We talk to We Get Sponsors’ Danny Wheeler about, well, how to get sponsors!.

Infographic on brandingThe market for live event sponsorship – how’s it looking out there?
This year is looking to be the resurgence of live events. This is the first summer where organisers are planning confidently and the feeling is that it’s game back on. It’s been tough for both events and sponsors since the hospitality industry felt the effects of lockdowns. There is lost revenue to recuperate and stored up energy for incredible events to unfold. Brands are eager to get themselves in front of the right demographics in the right way.

Explain about the importance of working with brands that share your values
Alignment is the single most important factor in long term partnerships with any brand. You should share the aim of providing the best value to your audience with marketing campaigns that make sense based on both of your resources. On-site brand activations can improve your audience’s experience at the event, which is a plus for brands as they create a genuine connection with people taking things a step further than just visibility. Successful partnerships should be a win-win-win for the audience, the event and the brand.

How do you pitch to a sponsor? What do you need in your arsenal?
You have to build the case for why your brands can be presented together. What are the synergies? How can you collaborate? Once you establish those facts, they form the base for your pitch. You need to back this up with detailed audience profiles, historical data and the ability to collaborate in a creative way.

What if you’re a start-up event?
Target localised brands at a small to medium size that can find synergies with your offering and audience. Do your due diligence on your local area, organise meetings, connect with your community and make some noise.

Typically, brands like to work with events that have some skin in the game. They like to see data and have confidence in the event. On the other hand, brands like to find new innovative events to partner up with. Understand what sets you apart and why it would be great for a brand to work with you. Once this is established, there needs to be a lot of outreach and pre-planning!

Advertising at an eventWhat does sponsorship look like? Is it all about money?
Being true to your values is powerful for meaningful sponsorships. The fit has to be real and genuine. The money is an important factor and this is where the demographic data and performance of campaigns makes the difference. However some sponsorships can be all about brand sentiment, rather than short term sales success. It’s about finding the right balance and understanding what means most to the brands you work with. A brand will want to ensure that the event aligns with their broader marketing initiatives.

How should you see sponsorship in terms of your overall business plan?
Utilise it as added value; it’s not wise to simply rely only on sponsorship. You can make good revenue of course but from our experience sponsors want to see good traction before they invest heavily themselves.

How do you ensure a lasting partnership?
It’s about synergy and results. Go above and beyond where you can. Added value is super important and sometimes costs nothing for the organiser.

What can go wrong and how can you mitigate against potential problems?
When partnering with another brand in a campaign, make sure to research their reputations to educate yourself on their views and morals and ensure a good pairing. Having two mismatched companies involved with opposing company mission statements can have a negative impact.

When evaluating any potential brand relationships, it is vital to understand and analyse audience overlap. In order to protect and represent the brand in the right way ensure that the brand message connects with your audience profile. Each partnership should go through a bespoke process to understand the brand’s marketing strategies. This is how we deal with our global network of sponsors, venues and events here at We Get Sponsors. We connect our network based on synergy.

Give us some success stories
We Get Sponsors received a marketing brief from BoohooMan which we aligned to Hideout Festival, where all parties agreed there was synergy. Hideout were able to provide us with accurate demographics and historical data which matched what BoohooMan were looking for. The key here is to understand a brand’s strategy and demonstrate with tangible data why the event is a perfect fit.

We also connected Under Armour to Football For Change (FFC) in October 2021, succeeding because Trent Alexander-Arnold is leading the FFC campaign. FFC’s footballing stars are already ambassadors for Under Armour which meant the alignment was perfect to support the event. This was a large-scale event that made sense in terms of partnerships and a great way to onboard new footballers as ambassadors for Under Armour, whilst supporting a meaningful cause.

Advertising at an event

About the Author

Danny Wheeler is head of business development at We Get Sponsors. “We work closely with a global network of events, venues, music artists, and sports professionals. Helping to secure long lasting relationships with sponsors. We integrate with your event to understand your business and needs; this enables us to be an extension of your team. If we don’t already have the right sponsors in our network, we will actively outreach to find them. If you are looking for sponsorship of your event then let’s have a conversation.” www.wegetsponsors.com

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