What Is A Sponsor And Why Your For Profit Business Should Get One (Or Multiple).

Young business people shaking hands in the office, Finishing successful meeting, handshake of business people deal business

When you think of sponsorships, you probably picture a beer logo on the side of a sports stadium wall, see an athlete wearing some company’s gear, or possibly a mobile phone company’s banner stretched across a big event center wall. But what does it mean?

In the simplest terms, corporate sponsorship is a form of marketing in which a company pays for the right to be associated with a project, program, event, or individual.

Companies have different pools of money, and you will see sponsorships come from usually two different funds.

Philanthropic Dollars

Philanthropic dollars are the dollars set aside for the company to spend on charitable causes that the company can write off at the end of the year; and they spend these dollars with non-profits. These may or may not yield any return on their brand. 

Marketing dollars

Marketing dollars are used strategically. Corporations want to spend their marketing dollars in creative ways to build authority, trust, and recognition to their brand. They also want to drive traffic and sales. There is value for them to associate their brand with your product, service, or experience, if it too serves their marketing goals for their customers (or potential customers) as well. 

Marketing dollars is where you as a small business owner have the opportunity to reach in and access the 5 billion dollars that will be spent in sponsorships within the United States this year outside of sports dollars.

For profit businesses partner with other (usually larger) companies all the time through community partnerships or sponsorships. Sometimes this is in kind sponsorships, like donating a location, food, the audio and visual set up for your event etc. but oftentimes it involves writing a check.

Imagine you are a fresh new recording studio located in downtown San Diego. Maybe you are launching a special album that highlights voices that grew up in foster care. You want to throw a block party where your artists will perform and you are hoping to bring awareness to the more than 3,000 children in foster care in San Diego. You are a socially conscious for profit business and know that this event will bring in revenue and also bring awareness to your new studio and position yourself as a place for artists to bring not only their music but also their story.

Your goals:

  • Sell 10k downloads of album
  • Sell T-shirt, stickers, other gear
  • Find at least 10 new artist for your next album on Voices of Domestic Violence
  • Bring awareness to your new studio
  • Advertise studio rental hours/fees
  • Donate a portion of the sales to the San Diego Foster Care Alliance
  • Have a donation on site for clothes and school supplies for Foster Children.

Now, you need to pay for the event.

This is where community partners also known as sponsors are important.

In order to find the right community partners to help sponsor this event you need to do research. You need to understand who the other companies are that are also invested in San Diego, foster care, and the arts. You will need to pitch your idea, and ask for exactly what you want from each company you reach out to, selling them on what is in it for them to spend their dollars with you. Those ‘asks’ will be different depending on the company.

Things like:

  • Costs of permits
  • Lighting & Sound
  • Ticketing & Service Fees
  • Staff
  • Grants to pay artist
  • Venue
  • Electricity
  • Safety precautions
  • Staging & Equipment

You will then need to manage the project, host the event, and then measure the results returning to each sponsor with data from the event. This ensures these companies will continue to see you as a partner and work with you again in the future.

The speed in which the right community partner/sponsor can grow your business is worth every pain staking moment of time you spend on securing and maintaining that relationship.

Think back to your goals. Without this event, how long would it take for you to attain those goals organically reaching out to the community one by one? This is why securing community partners is crucial for small businesses. It amplifies your mission quickly. Not only does it give you access to the sponsoring brands reputation, it gives you access and authority to their customers and fans and often the funds you need to market your idea.

Securing these relationships is not easy. However, it is necessary.

It takes on average 2-3 hours planning, preparing just to pitch one company. This is not including the time it takes managing and following up with them during and after the project.

Who has time for that when you need to be working your business?

This is where Sponsor Match makes it easy.

Sponsor Match is a digital marketplace for obtaining, securing and delivering on sponsorship promises.

Sponsor Match offers:

  • Step by step educational platform (to help small businesses pitch, land, and measure their deliverables).
  • Customizable templates, email and social media scripts
  • A community of sponsors you can pitch directly
  • Customizable contracts
  • Project management software
  • A payment portal to receive your funds
  • A rating system to earn trusted badges so other companies can verify you quickly for future relationships

Sign up now and get instant access to our educational library.

Related Articles


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.