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 Part 1, we discussed how your horse business can attract sponsored riders. In this Part 2, we share some helpful tips to assist horse riders looking for sponsorship.
For horse riders of all levels and disciplines, sponsorship can open many opportunities; propelling your name, image and influence to a local, national or international audience, and expanding your riding career with financial, in-kind or third party support.
However, setting yourself apart from the competition can be difficult in the crowded sponsorship arena. Let’s talk you through the steps of approaching, attaining and sustaining a mutually beneficial sponsorship arrangement.
Approaching a sponsor
All too often, in their eagerness, horse riders can miss the mark when approaching a potential sponsor. You must remember a sponsorship agreement is an important business relationship that must provide benefits to both parties. It will require your time, commitment and integrity.
Try to avoid a one-size-fits-all approach when seeking sponsorship. Instead, develop a list of ideal sponsors that fit your age, level, discipline and interests. Then, in a brief introduction, explain how you will actively support their business. The most powerful sponsorship pitches show forethought.
Attaining a sponsor
Now that you have the interest of a potential sponsor, it’s time to work on the close. You may have chosen to develop a short letter or video to introduce yourself to their business. Once this has been received, follow up with a phone call or email to thank them for considering you.
Be prepared for what may happen next. In some instances, you may be unsuccessful and, even then, it’s important that you respond courteously to keep opportunities open for the future. If you are successful, you and your sponsor will begin discussions about your sponsorship agreement.
Sustaining the relationship
If you are successful in gaining a sponsor, we commend you! Now the real fun begins. As you continue forward with your new sponsor, it’s your responsibility to maintain a positive and mutually beneficial relationship to show them the true value that you bring to their business.
Over the course of your sponsorship agreement, you may like to suggest a quarterly meeting to ensure both parties are gaining benefits from the relationship. Remember, your enthusiasm, energy and network are assets for your sponsor, so don’t be shy to suggest new ideas.
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