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motoeric
03-02-2007, 07:11 PM
Hi,

Is anyone familiar with how people have gotten sponsors in the past? Can you either pm me or post the general procedure that you used here?

Did you prepare a sales pitch that you put into a formal document and mail to prospective businesses? Did you offer different tiers of support? Was it much more informal than that? Were you looking for cash or in-kind donations?

Thanks!

Eric

The_Kapn
03-02-2007, 07:20 PM
Try this for a little background reading:

http://bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=24001&highlight=sponsors

Some brothers may update it--but a place to start.

Several more threads out there.

Good luck.

TIM

motoeric
03-02-2007, 07:20 PM
BTW, just wanted to mention that I did search the past threads on this topic and I was hoping that someone might have some new insights or some pr stuff that they worked up.

Any thoughts are appreciated!

Eric

PS When I'm done with my research and I have worked something out I'll be happy to share whatever I prepare to send out.

MilitantSquatter
03-02-2007, 07:21 PM
Hi Eric,

Here's a previous discussion.... See Ray's thoughts in post # 7 especially...

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=24001&highlight=sponsors

MilitantSquatter
03-02-2007, 07:29 PM
Looks like us moderators were thinking alike.. :oops:

Upon further thought Eric - are you referring to gaining sponsorship to organize a contest or to fund team expenses. I think the first one would require a lot more formal preparation, presentation etc.

Good Luck !

motoeric
03-02-2007, 07:32 PM
Heh, Kapn, we posted at the same time so I didn't notice your post till now. We sorta covered the same thing.

I was sort of hoping for someone who has a sponsor to be able to say "I did X, Y and Z and I presented them with a folder with A, B and C and they asked that I get back to them with information on this and that and we finally agreed on blah".

I found a bunch of general info (which is great!), but not much specific stuff.

Eric

motoeric
03-02-2007, 07:39 PM
Vinny,

Sorry! I was wondering about sponsorship for teams.

Thanks,

Eric

The_Kapn
03-02-2007, 08:28 PM
Heh, Kapn, we posted at the same time so I didn't notice your post till now. We sorta covered the same thing.

I was sort of hoping for someone who has a sponsor to be able to say "I did X, Y and Z and I presented them with a folder with A, B and C and they asked that I get back to them with information on this and that and we finally agreed on blah".

I found a bunch of general info (which is great!), but not much specific stuff.

Eric
Just really have never seen anything like that here or anywhere in public.
Too many variables.
I guess that if someone had a "formula", they would be selling it, for sure :roll:
If I did, the class would be "pricey".
But, I don't have a secret, so this is free:

Most sponsorships I am aware of for smaller teams are "local".
Friends, family, local suppliers, and that sort of thing.
Probably more of a "I like you" and a "handshake" thing.

Good luck.

TIM

Sawdustguy
03-02-2007, 09:03 PM
Hi,

Is anyone familiar with how people have gotten sponsors in the past? Can you either pm me or post the general procedure that you used here?

Did you prepare a sales pitch that you put into a formal document and mail to prospective businesses? Did you offer different tiers of support? Was it much more informal than that? Were you looking for cash or in-kind donations?

Thanks!

Eric

There is no one formula that works in every situation. The secret to getting a sponsor is to show the potential sponsor how their sponsorship of your BBQ team is going to increase their business. This is different for every potential sponsor. There has to be a meeting of the minds and it should be very well documented so each party can execute their part of the contract without questions.

brdbbq
03-02-2007, 09:18 PM
Ask....What you got to lose ?

spicewine
03-02-2007, 09:20 PM
My team does'nt want to be beholding to any company. I can't even persuade them to be sponser for Spicewine Ironworks . Big sponsers are OK but we choose to be ourselves. Our team . TEAM Q

How much did you say you will give us each year!!!:rolleyes:

Greatgrills
03-02-2007, 09:27 PM
My team does'nt want to be beholding to any company. I can't even persuade them to be sponser for Spicewine Ironworks . Big sponsers are OK but we choose to be ourselves. Our team . TEAM Q

How much did you say you will give us each year!!!:rolleyes:

We work with no sponsers...We hang a sign for Weber Meat Market, where we get our meat, but trust me he gets alot of our money(didnt know how much money was spent on meat in one year).....Seems to be more fun when you know you are the ones that got you there. Since we have started have never had a sponser dont even think that we want one now. People were saying that after we won the AR invite and the GAB open that the sponserships would be rolling in...Still waiting...Doesnt matter to us...Makes us feel good to go out and be able to do it on our own with no help or input from other sources.

MilitantSquatter
03-02-2007, 09:35 PM
Eric - Maybe this is what you are looking for..

It pertains to dirt bike racing sponsorship but the info should still be applicable.

http://www.dirtrider.net/patburroughs/sponsor.html

How to Secure a Motorcycle Sponsorship
The cost of motorcycle racing can be prohibitive. Setting aside for now the costs you can incur when you're broken, the cost of maintenance and repair on your bike and equipment is considerable. An excellent way to offset some of these costs is through sponsorship. The parts and apparel companies gain exposure for their products, while you receive discounts on their products in exchange for using and promoting those products. Plus, being sponsored is a great way to impress your non-riding friends.

The first step is preparing a resume. Most everyone has prepared a resume in order to secure employment. The same principles used to prepare a resume to secure employment apply here. You should have a cover letter, a page listing your accomplishments, and a page covering assorted personal details.


Cover Letter
The cover letter should include the following:
Your plans for the upcoming racing season
A brief overview of your accomplishments in the previous racing season
THE BENEFITS THE COMPANY WILL GAIN BY SPONSORING YOU
A brief personal description of your positive traits as a person that carry over into your behavior both during and around the races.
I cannot stress enough the importance of including what the company will gain by sponsoring you. Companies are looking for someone who will represent them in a positive manner, not necessarily for just the fastest rider. Be sure to make the point that you are known as not only a good rider, but more importantly a good person. Include mention that you care for and maintain your equipment.
Accomplishments Page
This page should include your finishes in each race in which you competed in the previous year. It is a good idea to present in bold type your top five or top three finishes. Include below this section a brief overview of at least the one race year immediately preceding (e.g. if you’re sending your resume detailing your 1999 season, include a brief overview of the 1998 season). Make note of any reclassifications you’ve received (e.g. moved from amateur to intermediate).
Personal Page
Your contact information (address, phone number) and bike(s) you ride should go here. Other things you can include are your date of birth or age, personal website if you have one, and e-mail address if you have one. You can also include a recent printed action photo of yourself, if you have access to a high quality color printer.



In conclusion, the main theme of what you send to the company should be:
1. What the company will gain by sponsoring you, and
2. The fact that you will be a positive representative for their company.
Most companies are setting up their rider support budgets around September, so it is a good idea to have your resume to them by late September, and by the end of October at the very latest.
Many of you may be thinking, "I'm not a good enough rider to be sponsored." In the vast majority of cases, this is not true. I'm certainly far from the fastest rider out there, and I received several excellent sponsorships for the 1999, 2000, and 2001 racing seasons, mainly due to presenting a positive image, along with a small amount of success as a racer. You can do it, too!

MilitantSquatter
03-02-2007, 09:45 PM
This is more for organizers but seems to have some good general suggestions as well that could be applied to the individual.

http://orc.meetup.com/archives/2006/04/how_to_obtain_a_1.html

What Do You Need from a Sponsor?

The first step in finding a sponsor, is deciding what you need from the sponsor. Until you know how much you need, and if you can use services and/or merchandise in place of money, it makes no sense to ask the potential sponsor.

What Do You Have to Offer a Sponsor?


The sponsor is either looking to sponsor you because of what you can do for him, or because they want to support the cause that the group supports. Since obtaining sponsors that support a particular cause is going to be something that most groups will not be involved in, we will not be discussing that here.


The biggest thing that a business is going to look for from your group is advertising. He wants to get the word out to as many potential customers as possible. More importantly, he wants to get the word out about his products and services to those who are most likely to purchase. For instance, the owner of a nail salon is much more interested in advertising to the members of a women’s group than to a group that is involved with boxing. That means that you have to focus what you have to offer based on the products and services that put your group into the business’ core group of customers.


Who Should I Approach about Being a Sponsor?

Any salesperson or fundraiser can tell you that this is a numbers game. The more people that you approach who are legitimately potential sponsors, the better your chance of having someone sponsor your group. I am not saying that you will necessarily have to go through a lot of people before you get a sponsor. That is not what I am saying. After all every single person that I have approached as a potential sponsor, has agreed to sponsor our group. What I am saying is that it may take you a few tries before you get the sponsorship that you need. Every area is different, and the groups are different. That means that the number of people you talk to before finding enough sponsors will be different.


To find those potential sponsors, you need to start a list of potential sponsors. First, make a list of those businesses that sell products or services that anyone involved in your Meetup group would need in order to participate in your activity. For example, a group that does knitting would need knitting supplies in order to participate in that activity. These businesses are your core group. They will be the ones most likely to sponsor your group, so they are your first priority to contact.

The next category is businesses that sell things that the group could use but are not their main business. For instance a book store will sell knitting books, or a stationary store selling pens, pencils, paper, etc to writers. These potential sponsors sell things you need but they are not focused on your activities. While they have a good chance to sponsor you, it is not as likely as a business as one that focuses on your activities.

The third category is those businesses that sell products and services that all of your members are more likely to use than the general population, but doesn’t focus on your activities as a group. A Stay at Home Moms group is going to be composed mainly of women with children. These women will be much more likely to use the service of a pediatrician or a children’s entertainment complex than the general public. This is because the general public includes singles, married couples without children, retired couples, etc. None of those are likely to need the services of a pediatrician.

To find businesses in this category, simply think about the different businesses that you patronize and family members and friends might not visit. Also ask your group members which ones that they patronize that family members and friends might not. This will give you a list of those establishments that your group is more likely to use than the general population.

Between these three categories, you will have a large number of businesses that you can contact to sponsor your group. Start with the first category and write or call each business on that list. If you still need more money or services to meet your objectives, then you need to go with the next category. Continue this process until you have gone through each category. This should enable you to meet all of your financial objectives.

(http://orc.meetup.com/archives/2006/04/how_to_obtain_a_1.html#top)How to Contact Sponsor?

There are three ways to contact a potential sponsor: in person, by phone, or by mail. Of these methods, the best ways are by mail and in person. I like pitching to a sponsor in person because it is harder for most people to say no in person. It also helps you to negotiate with the sponsor to offer what they need from your group in return for the sponsorship. One important thing to keep in mind is this gives you a chance to read body language. This can be important in negotiating with a sponsor. Finally, it gives you a chance to answer any questions they have.

Mailing a potential sponsor a letter requesting a sponsorship is the best method to contact the largest number of people in the least amount of your time. It can also be better for those who are uncomfortable talking about such things. When using this method, always make sure that you present a professional appearance. That means use good stationary and print it with a good printer. If the printer is almost out of ink/toner, change it.

If you do decide to contact potential sponsors by phone, be prepared for the consequences. Some people will assume you are a telemarketer, and treat you as such. You may also have to play phone tag repeatedly. Lastly, you may not have the person’s full attention. If you do decide to use this method to contact businesses, there are some things that you should do. Try to be as upbeat and enthusiastic as possible. Make sure that you smile while talking to the person. This affects your voice and is picked up by the other person. If you say that you will send material to the person, do so. Keep notes of the conversation, to make sure what terms are agreed upon.

No matter which way you contact the potential sponsor initially, you should send a thank you letter. Thank the person for their time and if they agree to sponsor your group thank them for them that. I recommend adding a personal note to the thank you letter. This is appreciated by the person receiving the letter, and will help to build your reputation with the business. This may make it easier to get an approval from the company next time.

(http://orc.meetup.com/archives/2006/04/how_to_obtain_a_1.html#top)What Should I Say?

The most important things to tell a potential sponsor is what your group is about, what you need from the sponsor, and what you are willing to do for him. You want to keep it as short as possible, yet give all the important information.

It is also important for you to tell the potential sponsor how to contact you. This can include your address, email, and phone numbers. You should also give the address for the group’s About page. This will allow the sponsor to look around a little bit before making a decision, if he decides to do so.

Here are a couple of other recommendations for the letter. Personalize the letter as much as possible. If you know the persons name, use it. If you know the products and/or services that he offers that would interest your members, mention it. Give a date that you will call if you do not hear from them before hand.

Here is a sample letter that you can use to prepare your letters or sales pitch.

Dear Don,

I am the organizer for the local Dungeons and Dragons group: the Greenville Dungeons and Dragons Meetup. Our group is composed of 100 members who are devoted to one of the greatest role playing games ever invented. Since your company makes accessories for Dungeons and Dragon, and other role playing games, I wanted to propose a partnership.

Our group is looking for sponsors in order to cover the costs that are incurred in the process of our meetings. In return, we are willing to help promote your company and its products. Since all of our members are really dedicated to using the gaming products that you sell; this seems like an excellent opportunity for a win-win solution.

What we offer to you and your company is the opportunity to have a dynamic and growing group of gamers assist you in promoting your products. Our membership has grown dramatically over the last year. More importantly we have become one of the most active Dungeons and Dragons Meetup groups in the world. This means that you have the opportunity to sell to a motivated audience that is growing in size almost every month.

We are offering the following specific promotional help to your company. First, we will post your company’s logo and a link to your web site on our group’s web site. You can see the link we have for a current sponsor at http://dnd.meetup.com/29/about/ and at the top of http://dnd.meetup.com/29/boards/. Second, we will place your name and logo on all of the flyers that we distribute to advertise our gaming events. Third, our monthly email communications with members will detail your sponsorship of our group. Fourth, we are willing to allocate time for you or your representative to give presentations during our meetings. Imagine the sales opportunities from being able to give a presentation on what makes a good adventure scenario while showing the members your products as examples. Finally, we are willing to consider any other promotional ideas that you may suggest in the future.

In return, we are asking that you sponsor our group by making a small donation of just $10 a month. We would like you to agree to sponsor our group for a period of six months in order to give us time to work together. After that six month period, if we both agree that the partnership program is working successfully we would ask that you continue this successful partnership.

I look forward to talking with you and answering any questions that you might have. You may contact me by calling me via telephone 864-xxx-xxxx night or day. I will contact you the week of the 18th, if I have not heard from you before then.

Looking forward to a successful partnership,

Ron Purvis
Organizer, Greenville Dungeons and Dragons Meetup


You should be prepared to answer the following questions for any potential sponsors. How many members do you have? How many members are local? How often do your members actually attend a Meetup session? How often do you send out emails to the group? How much usage does the message boards get? Is the group growing, and if so how fast?

The answers to these questions will help the potential sponsor decide if this advertising opportunity is what they are looking for or not. If you do the in person sales pitch, bring along print outs that show as much of this information as possible.

(http://orc.meetup.com/archives/2006/04/how_to_obtain_a_1.html#top)

motoeric
03-02-2007, 09:47 PM
Wow, that is excellent. Thanks Vinny!

I am in event management and have run a number of charitable events where we have solicited donations (and have had great success). I am planning on following the template that we use for those solicitations while incorporating any input you guys might have.

I'll let you know how it goes and I'll be happy to share whatever our final presentation docs are.

Eric

smangold
03-02-2007, 11:17 PM
We don't have a sponsor although I think we could obtain one if we put our minds to it and pitched our case to the local merchants that we use for supplies.

I did send out about 50 generic emails to different national retailers, food processors, etc. The only positive response I received was from Domino Sugar.

LostNation
03-03-2007, 06:33 AM
We just got a couple sponsors last week. Steve my nieces fiancée and a buddy are spinning off a new team. They wrote great letters (following a template much like Vinny wrote) to different business including Magic Hat Brewery (5 miles from my home). In Steve's letter he included my website and the fact that I'm in Vermont. They responded that the only thing they could do for us was provide beer in return for wearing tee shirts and flying their banners, Steve may name his team after one of their beers.

The meat sponsor is a high end organic farmer who is looking for markets for the lower quality cuts of meat. He currently grinds briskets and some chuck for burgers. I'm going to fly a banner and maybe cook and give out samples on Saturday (the buck a bone day) of the Lake Placid contest. He's offering briskets to teams for the contest and I'll have to deal with that.

I really never wanted a high impact sponsor who wanted to much from me. These are pretty easy.

motoeric
03-09-2007, 02:56 PM
Ok, I have a small packet worked out with

1) A general solicitation letter
2) A mission statement
3) An overview of bbq comps
4) A 'who we are' sheet
5) An overview of the charity that is associated with the team

I'm going to get some photos together, tighten up the letters and see what happens. When I get things a bit further along I'll be happy to share it with anyone who is interested.

I'm hoping that if we work together (offering input and feedback) we can come up with a strong template that brethren can use throughout the country. The only caveat is that I would prefer not having more than one team in a geographic area use the same template.

Thanks,

Eric

MilitantSquatter
03-16-2007, 09:48 AM
At the Kingsford promo event in NYC, a sr. member of their sales team was asking me questions about competition BBQ (She was not familiar with how the contests work but loved the team logo and was curious). She asked if Kingsford sponsored any BBQ teams. I told her I was not certain but had not seen any. She suggested I contact their marketing dept. to inquire but did not have a specific contact as she worked in a different territory from the corp. office.

So, yesterday, I took a longshot attempt and went to the website for contact info but there was no address, only the generic customer request fill in the blank type form. I sent a short letter noting who I was, where I compete, my participation at their corporate promo event, and conversation with with one of their sales leaders who suggested I inquire etc.

I was not expecting much and that is what I got..Kingsford does not sponsor (although the sales person at the event said they do sponsor some race car drivers)... Seemed like a farily generic response. I sent one more follow up noting that Kingsford appeared to be missing out on a low cost opportunity to reach its target audience but have not received a follow up response as of yet.

Thank you for contacting us about Kingsford Regular Charcoal. We always appreciate hearing from our consumers.

Although we realize the worthwhile purpose behind your request for a contribution or sponsorship, I'm sorry that we cannot honor it at this time. As I'm sure you understand, we receive a great number of requests similar to yours. Because of the difficulty in controlling the selection of organizations to receive contributions or sponsorships, The Clorox Company has chosen to contribute a quantity of its products for natural emergency situations. For example, in the aftermath of natural disasters, such as hurricanes, Clorox has donated large quantities of bleach to help with massive cleanup and disease control efforts. Clorox has also contributed charcoal to aid stricken areas without electricity for food preparation. Although we are unable to help you, we do appreciate your interest in The Clorox Company.

Again, thank you for contacting us.

Sincerely,
xxxxxxxxxx

Jeff_in_KC
03-16-2007, 07:43 PM
Most of the areas I cook in have a branch office of the real estate company I work for. I just mainly ask the broker of the office if he's interested in sponsoring us. They buy the meat (usually ask $200 to $250) and I hang their banner at my site, sometimes feed them Friday night and then send all the left over competition meat with them after turn-ins on Saturday. Makes a pretty sweet deal most times.

beam boys bbq
03-17-2007, 10:52 AM
with our sponcers we just asked what they wanted from us and what we would give in return (scraching backs kind of thing)

willams brother meat market
we get all of our meat free but in return my sale car has there logo and phone number and web adresse in the back window
so i am an rolling billboard for them in the 1200 miles that i drive each week around here

our jim beam one
the bottel in the logo and we get all the beam i need for an season

dont be shy everyone wants something you just need to come to an agreement
york

scottyd
03-17-2007, 02:15 PM
At the Kingsford promo event in NYC, a sr. member of their sales team was asking me questions about competition BBQ (She was not familiar with how the contests work but loved the team logo and was curious). She asked if Kingsford sponsored any BBQ teams. I told her I was not certain but had not seen any. She suggested I contact their marketing dept. to inquire but did not have a specific contact as she worked in a different territory from the corp. office.

So, yesterday, I took a longshot attempt and went to the website for contact info but there was no address, only the generic customer request fill in the blank type form. I sent a short letter noting who I was, where I compete, my participation at their corporate promo event, and conversation with with one of their sales leaders who suggested I inquire etc.

I was not expecting much and that is what I got..Kingsford does not sponsor (although the sales person at the event said they do sponsor some race car drivers)... Seemed like a farily generic response. I sent one more follow up noting that Kingsford appeared to be missing out on a low cost opportunity to reach its target audience but have not received a follow up response as of yet.

Thank you for contacting us about Kingsford Regular Charcoal. We always appreciate hearing from our consumers.

Although we realize the worthwhile purpose behind your request for a contribution or sponsorship, I'm sorry that we cannot honor it at this time. As I'm sure you understand, we receive a great number of requests similar to yours. Because of the difficulty in controlling the selection of organizations to receive contributions or sponsorships, The Clorox Company has chosen to contribute a quantity of its products for natural emergency situations. For example, in the aftermath of natural disasters, such as hurricanes, Clorox has donated large quantities of bleach to help with massive cleanup and disease control efforts. Clorox has also contributed charcoal to aid stricken areas without electricity for food preparation. Although we are unable to help you, we do appreciate your interest in The Clorox Company.

Again, thank you for contacting us.

Sincerely,
xxxxxxxxxx



Vinny I got the exact same letter last year. No kidding. We do a fair amount out of business with the parent co. Clorox with other items. I was told to ask for sponcership and I got the same letter. What a waste of time. I switched to a new lump and glad I did.

Scotty D.