Aug 01, 2018 at 12:00 AM
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When to Price Your Partnership Opportunity

As with most things in life, timing is everything. Pitch your sponsorship opportunity too soon and it may be "too far out," pitch too late and there's "no budget." Similarly, when to have the price discussion with a potential sponsor can be a delicate matter of timing.

You'll recall that a few weeks ago we covered some of the common ways to price your sponsorship opportunity, but often times the question we get is not how to price a proposal, but when is the right time to attach a price to an opportunity. Some sponsorship sellers prefer to put pricing in the initial sponsorship outreach, while others will hold out until the sponsor is intrigued enough to ask for it. There's not necessarily a wrong or right answer, but it appears that slightly more than half of sellers choose not to put sponsorship pricing in the initial outreach or sales deck.

With that said, let's take a quick look at some of the positives and negatives of including price in your sponsorship outreach.


Including pricing can serve to qualify a potential sponsor quicker as you'll uncover whether there is budget for your opportunity faster if you're more transparent with the price of the opportunity at hand. There's nothing worse than going back and forth with a potential sponsor only to learn a few weeks later that budget is an issue. Further, if you include a price with enough margin you'll be anchoring the pricing discussion in your favor even if you fully expect to give some concessions along the way. Finally, if you're hoping to receive value-in-kind (VIK) rather than cash, putting an early and favorable cash value on your opportunity likely won't be challenged, but can ensure you get more of the product that you need in exchange for the sponsorship.


The alternate point of view says that pricing too early, before the nuance of the opportunity can be fully appreciated, may scare off a potential sponsor. In addition, if you put out the first price there's only one way you'll go from there and it's not up. Of course, if you price your opportunity right this won't be as much of a concern. Another concern we hear from time to time, is that pricing may vary from sponsor to sponsor and with decks often being forwarded on to others within the organization or to an external agency, sellers may not want that information being widely distributed.

Something in Between:

What we see more and more is something in between, where there's a range based on the negotiated deliverables, but not necessarily a hard dollar figure in the initial outreach. This option seems to offer a nice compromise, which lets you and the prospect determine whether the deal is even a possibility from a financial perspective, while still offering the price flexibility to customize a deal.

The next time you're putting together your sales deck, take some time to think through which approach is right for you and your opportunity. With roughly 50% of sponsor seekers including pricing and 50% not, there's no right or wrong answer. Just the answer that's right for you.