Welcome to our new three-part series on successfully gaining sponsorship. If you’re a horse business, horse rider or horse event looking to launch or expand your sponsorship opportunities, stay with us throughout this series.
In this Part One, we discuss how your horse business can attract sponsored riders.
For many horse businesses, sponsored riders are the key to influencing consumer choices; allowing you to tap into the holy grail of word-of-mouth marketing by directing sponsored riders to speak about, share and spruce your products or services.
However, developing a mutually beneficial sponsorship program for your horse business begins by first defining your objectives, target market and budget…
Like any marketing tactic, your choice to engage sponsored riders begins by determining your objectives. Without focusing on your end goals, your sponsorship program may be time-wasting at best and costly at worst – both to your budget and brand image.
In addition, you must also lay the ground rules for your sponsorship agreement. What will you offer your sponsored rider and what do you expect of them in return? Most importantly, how will you make your sponsorship program measurable to determine your return on investment (ROI)?
Your target market
Next, you must ensure your sponsored rider is the right fit for your intended target market. After all, it’s no good selecting a Western rider when you’re trying to appeal to Dressage fans. However, it’s also not enough to simply talk in general terms.
Your choice of sponsored rider should ideally represent your buyer persona. A buyer persona defines the demographic and psychographic profile of your intended target market in a single identity; enabling you to create effective marketing messages that truly speak to individual customers.
Finally, there are three main options to fund your sponsorship program, including financial support, in-kind support and third party endorsement. If you’re operating on a strict budget, you need to be clear about what you can afford to give to your sponsored riders.
That being said, you shouldn’t simply make excuses to limit opportunities. While a high profile, well-respected individual may be outside of your budget, an everyday rider with a strong following, relatable personality and ability to engage can bring untapped results to your bottomline.
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