Chances are that as a small-business owner, you have been approached by people, charities, institutions or groups to sponsor something. Maybe it’s a youth sports team, a concert in the park or an online event.
Groups presume small businesses have a built-in audience and the financial wherewithal to help underwrite an event.
Although they want you, do you want them?
You should consider saying yes for six very good reasons, including good karma in your community and a boost of your visibility. More importantly, sponsorships can generate leads, partnerships and sales.
1. Sponsorship creates goodwill
Goodwill is important – vital, even – but a little amorphous. Essentially, it is the reputation your business has in the community in general and among customers specifically.
People like and appreciate a business that can sponsor an event. Sponsorship will co-brand your business with that event and, in most cases, improve your business’s reputation.
Mexican Pizza fans, rejoice: Taco Bell will bring back the menu item in September
2. Sponsorship can lead directly to sales
Consumers are more likely to purchase a product after they have been exposed to a business through a branded marketing event.
Here’s some anecdotal evidence: I went to an event. One of the sponsors had a great food truck there. We are still eating at the sponsor’s restaurant 20 years later.
Continuing with the restaurant example, let’s say you own an eatery and have an opportunity to sponsor a youth or adult sports team. When the players are hungry and looking for a place to chow down after practice or a competition, they’re more likely to come to yours if you have a relationship with them.
Hot dog-flavored candy corn? Brach’s releases flavors such as burger, popcorn
3. Increased visibility is always good
. Especially in these days of short attention span theater, STANDING OUT is more important – albeit tougher – than ever. Sponsoring an event helps you get noticed.
Most people have never heard of your business. But they will if you sponsor an event, and even better: If their first exposure to your business is because you are a sponsor, that first impression will be a lasting, positive one.
4. It can help you hit your target market
When you think about sponsoring something, consider whether the team or event caters to your intended demographic.
If it does, your sponsorship puts your business directly in the sightline of your target market. How great is that?
Subscribe to our newsletter: The Daily Money delivers our top personal finance stories to your inbox
5. It can generate great leads
Ideally, sponsorship should consist of more than plastering your name on a program or website. A good sponsorship package should include some sort of lead generation mechanism. This could be an email opt-in form or a special networking event.
Whatever the case, sponsorship can and should lead to warm leads.
6. Partnership opportunities
By being out there in your community – be it online or offline – you expose your business to more potential customers – and put yourself in front of other businesses and professionals. Who knows what opportunities may come from that? Probably some very good ones.
The bottom line is that sponsoring an event doesn’t cost, it pays.
For even more marketing tips, check out my new site, PlanetSmall Business!