Also, I'm not a fan of email as a first approach to someone you don't know. Call me old-school, but because of the volume of email people get and at times from dubious sources, email solicitations may be too easily misconstrued as spam.

That said, here's what I liked or would tweak about this note:

Hello, [I'd make it personal so it doesn't sound like a cold call, ur, email.]

The reason why I’m writing is to inquire if you or someone you know might be interested in being a sponsor for this year’s 5th Annual New York’s Funniest Reporter Show (www.nyfunniestreporter.com). [Reason for writing is clear and upfront. Also plants a seed that you may know someone else, a referral.]

Here’s the two-second summary: [Hooray! He's acknowledged my limited time. Then he gives me the facts in a visual way.] Reporters & Producers from the major networks, newspapers, and radio shows do five minutes of stand up comedy in order to raise money for charity. Most reporters bring their colleagues and friends so the room is often packed wall-to-wall with press. It’s a phenomenal networking opportunity to get you, your company, or your clients seen by people who communicate to millions of Americans on a daily basis. [He connects the dots about what this audience will mean for me. I can quickly calculate the benefits.]

Our next show will be on Sunday, October 3rd 2010 at 6:30 pm in New York City. [Long lead time, plus answering basic questions. Paragraph stands out.]

Here’s a list of reporters who’ve done the show: [He said "major" media and he backs it up. Even if I don't know the reporters/anchors, I know the news outlets.]

2009 Winner – Marianne Schaberg (CNN)

2008 Winner - Alison Rosen (Fox News / Page 6 Magazine)

2007 Winner - Sean McCarthy (New York Daily News / Comic's Comic)

2006 Winner - Mandy Stadtmiller (New York Post)

Taryn Winter Brill (Good Morning America)

Ellis Henican (Fox News / Newsday)

Cat Greenleaf (NBC News)

Tiffany Mcelroy (WPIX Channel 11)

Julia Alison (Star Magazine)

Wendy Gillette (CBS News)

Robert George (New York Post)

Nikki Egan (MSNBC)

Heather Kovar (News 12)

Rob Hoell (WPIX Channel 11)

Tasha Harris (Stage Time Magazine)

Carmin Biggs (ABC News)

Lori Harfenist (The Resident)

Mike Trainor (NY1 News)

Meredith Daniels (Newsday)

Roger Clark (NY1 News)

Paul Messina (NY1 News)

Debbie Nigro (First Wives World)

Peter Kramer (Journal News)

Brian McKim (Shecky Magazine)

Please let me know your thoughts and if you have any questions. Thanks.

Ryan McCormick

Executive Producer

Ph: (516) 901-1103

E-mail: [email protected]


If you have some ideas for Ryan, I'm sure he'd love to hear from you. Otherwise, how can you combine brevity, facts, and illustrative detail in just the right way to get your readers' attentions? Quickly!

Gail Bower is President of Bower & Co. Consulting LLC, a firm that assists nonprofit organizations and event/festival producers with dramatically raising their visibility, revenue, and impact. Gail Bower is a professional consultant, writer, and speaker, with nearly 25 years of experience managing some of the country’s most important events, festivals, and sponsorships and implementing marketing programs for clients. Her blog is http://www.SponsorshipStrategist.com and you can see all of Gail's past posts here. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily represent those of the publisher, SponsorPitch, LLC.