How and why to get sponsors for your university club or society
Sponsors for university clubs or societies are not a new concept. They have been around for years and have supported clubs in many ways from funding to providing team kit and of course the one that none could do without...drink discounts! Getting companies and brands to support you is awesome because you can piggyback off their established reputation to make your clubs look even better. However, it is time to start thinking about this more clearly...
Having run a university club myself I have gone through the experience of how to find companies to approach and how to ask for sponsorship. However, towards the end I began asking myself why I was spending hours contacting companies to get a deal that really benefitted neither party. I thought, 'why is it that companies say the student market is notoriously hard to market to and yet no one is taking advantage of the benefits sponsorship can really give'. From what I have seen clubs are giving far too much away in return for what they get. For example, the classic sponsorship deal will involve a retail company providing 10% off their stock and in return they want their logo on all club clothing. This means that whilst a couple of members might get a slightly cheaper jumper, the sponsor gets brand awareness throughout campus which is worth hundreds of pounds in the real world. Now do you start to see where I am going. Companies should be at your feet trying to get their logo on your clothing. They should be supporting you in everyway possible as you and your members are their current or future target market.
So here are a few tips on how to find and get the best sponsors:
- Create a list of all the reasons why a company would want to sponsor you such as brand awareness, access to student data (emails) and good CSR (corporate social responsibility).
- Create a second list describing all the things your club can do for a company. This includes putting their logo on club merchandise, hand out their flyers during fairs, push their website or opportunities through your social media channels etc.
- Take each point in your second list and try to guage just how much you could actually offer in terms of value. For example, if you put their logo on all pictures taken from a night out, how many people will this reach? From here you can start to justify the value by saying, if your logo is seen by 10,000 people (some whom will make it their cover/profile picture) then we believe this level of brand awareness is worth X amount of pounds. Alternatively you could give us X in return for this reach and awareness.
- Once you have a range of offerings and values you may even start to package them together.
How to find the right companies:
- Identify all the areas that you might need help or support with throughout the year. These may include well priced team kit, equipment and drink discounts for your members.
- Once you have created a list, specify exactly what you need in each area. Following this you should use your own knowledge and conections or search online for companies that can provide you with your needs.
- After you have gathered a list of companies, you should find the appropriate person to direct your query too and get their email.
From your list of what you can offer a company you should create a personalised unique email to ask for support. Do not expect to always get a response but at the same time, do not give up. Make sure you chase up if you have not heard back.
SPONSURF offers a wide range of support for university clubs and societies and have taken a lot of hard work out of finding appropriate sponsors. Take a look at our services to see how we can help your club.