One of the biggest challenges people tell me about in sport is that there isn’t enough money. One way to address this is to work with businesses.
Some people view sponsorship as akin to getting in bed with the Devil. After all – those companies just want to make money. They’re not in it for the love of sport.
My opinion is that results are what matters. I don’t need someone’s intentions to be pure as the driven snow as long as they help get people playing more sport. And most private companies who put money into sport do care – they just have to make money too.
If you want to win corporate funding then I recommend you follow these ten steps. They were developed by Philip Kottler and Nancy Lee. They researched companies which put money into corporate social responsibility to find out what had convinced them.
- Start by developing a list of issues that your organisation or agency works on and that would benefit from additional resources. Be specific.
- Identify a short list of companies that might have a connection with these issues. You want companies where sport relates to their business mission, products and services, customer base, employee passions, communities where they do business, and/ or have given to sport before.
- Approach companies and/or their communications agencies and find out more about their interests and experiences relative to supporting social initiatives.
- Listen to their business needs.
- Share with them the social issues your organisation supports, the initiatives you are considering or engaged in, and your strengths and resources. Find out which, if any, they find most appealing.
- Prepare and submit a proposal to those corporations most interested in your social issues. Present several optional initiatives for potential support, ones that are the best match for their stated business and marketing needs.
- Participate in developing an implementation plan.
- Offer to handle as much of the administrative legwork as possible.
- Assist in measuring and reporting outcomes.
- Provide recognition for the company’s contribution, in ways preferred by the company.
I recognise that it’s not always possible to do all of these, but the more you do the more likely you are to succeed at winning corporate funding and support.
Throughout the rest of this series I will be going into detail on some of these recommendations. I will also explain more about why companies do and don’t invest in sport in particular.
As always – if you have any thoughts on this post then please write them in the comments section.