What 20 years of experience can teach you. An Interview with Claude Savard, VP corporate partnerships at Tennis Canada
Sponsorship might seem like a gold rush, easy money for an organization. However, finding sponsors is an art and requires tedious work. Even more so today, as sponsors are more sophisticated than ever in setting their objectives upfront and systematically measuring results. Claude Savard has extensive expertise in terms of selling sponsorship, andhas learned the how-to’s in the field with many trials and errors. Today, he is delighted to share some of his hard-earned experience. We interviewed Claude during the Infopresse 2013 Sponsorship Rendez-vous.
Q: To anyone who experienced it first hand, selling sponsorship is a difficult endeavour, what is the best approach?
Selling sponsorship is a process. These days, you have to be relevant to the brand and tailor the proposal to the sponsor’s needs. To do so, you must know the company as much as you possibly can. In a nutshell, you can divide the selling process into 7 steps: selecting the right sponsor, doing a thorough research, setting a first meeting, drafting the proposal, holding an in-person presentation, following up and then proceed to negotiate or close the deal. Let’s examine the 7 ingredients of this sponsorship-selling recipe.
1) Sponsorship selection
Before going to prospective sponsors in a given category, you must first understand what your own objectives and communication challenges are: “You too can gain from an association with the right sponsor, in terms of reaching your own communication objectives”. Things to lookout for are the popularity of a brand and its (positive) image, which can reflect on your organization. For example, an association with a premium brand could provide a sense of prestige to your event and, therefore, engage other players.
Another key element is the right property-sponsor fit, be it with the company or the audience itself. Finally, Claude insists on the fact that a partnership can bring more to the table than money alone: “Look for specific assets that sponsors can bring, it can leapfrog your sponsor acquisition or tackle some challenges your own organization is facing.”
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