SportsEvents Magazine

AUG 2017

SportsEvents is edited for those who plan tournaments or other sports events.

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Page 17 of 67

August 2017 18 including baseballs, bats, gloves, shirts, sunflower seeds and more. Kristen Hanifin of the Lake George, N.Y., Chamber of Commerce and CVB agrees that the benefits of meeting in per- son cannot be overestimated. Face-to-face interaction gives legitimacy to your cause and can lead to long-lasting relationships that may span decades. Hanifin summed up her years of being on the giving side of sponsorships and the receiving end of sponsorships this way: "Your sponsors and events must match. You must consider the unique benefits you can offer and the more out-of-the- box you can create your sponsorship, the better!" Hanifin recommends tailoring your sponsorship packages to meet the specific needs or goals of your sponsor. "There is a value to being open-minded about your packages. Ask your sponsor what they are looking for," she said. It might be a specific target audience or a social media concentration or possibly a brand activa- tion. If you are able to offer something that others cannot, you will be in a better position to receive sponsorships. "Ask yourself, what can I offer a sponsor that they cannot get elsewhere?" Recently, the Lake George CVB part- nered with Six Flags Great Escape to host a volleyball tournament in which their target audience of young people was reached, promoting the fun-filled adven- ture by giving away tickets and hosting music and fun at the volleyball event, thereby allowing the sponsor to reach their target audience effectively. "There should be a benefit on both sides of a sponsorship," Hanifin said. In addition to event specific online pro- motion through an event website or social media, there are apps available to help gain sponsors and coordinate volunteers for events. Apps such as SignUp Genius help groups coordinate volunteers for events, which often is just as valuable and import- ant as securing monetary or merchandise sponsorships. This app allows workers to sign up for a time to work an event and receive reminder emails. Event coordina- tors can use the app to send out thank-you messages following the event. Today's target audience for your spon- sors are more electronically engaged than ever. To keep your sponsors, providing online content is one way to grow the strength of your sponsor dollar. Meeting face-to-face lends legitimacy to your sponsorship requests and tailoring your package to your sponsors' needs is sure to give you a leg up in the negotiating process. Use online tools such as social media and fundraising to make your event function seamlessly and secure donors that you may not even know to contact. You need sponsors and sponsors need you. The mutually beneficial relationships are out there, just waiting to be developed. These tips from the pros can help you plan and fund your next event. n t GAME Plan

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