How to develop a Sponsorship Plan
If you (rightly) decide to start sponsoring sport, it is good to make a plan to exploit all the opportunities related to your partnership. This is not a trivial exercise because sponsorship can be declined in dozens and dozens of different actions and, companies are, even when they belong to the same product sector, all diverse.
It is, therefore, necessary to identify the activities that, thanks to the sponsorship, we could start and draw up a plan, perhaps correlated by a simple scheme, to get an overview of everything we are going to implement during the year.
This document is known under the name of Sponsorship Plan.
What is a sponsorship plan?
A sponsorship plan is the set of actions, activities and events that need to be put in place to better exploit the efficiency of a sponsorship deal. Sports marketing would refer to those actions, activities, events, etc as “activations”, meaning with the term each and every activity that is meant to turn marketing benefits in tangible outcomes.
Together, all the activations create the sponsorship plan. While copious examples could be found in the below model, it is important to understand that a good sponsorship plan consists of tasks and activities of all sizes. From trade fairs where the showbike is front and center to a simple post on social media every action needs to be carefully planned and taken care of.
How to develop a sponsorship plan?
To develop a sponsorship plan, companies and brands have two main starting points: the bouquet of sponsorship rights originating from the contract and their sales and marketing goals.
With these key areas in mind, a first framework can be drafted with the help of the sporting calendar and building around the main dates of interest of that specific discipline. Different sports have different calendars and it’s important to have a clear idea of what is going to happen during the year. Season kick-off, home races (or matches), season break, playoffs and such need to become pillars for your activity.
Then, it’s time to cross that information with your industry’s calendar: expos, key moments, conventions and meeting that might require an extra pep in your step. For those occasions you may want to book a rider’s appearance, or pencil in the Team’s showbike (if you’re a motorsport sponsor) or maybe use the Team’s premises to throw a special party.
Once these main moments are done, it is time to put in the calendar the tiniest activities and the building actions.
Using a sponsorship plan
The starting point is the decision that led you to enter sponsorship, the objectives you have given yourself and the challenges (not to call them problems) that you intend to overcome with its help. From there, think of the tactical actions that serve to achieve those goals and to overcome those difficulties and write everything in an excel spreadsheet.
Next step would be to turn each line into a full-blown up tactical activity important and instrumental to achieve the goals you have set yourself.
If you do not have time to reunite your team, to do some brainstorming or to check what a competitor is doing on the other side of the ocean, well…you are lucky.
Take a look at the outline that I am attaching here and use it as a checklist.
It’s not complete, it does not claim to be, but it’s definitely a good basis around which you can build your sponsorship plan and save some time.
Some of these elements are always present among the implementation activities of the partnership, others are not, and some have been omitted…The game of filling the boxes is nice as long as there is space on the board…
Use this scheme profusely, remember where you found it and that, if you want to deepen and talk about the sponsorship plan and maybe what you would like to sponsor in the future, you can always find us at firstname.lastname@example.org