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Getting Your Team Sponsored

November 5, 2011 General 1 Comment

Getting your team sponsored
By Paul Chapey
Nov 6, 2001, 07:30

 

“Dude, I’ve got this roller hockey team, and we’re really good, man. There’s this one guy, he’s awesome. You wouldn’t want to sponsor us, would you?” asked the team captain.

“No I wouldn’t,” the Dude says.

The only thing right about this approach is that the captain asked the question. Obviously, he could have had a better script, but at least he asked someone. And maybe if he asks 50 more potential sponsors, he might make a sale.

Note the word sale. That’s what sponsor quest is all about, It’s salesmanship and marketing… real-world type stuff.

It’s tough to get sponsored. Here are some tips on how to do it.

 

Select your prospects

If you’re playing in a local house league, forget the major equipment manufacturers. They’ll only consider nationally recognized teams. Go after local merchants.

 

Be realistic

The auto repair shop isn’t going to come up with the bucks to finance a domed practice facility. But you might get jerseys if you print the name of the business on the front.

 

Think business

Don’t waste time thinking how great all the guys are going to look in those now uniforms. Instead, compile a list of benefits to a sponsor. Remember, the odds of finding a sponsor ready to hand over the cash because he likes you, are almost non existent. Sponsors want to know what’s in it for them. If you can convince a prospect that it’ll help his or her business, he’ll consider your offer much more seriously.

 

Play the numbers game

If you don’t shoot on net, you won’t score. Ask lots of prospects. Don’t take rejection personally. Remember, the next prospect you ask may be the one who says “YEAH, I’M ALL OVER IT.”

 

Marketing material

You should have something to leave a prospect who shows an interest. Maybe he or she has to ask a partner or he says he’ll think about it. But leave something. I suggest a letter-size manila folder with a team photo. The photo is important because the prospect now sees people. He’ll understand that he just won’t be helping you, but also all the other guys too. Also include some information on the team and each player.

 

Return later on

If a prospect seems interested but gives you “no” as the final word, go back later after a few months and ask again. Maybe that no simply meant, “NO, not now.” In other words, money might be tight, but business can change. So keep track of the near misses and try again.

 

Enter tournaments

If you’re an accomplished league team and you’re winning, consider entering a big-time tournament like the Koho California Cup. If you do well at that level, then you’re closer to being able to seriously approach hockey businesses. In fact, I know one Southern California wheel and stick rep who won’t even consider talking about sponsorship unless a team has played in the Cup.

If you start to get burned out after too many rejections, take a break and pass the responsibility to a teammate. Just keep going after it- It’s like hockey, you’ve got to stay in motion and want it.

Paul Chapey is on the Board of Directors of the International In-line Skating Association (IISA) and head coach of the San Diego Hosers, the current National Roller Hockey Champions.

This first appeared in the 05/1994 issue of Hockey Player Magazine®
© Copyright 1991-2001 Hockey Player® and Hockey Player Magazine®

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. Judy Parker says:

    as a small business owner who has been approached by many teams for sponsorships, I have learned this. Many teams make unrealastic expectations in what to expect “if you sponsor” our team. They state how many peole will see “your company” on he back of a jersey, or on their small little website etc.. They try to hard to sell. keep it simple. And be honest.
    1.Let them know why the funds are needed.
    2. Show the differant sponsorship packages available to them.
    3. Always give them an option to donate any amount.

    Tip. Through out the off season, Build relationships with people that would be in a position to help you. When you meet someone, make sure you gr their mailing info. Send them a “nice to meet you card”. “A holiday card” etc.. When the time comes to need sponsorships, it makes it miuch easier to approach them.
    Do not forget them after the season is over! Send them a thank you card, a holiday card, a birthday card! It makes it much easier to approach them the following year. Theres also a good chance they will give you more money.
    68% of consumers dont return to a place of business because customers feel like the business doesnt care about them. It is no differant for businesses to feel unapreciated by those who they have sponsored. Be Grateful and show them how grateful you are.

    Judy Parker
    http://Www.sendgreetingcards.ca

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