Sponsorship is a great source of income for your club; in fact, it’s likely to be the main sources of additional income.  It’s very important that you take every opportunity to secure a sponsor to bring revenue and other equally helpful resources into your club.

Whether you’re ramping up your sponsorship efforts or just starting out, securing a viable sponsorship deal is half the battle towards an efficient, financially stable club. We’ve put together a list of eight steps to help you along the way.

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STEP 1: Know which businesses you’re targeting
Finding the right business can be tricky, instead of asking every business in your local community if they’ll sponsor you, narrow down your strategy to target those which share similar interests to your club. There are strict rules on types of businesses sponsoring sports teams, for example the FA recently banned a youth team from playing in their current kit as it was sponsored by a local tattoo shop in Birmingham.

Before you outsource, why not look at existing members of your club?  We bet you’ll be able to find employees of companies, or owners of local businesses, that are already involved in the club.  Result!

STEP 2: Broaden your search
So, you’ve looked at people involved in your club, but what next?  Now would be a great time to broaden your search to the local community.

Why local, we hear you ask?  Well, local businesses are already invested in the area, therefore there’s a high chance of them wanting to support local causes and sports teams. Do some research on (or even better, explore) your local area and look at companies that take your interest.

STEP 3: What do you want?
Before you approach a business asking for a sponsorship, it’s important to determine what you want out of the sponsorship. Do any companies you’re looking at provide sports training equipment?  Or maybe kit?Some businesses may want to reduce the risk involved with spending a lump sum on a sponsorship, therefore you need to look at the other ways they can benefit your club.

STEP 4: What can you offer?
Now that you’ve determined what you want from the company, start thinking about what you can offer back to them.

Businesses need to see the benefits of sponsoring your club, so put together a demonstration of what your club can offer to a potential sponsor. Businesses are interested in potential custom, so think about the number of people involved with your club, and how many people you can showcase the brand to. If they’re going to be sponsoring your kit, how many people attend each match?  If you’re looking for a website sponsor, how many views does your website get?  If you’re intent on a website sponsor, also look at how you can diversify your club’s online presence with the use of social media, as this will make it a more attractive prospect to a potential sponsor.

STEP 5: Approach the business
Now that you’ve determined who you’re targeting, what you want from the sponsorship and what you can offer the business in return, you are ready to approach potential sponsors. Take a deep breath, it’s time to take the plunge!

Keep your initial point of contact concise and professional.  Tell the club who you are, the benefits you can offer them, an overview of the sponsorship (throw in a few details of what you’re looking for) and your contact details.

Also, include some facts about your club to capture the interest of the business; but make sure they are backed up with facts! ‘’Our home games attract x amount of visitors, we often feature in the local newspaper and we receive x amount of website visitors a week’’ is a great way of enticing the sponsor with real time figures around the amount of exposure you can offer them should they sponsor your club.

STEP 6: Make your proposal
Once you’ve determined which businesses are potentially interested in a sponsorship, it’s time to think about the proposal.  This is a follow-up to your initial contact with the business, here is where you can go into much more detail to highlight how the sponsorship would benefit both parties.

Start with giving the potential sponsor a background on your club. At this stage, it would be great to go into detail about your club’s values, communicating the passion you have for your club and what it offers to the local area.

Tell the potential sponsor about the size of your club’s audience, and the potential reach. As we have mentioned, it’s important to mention your club’s online status, particularly if you are trying to secure a website sponsorship.

STEP 7: Things to remember
Make a clear message.  You need to cover the details about your club, a section about your club’s audience, the sponsorship package on offer and your expectations from the potential sponsor.  Don’t go overboard with waffle, instead keep it objective and friendly.

Perhaps the most important point here is to proofread your proposal! You’ve done the difficult stuff, take time to make sure that your document is free of typing and spelling errors. Once you’ve proofread your document, show it to the club, asking for suggestions.  You are representing them after all.

Congratulations, you’re now ready to hand your proposal over.  Good luck!

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