Your Guide to Community Sponsorship

Image courtesy of Mosman Council's photostream

Image courtesy of Mosman Council’s photostream

Around here, we are de-thawing as winter finally comes to an end. Spring has arrived, summer is right around the corner and along with the flowers, your community pops its head out. Summer is the season for cancer walks, dog runs, holiday block parties, park cleanups and soccer leagues. Obviously these events and programs don’t run off of corn-based ethanol – they depend on sponsorships from businesses and individuals in and around their community. Here are a few reasons why to sponsor in your own city:

1.    Exposure – What a great way to introduce or spotlight yourself in the community. Your existing customers will acknowledge your involvement and will eternally be proud to work with you and your business. This positive association will likely have them recommending your business to their associates and friends. This means free, word-of-mouth advertising! Whether it is a subject that is dear to your heart or a sport that you have always loved and never got to play, be sure to pick an event or local group that has meaning to you. This is personal, so don’t just pick an organization out of a hat. Do the research and choose wisely so when your sponsorship is brought up in conversation, your response is honest and heartfelt.

2.    Connection – Once you have chosen an organization, you are now a part of that team. You have chosen to become involved and this decision will give you the opportunity to put your products and brand into the thoughts of not only the people attending the event but the organizers, too. Maybe this year you donated 100 t-shirts, but next year that same organization is purchasing water bottles, hats and printed materials from you because now you are connected. The 5K runners that you have clothed love the water bottle with your branding on it and now want 50 more for their cycling group they participate in. Do you see the web of connections your sponsorship has made?

3.    Cross-Promotion – Local events are advertised in an extreme way. Radio, flyers, newspapers, websites and social media are all employed to get as many participants for their local event or team as possible. What you are receiving by sponsoring is basically free press. Press, especially costless pieces, is difficult to obtain. By latching on to an event in your area, you are achieving a much larger chance to get exactly that. Of course it depends on to what degree you are sponsoring. What you can do to enhance your visibility is to promote the event yourself. Put a link on your website to the event. Make sure to capitalize in social media outlets stating that you are involved and are participating with said event or team. The more publicity, the better!

So break out the sunscreen, put air in your bike tires and get involved. It doesn’t matter if it is your time, product or a monetary donation; your community will benefit from your business’s involvement. Your business will benefit from the exposure and connections you have built. And that fuzzy feeling in your chest? That’s called good will!

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