This morning, I read an article that talked about how hot dog manufacturers have been closing six to seven digit sponsorship deals left and right, especially with local football and baseball teams. I immediately thought: how could a partnership like that be beneficial for everyone if my band got involved?
When I first wrote How to Get Sponsorships and Endorsements, I wanted people to stop thinking of the sponsor relationship as a one way transaction. It isn’t, it is a partnership. Unless you think of an equitable way for everyone involved to benefit from the relationship, you will not create lasting partnerships and you will not attract sponsors. People are starting to understand this about social media (it’s about conversation, interaction, engagement not just promotion), but that concept still hasn’t hit home in other areas. So before you go chasing down a company asking for money, really focus on developing these points:
- Why You?: There are countless numbers of artists out there. Many of them have great music and are willing to work hard, some even harder than you. Why are you the best fit for their brand? Why are your fans prime for their target audience? What can you offer that they can’t get anywhere else?
- Why Them? If it is a company that normally doesn’t sponsor artists, they’re probably wondering why you are contacting them to begin with. Unless you can prove that working together is a logical step in their marketing plan, they’ll just brush you off. Why/how are your brands compatible?
- What Do You Want From Them? Create a wish list of what you’d like to see from the company. What does it have other than money? Consider their point of view: if you were in their shoes, what would you want from an artist?
- Break Stereotypes: There’s a perception that when a band pitches a sponsorship deal, they only want money or free stuff. That’s why many companies will write you off before you even have a chance to dive deeper into your plan. Start by offering them something for free. Show your sincerity and how you genuinely like their company, want them to succeed too. How about telling them that you want to donate music to all of the employees as part of an appreciation program? Or showing photos/videos of you with their products in use already? Or working together for a local charity?
Good luck and good hunting.
Simon Tam is owner of Last Stop Booking and author of How to Get Sponsorships and Endorsements. Simon’s writing on music and marketing can be found at http://www.laststopbooking.com. He is on Twitter @SimonTheTam