This week I'm profiling two sponsorship resources you should know about, SponsorPark and SponsorPitch.
Before blogs and social media, before the internet, before Kim Skildum-Reid and Anne-Marie Grey wrote their Toolkits for sponsorship seekers and for sponsors, and before IEG launched its newsletter, sponsorship buyers and sellers were like the One Hundred Monkeys, who each learned a better way to eat their sweet potatotes from friends and family. (Find the story here by scrolling to the bottom.) Finally at about the one hundredth monkey, consciousness shifted, and this new way to eat sweet potatoes took hold among all the monkeys in the tribe and among tribes on other islands. Same with sponsorship.
While everything has changed, nothing has changed. Sponsorship at its core remains the same powerful medium. But the sophistication, the complexity, the creativity, the professionalism, and the tools we use have evolved tremendously.And that, in part, is where SponsorPark and SponsorPitch come in.
You'll meet the two entrepreneurs behind these services in Q&A interviews, starting today with SponsorPark.
Meet Emily Taylor, co-founder of SponsorPark.com, a site designed to help connect sponsors with sponsorship opportunities. Emily has a background with Coca-Cola in account management and with Limited Brands in talent development. She currently resides in Omaha, NE with her husband and son.
SponsorshipStrategist: Why did you create SponsorPark?
We created SponsorPark because we really saw a gap in the way brands and properties were connected. Marketing decision makers were overwhelmed with sponsorship requests; most of which had no alignment with their marketing objectives. We wanted to offer a solution to present targeted opportunities for their review. And for Properties, we saw an increasingly competitive sponsorship climate where they needed a solution to be the “squeaky wheel” with the most appropriate potential partners. Proactive, targeted, and “easy to use” were our goals for SponsorPark.
SponsorshipStrategist: Tell us about how SponsorPark works.
SponsorPark is meant to proactively generate quality exposure for sponsorship opportunities with potential sponsors. Each party goes through a process of communicating their interests/objectives, and according to these established filters, we are able to offer appropriate matches for review. SponsorPark points sponsors in the direction of opportunities that are most likely to be a fit with their interests – customization of a partnership can be discussed after interest is established and connections are made. At this time, we offer full freedom to the seller and buyer to dialogue about interests, and we are not involved in the sale.
SponsorshipStrategist: How much does it cost?
Basic level is free.
Premium month to month: $14.98 for first month, $29.95 every month thereafter. Premium annual is typically $299.95, currently half off for $149.98.
Professional (typically used by agencies as they are given up to 10 upgrades with this account) month to month is $39.98 for first month, $79.98 every month thereafter. Professional annual is typically $799.98, currently half off for $399.98.
SponsorshipStrategist: What are the patterns you’re seeing now? Who is signed up already? What is the ratio of sponsorship buyers and sellers? Nonprofit and for-profit? And what kinds of properties do they represent?
We’ve seen over 40,000 full proposal reviews (significantly more impressions) in the last 12 months, We’ve marketed our services to approximately 3,000 sponsors – the majority of communications (that we see) are directed toward upgraded proposals. There are about 11,000 properties registered with us and currently about 5,000 active proposals. SponsorPark caters to a wide range of property types. We have had properties as large as Madame Tussauds, American Heart Association, Reader’s Digest, and Chelsea Piers, NASCAR related proposals, The Erlick Group’s prestigious entertainment based properties, etc. And properties as small as a local festival/fair (ex: Taste of Atlanta), shows and expos, theatre productions, etc. Both for-profit and nonprofit alike use SponsorPark.
SponsorshipStrategist: How do sellers use it?
For the properties/sellers, they can create an account with their own private back end to manage all listings/communications. Then create a proposal listing (which can be edited at any time to stay current) highlighting some of the most relevant pieces of their offering as an overview. (This is not to take the place of a custom proposal which will likely be requested upon interest from a potential sponsor.) This information (including target audience, description of assets, media/broadcast exposure, photos, price ranges, demographics, etc.) will be used to apply towards a filter, allowing their information to show up for the review of targeted sponsors.
SponsorshipStrategist: How do buyers use it?
Sponsors/buyers can create a filtered search criteria at their discretion on the site themselves, and only the most appropriate listings will appear on a results page. This filtered search criteria can also be saved and results automatically sent directly to the sponsor for a more efficient solution.
Upon established “advanced interest” by the sponsor, we alert the seller, and both parties are able to connect and dialogue about next steps.
SponsorPark is a free solution for sponsors to proactively research possible partnership investments with the benefit of anonymity and targeting abilities.
SponsorshipStrategist: Do you see SponsorPark as the primary way people buy or sell sponsorship?
No. It’s a complement to what a seller/buyer should already have in place. It is one way to be proactive, generate more exposure and get a leg up in a competitive selling environment. Nothing will ever replace a well-timed phone call and intentional networking, but without SponsorPark your reach is limited to one body, one voice, and a work day. With SponsorPark you are limited to the reach of the internet coupled with a targeted outreach. Buyers are never going to see the day when proposals aren’t on their desk awaiting their review – and some are very good; but doesn’t proactive, researched, targeted efforts sound much more effective and efficient? There’s much more to be done after reviews are made/connections are established. The buyers and sellers that use SponsorPark have the freedom to manage next steps without our involvement upon established interests.
SponsorshipStrategist: Tell us a success story of a cash-on-the-table deal that happened because of SponsorPark.
One story from early on in our efforts was of a musician going on tour throughout the US who was discovered on SponsorPark by an agency who was (and is) using our resource to target potential partners for their clients. The target audience, the tour’s demographic reach and the projected price was in alignment with filtered parameters. Advanced interest was established after just 4 months of being listed on SponsorPark. The buyer entered into a dialogue with the artist and after a few weeks of negotiations an agreement was formed. The specific dollar amount was not disclosed to us (as we were not part of the dialogue/sale), but it was enough to cover the tour as the primary sponsor. Marketing support was offered as well as in-kind support. This partnership has turned into a long-term deal (currently active to the best of our knowledge).
SponsorshipStrategist: How does SponsorPark differ from Sponsorpitch and the IEG Sponsorship Marketplace?
SponsorPark’s primary focus is on offering quality exposure and targeted opportunity research; we’re not a social platform like Sponsorpitch. SponsorPark promotes interaction as the result of alignment / synergy of interests. SponsorPark also offers a list of sponsorship related resources/service providers – similar to the IEG Marketplace (although it is free to post and anyone can review it) whereas Sponsorpitch offers profiles of sponsorship professionals.
In comparison to the IEG’s Sponsorship Marketplace, the main differences are: pricing and the amount of information you’re able to post. SponsorPark has one membership upgrade decision (either Premium or Professional), both marginally priced to allow all sizes of opportunities a more affordable option. This allows the seller access to the full proposal listing and can communicate a tremendous amount of information as an overview. IEG’s marketplace offers an “a la carte” menu of items you can choose to include in your listing, each separately priced.
SponsorshipStrategist: What’s the greatest value SponsorPark offers?
Targeted exposure for opportunities / quality research from sponsors. We use the automated functionality of the site, the insights/suggestions from our team, social media, our blog and other resources to promote quality partnerships. We also pride ourselves in best practice education from our blog, networking on our social media groups and our resources page, and promoting industry awareness on our news section.
SponsorshipStrategist: What are your aspirations for SponsorPark?
We want SponsorPark to be the “go-to” online resource for buyers and sellers when they’re targeting potential new partners or sponsorship service providers. We want to continue growing our scope of services to the sponsorship community in order to make the sponsorship community more efficient, educated, and proactive.
SponsorshipStrategist: What else should Sponsorship Strategist readers know?
We offer a personal consultation to any new member who wants to learn more about our services from our team – we love learning about your efforts and helping you determine if SponsorPark is a good fit. If interested, please don’t hesitate to reach out at: [email protected]. We’re also expanding our “resources” page – if you’d like to be listed as a sponsorship service provider, you can reach us at the same contact with your request to be considered. Our presence is also growing on LinkedIn and Twitter, and we invite you to join us in these communities to further network and stay informed as to our growth and progress!
To learn more you can reach Emily at: [email protected]. And stayed tuned. On Thursday, you'll meet Kris Mathis, founder of SponsorPitch.
Till then, what has been your experience with SponsorPark?
[Full disclosure: Both sites occasionally republish my posts from SponsorshipStrategist.com; however, I have no financial interests in either site.]