Corporate Sponsorship — Sporting Client Event

Best Marketing $$$$ Ever Spent!

Sporting Client Event

I recently had the opportunity to learn from one of the nation’s top advisors about (in his words) “the best marketing money I’ve spent – EVER!”

Bill is the advisor in Ohio and he’s a big sports fan. While at a minor league baseball game with his sons, he saw corporate advertising everywhere and wondered how he could do the same thing – but bigger and better! So Bill contacted the right people and partnered with the local minor league club, becoming one of their major corporate sponsors.  The corporate sponsorship costs him only $8000 a year. With a three-year commitment to a corporate sponsorship, Bill was able to dictate what benefits he received. He negotiated the following with the baseball team:

  • “Don’t Throw Away Your Retirement” sign with his website on every trash can in ball park
  • His website, contact information and logo in every program
  • Name and contact information on the marquee scrolling sign out in front of the ballpark on Interstate-90 &
  • Sponsorship for a home game

For the home game sponsorship, Bill always picks a night that he knows the ball park will be crowded.  This year he did it on Breast Cancer Awareness night, and partnered with the Mercy Foundation who raises money for breast cancer awareness and other great causes.  They name the night “Pack the Park Pink” and over 3000 people attend the game.  Bill and his staff wear pink polo shirts with their logo on them.

The game sponsorship gets Bill several things:

  • Unlimited number of tickets
  • Bill throws out the first pitch
  • Bill goes up in the radio booth and calls play-by-play for one inning
  • Bill speaks to the crowd before the game
    • He keeps this short. Introduces himself and his business, and says if you are at or near retirement, go to www.noincomeworrries.com (the landing page for his book) and request one free
    • Bill’s business and website is announced all night throughout the stadium speakers
    • First 1000 people into the game get a give-a-way. This year it was a pink coffee travel mug with Bill’s logo. In the past Bill has done a branded tailgate chair as the give-a-way.

With regard to inviting clients, Bill calls this a client appreciation event.  Since they have an unlimited number of tickets to give away, his office does an email blast to all of his clients inviting them to the game. Each client can get up to 6 tickets to bring kids and grandkids. There is a deadline to reply if they going and how many tickets they will need.

The last game, Bill had 350 people attend. In addition, his top 20 clients watch the game from a fully catered suite in the ballpark. All other clients and guests received a ticket for a free hot dog, bag of chips, and soda. The reason Bill asks his clients to bring kids and grandkids (rather than friends) is because it’s too hard to talk business in that setting. A lot of his client’s children are now boomers and Bill gets business from the event naturally.

There is no cost to the clients and their family to attend the game but each person that attends must donate $5 to the Mercy Foundation. During the game, Bill then presents a check to Mercy Foundation/Breast Cancer Awareness for $2500. The pictures of him and the big check are then leveraged into PR.

Can you use this?!?
I challenge you to think about teams and sponsorships in your local area. The team doesn’t have to be baseball – it could be any sporting event (soccer, basketball, football, hockey, etc.) that’s looking for corporate sponsorships. Major league venues work fine, but you’re likely to get the biggest impact with minor league or independent league teams that still draw good attendance.

My last offer — if you’d use them — Contact me for the specific trashcan signs and field signage that Bill uses around the baseball stadium. I’m happy to share and AE Creative Services could customize these for you also.

Advise with passion.
MJN

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