Master of Science in Sport Management Online

The Ins and Outs of a Sponsorship Deal

A sponsorship is a mutually beneficial deal between an athlete and a company or organization. The company benefits from having media exposure and brand awareness, and the athlete benefits from publicity and extra money. However, there’s a lot that goes into a sponsorship deal. Read on to learn more about the types of sponsorships available, the major players involved, and how to get a sponsorship deal.

Types of Sponsorships

Image via Flickr by Doha Stadium Plus

There are many types of sponsorships available for athletes, and each one has unique advantages. A few of the more popular types of sponsorships include a shirt sponsorship, where the athlete wears a jersey with the sponsor’s name or logo, an athlete sponsorship, where companies pay athletes to endorse a product, and an event sponsorship, where the sporting event is named after the company. Athletes can also get sponsorships where a company will pay the entrance fee for an event or give the athlete free clothes or equipment.

Build an Audience

It’s important to keep in mind that just being good at your sport isn’t always enough to earn sponsorships. Instead, you need to show companies you have an audience besides the people you see at events. A company wants to know what you can offer them, and they’re most interested in expanding their appeal so they can increase sales.

Social media is a big way to build up your audience and show sponsors how appealing you are. In fact, one survey showed that 85 percent of sponsors were looking to increase their spending on social media and digital advertising. If you have a blog or a large following on sites like Facebook or Twitter, use this to show sponsors you have an audience interested in hearing their message.

What You and Your Sponsor Can Offer Each Other

While sponsors can obviously offer you money, there are plenty of other ways they can support you. For example, they can offer you free or discounted products such as clothing, energy bars, sports drinks, or equipment. They can offer you services such as a gym membership. They can also give assistance in travel expenses when you compete in events.

On the other hand, keep in mind what you can offer sponsors in this deal. You can provide free tickets to your sporting event, special coaching sessions for staff of your sponsor, and exposure and visibility of your sponsor’s product or service.

Contact the Appropriate People

Whether you hire a professional like a manager with a degree in sport management, or you choose to obtain a sponsorship deal on your own, you have to know the right people to contact. When you’re creating your list of potential sponsors, don’t go straight for the national companies and forget about companies at the local level.

Local companies are sometimes easier to deal with because they’re already familiar with you. For these companies, it’s usually better to contact the owners about a sponsorship. When dealing with larger companies, you’ll likely need to go through a public relations firm or marketing department.

If you’re interested in getting a sponsorship, keep these details in mind as you start your journey toward these important deals.