How to Use Sponsorship to Promote Your Small Business
Sponsorships are everywhere, and they come in all shapes and sizes. They range from global brands paying hundreds of millions of dollars to professional soccer clubs, to local bars contributing to the cost of an amateur team’s new shirts.
Most sponsorship deals, big or small, have two things in common. They get the sponsor’s name in front of a targeted audience and they associate the brand with the group it is sponsoring.
This article will explain how to use sponsorship to promote your small business.
Benefits of Sponsorships for Small Businesses
Sponsorships can be valuable because they increase brand visibility while affecting how your company is perceived. Benefits of sponsorships for small businesses include:
Get Your Brand in Front of a Highly Targeted Audience
Sponsorships can get your brand in front of a very specific audience. Want to increase your exposure among families in the local area? Then donate prizes to a school raffle. Likewise, sponsoring a tent at a motor show will put you in front of the city’s car lovers.
Change Your Brand’s Image
It’s important to think carefully about what you sponsor as it can change how people perceive your brand. Giving money to a park cleanup could lead people to think you care about the environment. Associating your name with a local skate competition could make your brand appear edgy and exciting.
Get Press Coverage
If you sponsor an event that is newsworthy, your brand may be mentioned in news reports. This could increase awareness of your business beyond attendees. Be careful, though. Your name will appear in any negative press, too. It might be worth thinking twice about sponsoring potentially controversial events.
What to Consider Before Using Sponsorship to Promote Your Small Business
- Who do you want to target? If you haven’t done already, building a buyer persona can help with this.
- How is your brand positioned? If you are an eco-friendly company, perhaps don’t sponsor a motor show.
- Where are your customers from? If you are a local business, sponsoring a conference attended by people from other areas may not provide the best bang for your marketing buck—even if the sponsorship would get you in front of a large number of people.
Types of Sponsorships Small Businesses Can Use
Sponsor a Local Sports Ground or Venue
Sponsoring stadiums is something that big companies have done for years. Think of the Chicago Bulls playing at the United Stadium, or the Marvel Stadium in Sydney.
It can also be done at a smaller level. A local record label may find value in sponsoring a music venue, or a sports bar may increase brand awareness by sponsoring a local sports ground.
Sponsor a Digital Newsletter or Podcast
Digital newsletters and podcasts often have dedicated audiences that trust the person who is providing the content. You may find value in sponsoring a newsletter or podcast if you can find one with a similar audience to that of your business. This shouldn’t be too hard; research suggests there are over 660,000 podcasts.
Give a Prize to an Event
Giving a prize to an event can be a low-cost way to put your business in front of a group of people with similar values to your brand. An example could be a family restaurant giving away free meals at a school raffle.
Sponsor a Local Team or Group
Sponsoring a sports team can be a good idea, especially if the team gets local press coverage. Both fans of the team and people who see the press reports will be exposed to your brand. You could also increase sales by offering discounts to anyone involved in the team or group, or to people who have tickets to matches.
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