This week, I'm focusing on Gold, Silver & Bronze sponsorship levels, providing the pros and cons of this approach. You can read the first part here, in which I ennumerate the first 5 of 10 cons. Today, let's take a look at the next five.
- Competition. Competition for sponsorship dollars is fierce, and you have some formidable opponents — sports teams, festivals, fairs, arts organizations, causes, municipalities, state parks and city transit stops. Even media organizations are producing their own events as a way of connecting with readers or viewers and selling sponsorship opportunities combined with their media inventory. If you show up with something generic, your proposal doesn’t stand a chance. Your competitors will win.
- Sophistication. Corporate sponsorship decision makers are buying sponsorship all over the world. Each relationship and new commitment sets the bar higher and higher, and the sophistication levels and preferences buyers have increases. Nothing signals a lack of sophistication than a generic offering.
- Undermines organizational and individual value. You may be damaging your personal and organizational repute by presenting what you have to offer in this way, thereby eroding confidence and self-esteem in an endless loop.
- Low fees. Because generic offerings are of very low value and are not focused on what marketers need to accomplish via their marketing strategy and activities, Gold, Silver & Bronze sponsorship levels are priced accordingly — with low fees. Many organizations unwittingly take it a step further and offer “sponsorships” at $500 or $1000, which is not even worth your time.
- Volume undercuts value. Because you have to charge low fees for these generic, low-value offerings, you therefore need more of them to realize anything substantial towards your event or program revenue. For example, if you sell $1000 sponsorship offerings, you need 20 to reach $20,000, and as you know, you can’t produce much of an event for $20,000. And here’s the kicker — and get ready because it’s a double whammy.
- If you have 20 companies paying $1000, your staff has to work with 20 different companies, decreasing your efficiency.
- If you have 20 sponsors, you have a cluttered landscape that prevents sponsors from standing out, which further diminishes and undermines the value you offer.
You’ll see that the thread running through each of these ten considerations is value. Sponsors want it, will pay for it, and Gold, Silver & Bronze does not provide it.
I promised you a balanced picture, and in my next post, I will share with you two reasons why Gold, Silver & Bronze package approach makes sense. (Just don't call it corporate sponsorship!) Stay tuned.