Find a Sponsor with ProQ – Part 3

September 12, 2016

find a sponsor part 3This is the third part of an article explaining how ProQ can help you find a sponsor.   Remember that we said there are three big keys to any kind of sponsorship hunt.  (1) prospecting, (2) networking, and (3) fulfilling a need (professionally and at a competitive price.)  This 3rd step is where you do what you said you’d do, and prove that this was a good idea.

Fulfilling a Need

We will continue our fictional but realistic story from Part 2.   At each school, every kid that signs up for an expanded “Yes, I’ll Drink More Milk” campaign will get a free racing cap as an incentive. The money for the caps was already been included in the budget.  You will give out the hats on site so there’s no shipping expense involved.  Each kid also gets a hero card, which has the address of your team’s web site on it.  They can easily go to your website anytime 24/7 to sign up for the “Yes, I’ll Drink More Milk” campaign.

Most of the kids sign up online through the ProQ form on your website.  Your helper and her iPad find some really eager ones to sign up right after the assembly, and you give them a hat. Since ProQ is cloud based, it will work anywhere there is an Internet connection.

When the kid gives you his contact information, he’s automatically entered into a drawing.  The prize is a behind-the-scenes experience at the races as your team’s special guest.  Each kid also automatically receives a newsletter from your team.  It will thank him for agreeing to drink more milk.   The newsletter also shows your team schedule and a link to merchandise on your web site. You did the newsletter on ProQ in about a half-hour with no outside help.  E-mailing it keeps the cost down to only one penny per child.

When you finally decide on the contest winner, you make the award.  As you fulfill that commitment, the child and family have a fantastic experience at the races.  You can add images of them to your next newsletter promoting another contest to come.

Daily Prospecting to Find a Sponsor

You’re really busy handling all these appearances and exploring the promotion possibilities with other companies.  Many of these ideas end up nowhere, but the contacts and notes are all entered into ProQ to be revisited later.

Now you’re using ProQ to organize and plan your sales meetings too.   It is easy to do a quick search for your contacts’ physical locations and display them on Google maps.

Since ProQ is mobile-friendly, each day at 5:30 a.m. you check your cell phone.  Overnight the software sent you a list of meetings and followups you’ve scheduled for that day.  ProQ help you keep on schedule, and it’s even helping you decide what clothes to wear before you get dressed.

The racing team has a pretty good season with the driver finishing eighth in points.  He has no victories, but the team is in the black at the end of the season. It’s been running the entire merchandise division through ProQ, and sales are three times as much as last year.  The team even got an award from the dairy association for its efforts.  They realize it generated some good press for the team, its driver, the dairy, and the ice cream chain.

Expanding the Program

Sales are up for both the ice cream chain and the dairy so they’re happy.   In fact, the once-leery ice cream chain wants to expand the program.  The team and driver are asked to visit some of its stores next year in addition to some more schools.

Both the ice cream chain and the dairy trust you more than they did before.  They treat you like an important partner instead of a pest.   Decision makers are open to learning what else you can do for them.  You suggest they join forces to sponsor the whole team.   This is a good time to discuss a show car to use at the appearances so it doesn’t affect crew work on the race car.

This is going to cost some money, too much for the three of them even if they split the bill.  However, they come up with a list of six other suppliers who might be interested in joining the program.   The most important part is that they’ll help you contact them to check their interest level.

Now you have three other people trying to find advertising dollars for your team.  Each one of these people have more sales experience than you.  And, you have solid introductions to coming to six new potential marketing partners.

Documented Sales Results from Marketing

When you meet new people or find a sponsor, you’ll have important figures to show.   More than just the series’ demographic figures that you had when you started.

Your push to get kids to register with you online generated the contact information of 5,000 new fans last year, most of who are under 16.  Of those 5,000 fans, 1,300 interacted with your team during the season in other ways than just agreeing to drink more milk.  They may have bought a jacket to go with their hat, or entered a trivia contest.  They also may have entered a coloring contest, or some other effort.

Each part of the program was instituted through a ProQ generated web form on your team web site. They are drag and drop forms, easy to create without any programming skills.   You also used ProQ to promote the program by reaching out to all 5,000 using ProQ in social media and your team newsletters.

Since you have all of their addresses in your ProQ database and it is tied in to Google Earth, you also know their locations.  You can group them by geographic area when planning promotions for a specific store or around a specific race.

A New Opportunity

Time goes by and two months later another opportunity comes up.  A  chain of pizza restaurants in the area finalizes a deal with the ice cream chain to carry its products in their restaurants. The sales director of the ice cream chain tells you the pizza people are especially interested in reaching youth under 18.

You have 1,300 kids in the area that are already fans of your team in some way.  This isn’t a figure you pulled out of the sky; you can prove it.   Their contact information, social media handles, and sales history with your team is all right there in ProQ.   You also have the contact information for 3,700 other area kids who have at least heard of your team and driver.

The sales director of the ice cream chain opens the door for you at the pizza restaurant.  At that meeting you learn the pizza people want to host special pizza nights for kids at their restaurants.  They want to be seen as more of a “happening” place.  The Manager proposes to foot the bill for the incidentals, and the other costs will get passed on in the price of the food.

Pizza Parties

You tell him you have 1,300 immediate prospects and you can get the ball rolling.  He agrees to set up three pre-race parties at his restaurants on the Friday night before Saturday night races in the area.  You agree to handle registration for all of these parties through ProQ online forms on your web site.  Invitations, RSVPs and check-in at the parties will all be done through ProQ. The pizza chain agrees to pay a fee for these services plus the car and the driver appearing at the parties.

You follow through – fulfill your commitments – and the parties are a big success. The pizza chain is very impressed by the amount of people you attracted to their restaurants and the additional sales figures.  You take their key executives to the races and they like what they see there, too.  Even the president of the chain was there.  Before he left the track that night he complimented you on the number of people that came to the pizza parties.  He also liked how many kids visited your team after the races, and how your driver spent some time with all of them.  You are thrilled when he quietly adds that he will recommend that his marketing committee does more with your team next year.

A Presentation to Marketing Professionals

The following month you’re invited to give a presentation to that marketing committee. Your presentation is very solid.   You have the series’ demographic data, along with the attendance figures from check-ins at the pizza parties. Since all the attendees filled out an online form that went straight into your ProQ database, you have the names and addresses, email and social media handles of all the attendees. You produce graphs showing their ages, where they all live, and how far they traveled, all taken from your ProQ online forms.  Marketing people love that stuff.

You can also provide data from your ProQ newsletter database, and other figures related to people who purchased merchandise from your team last year.   Based on that, you outline the standard operating plan for a pizza party program, and recommendations and goals for each party. You show how you’ll promote the parties with the race team, and offer options.  Those could include car shows, live bands, arts and crafts fairs, on-site pet adoptions, face painters, balloon artists, clowns, jump houses and similarly attractive promotions.

A Sweepstakes Program

You also outline a sweepstakes program that will generate more interest and more contact information.  Make a projection of how many people will enter this sweepstakes if it is offered chain-wide.  You add that the head of the dairy (remember him?) wants to be involved, too.  He has offered to put up a free cruise to the Bahamas as one of the grand prizes.

You talk about various promotions you can do with your series, and especially promotions you can do with tracks in the pizza chain’s market area.   You explain how your team PR person will do press releases about the upcoming parties and solicit coverage from the local media.  She will also be assigned to invite special guests to each of the parties.  Each guest will be covered with an article, photos and videos that can be used on the team web site and the chain web site.

The Deal is Made

Committee members are impressed, but they don’t want to make a lot of extra work for their pizza store owners.  After further meetings, your team agrees to organize and host 10 pizza parties each year with a three-year primary team sponsorship.  You’ll run all the parties with your ProQ software, continuously building up even more contact information.  Apparel sales and other promotions will be part of the overall three-year plan. The pizza chain will use your race car in one of its TV commercials, bringing more exposure to everyone.  The dairy association, the ice cream chain and the dairy will remain associate sponsors.  You will continue to work with them on their marketing programs in the schools.  They offer another  lead that sounds promising.  You haven’t even begun to explore the companies that do business with the pizza chain.

Congratulations!  You have plenty of sponsors now.

You can see how there is great value in using ProQ to help you to find a sponsor.  When you have everything together in one database your efforts will be more efficient and effective.   No more spreadsheets, no more mailing of brochures, and no more big postage expense.  ProQ is the solution you’ve been looking for.

by Linda Mansfield  and Restart Communications