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  • Writer's pictureMike Merra

Create a Sharp Sponsorship Packet

Last week we introduced two important keys to the success of any new race: sponsorships and marketing. This week we want to begin talking about race sponsorships. Most new race directors assume that the bulk of their revenue will be derived from race registrations. This is not a correct assumption. Financially successful races have already, long before online registration opens, secured sufficient funds through sponsorships to ensure the financial viability of their race. The race entry fees are just the frosting on the proverbial cake. Over the next four posts we’ll give you some ideas that will hopefully greatly increase the chance of landing sponsors for your event.

Remember, local sponsors receive lots and lots of funding requests from many different non-profit groups throughout their fiscal year. You drastically increase your chances of landing sponsorships if you assemble a sharp looking packet of materials to present to your potential race sponsors that lands on the top of their desk and not in their waste basket. The packet (which can of course be sent electronically in pdf format via email) doesn’t need to be over the top but should include such things as a brief description of your race, information about your organization and where the race funds will go to benefit your local community. And don’t forget to put your race logo right on the cover of your packet so that it stands out. It’s also helpful to put together a grid setting out exactly what sponsors receive for different donation levels (i.e. Gold, Silver & Bronze). will receive for their sponsorship dollars.

If you don’t have a background in grant writing or fundraising reach out to others in your group to take on this task. Don’t try to do everything yourself. Chances are that you may well have someone in your group who has a marketing and/or advertising background to take on this task. One final point on sponsorship packets. Often you may not initially be communicating with the top person in a company and/or “decision maker”, a/k/a/ the person with the real authority to approve the sponsorship who may be a bit higher up the chain of command. Try to find out who this person is and send the packet directly to them. By having a sponsorship packet your message stays consistent rather than relying on word of mouth.

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