In Sport Sponsorship, Sports Marketing

How do we get from the idea of ​​sponsoring a team or athlete to signing a sports sponsorship contract?

Here are some steps to keep in mind, including how long the process should take, preparing your marketing department, and arriving at the signature stage.

1 – Idea

The first step of a sports sponsorship campaign stems from the idea of ​​using sport as a communication tool to achieve specific business objectives. This idea can come from passion, or from the awareness that the spectacle of sport can do well for your business.

2 – First contact

If your company doesn’t have a department that coordinates sports sponsorships, we recommend you use a Sports Marketing Agency– they can offer consultants with new ideas/ perspectives, who know sports marketing well.

3 – Setting commercial objectives/budget

It’s important to have clear commercial (e.g., an increase in sales) and marketing objectives (e.g., an increase in brand awareness) and that you share them with your sponsoring agency. You need to be aligned on your target markets, and especially on the budget available for the campaign.

4 – Design of a rough project

After collecting the brief the agency will offer guidelines, for example, whether to choose an athlete or a team, which sport or athlete to approach, and what benefits to seek in sports sponsorship. This stage is likely to include times, costs and the possibility of activation.

5 – Approval to continue

These ideas are then presented to the chosen company to check that the paths are consistent with their brand. If they are not, the sports sponsorship agency will build a different strategy.

6 – Preliminary verification and drafting of a sponsorship proposal

The agency will now be able to check the availability and interest of the chosen player or team and will go over the sports sponsorship proposal that is to be submitted.

7 – Debrief and presentation

The sports sponsorship agency will now make the proposal, outlining the possible partnership. The materials presented are not a legally valid document, but this is an important step to demonstrate the opportunities available.

8 – Changes and approval

The company evaluates the proposal, asks questions, and suggests changes. If everything is clear and convincing, the company informs the agency that it can continue.

9 – Confirmation of the deal

The sports sponsorship agency acts as a link between the two sides at this stage. After receiving the ok from the client, the agency communicates the decision so the next steps can begin.

10 – Exchange of legal data/communication materials

The team or athlete will now offer materials that might be useful for the drafting of the contract and the first communications – for example, the contact details of the relative offices, company data, the logo in vector format, and a manual to guide communication/branding.

11 – First draft contract

Next comes a draft contract, based on the proposal. A basic outline is likely to be what you start with; more specific details may be necessary later.

12 – Legal/financial analysis

Now the contract is submitted, and the team/athlete will have it checked by a lawyer or their administrative offices.

13 – Changes to the contract

The client may request changes to the document.

14 – Meeting/meeting and handshake

It’s good practice to sign the contract when all parties are present; it is traditionally sealed by a handshake between the owners/CEOs of the team and the new sports sponsorship company.

Ready to talk more about sports sponsorship? Contact RTR Sports Marketing at


Can we help you sign your best sponsorship deal?

Emanuele Venturoli
Emanuele Venturoli
A graduate in Public, Social and Political Communication from the University of Bologna, he has always been passionate about marketing, design and sport.
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