Identify intent poster

Enlightened Leadership Blog | Three Key Factors About Sponsorship Opportunities | May 2023

Business owners have access to many different sponsorship opportunities. How do you know when to sign up and when to pass?

Think (without overthinking) about the type of sponsorship and some key factors before you commit to spend. Based on my own experiences, business sponsorships can be grouped into three general buckets with key questions to examine:

  1. Events Your business pays to sponsor an event. In exchange for funds paid to the company holding the event, your business receives public acknowledgement. This could be through a sponsorship table, booth, print/digital/radio/podcast ads, social media posts, live/prerecorded interviews, or opportunity to speak.
  • Key Question – Are you in the right room with your right target audience? Make sure this is a yes.
  1. Product Your business provides product included in gift (“swag”) bags for an event. This could be product your company manufactures or items that you have customized with your company name/logo.
  • Key Questions – Will the recipient of your gift care enough to look up your company? Maybe. Will you receive a list of attendees so you can follow up directly to build relationships? Maybe, ask upfront.
  1. Charity – Your business sponsors a charity. They may include your company’s name in a program, social media post, or on a tee shirt. Charitable events can be grouped under this umbrella too, separate from for profit events. 
  • Key Question – Are you funding this out of the goodness of your heart? Make sure this is a yes.

Then, your decision becomes easier when you review each potential sponsorship while considering three key factors:

  1. Time & Energy – How much of your precious time and energy do you need to devote to be a sponsor? If you can barely handle what you have going on now, say no.
  2. Investment – Is the required dollar investment worth it to you? Sponsorships don’t bring new business revenue instantly. 
  3. Intent – You must identify your intent before you say yes and before you pay any amount of money. What is your end goal? What do you want to get out of the sponsorship? Know what you want and why you think the sponsorship is the way to get it.

Now, let’s explore intent a bit more. Knowing your intention before you say yes can help you avoid disappointment later. You may use sponsorships as a business development or lead generation tactic. Perhaps you want to build brand awareness. You may want to make new connections. You’re confident you can do this by being front and center in a room filled with hundreds of members of your target audience. 

Overall, our business sponsorship decisions are impacted by your own intentions, financial situation, and heartfelt missions. Whether you are sponsoring other businesses to feel good by donating to a charity close to your heart or to generate more revenue for your own business, get clear on your intent.

by Jennifer L. Musser 
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