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 (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.

Client Event Idea ::: Wine Tastings

Wine tasting client events have gained traction. They’re enjoyable, profitable and a great way to tie in top client relationships while meeting new potential clients. Over the past year I’ve been hearing more-and-more about elite advisors employing these into a marketing plan. Because thinking about the wine drinkers…aren’t they probably part of your ideal target market?
One nice thing about wine events is you can host them any part of 2012 (any month, monthly, quarterly or annually). And for the 3 advisors I consult who’ve held these regularly (longer than 6 months), they’ve paid off tremendously. In fact, the advisor I work with who tracks his numbers efficiently has hosted 5 events and seen a 12:1 ROI from additional client business and a couple referrals.

Numbers like that don’t lie, so here are a few thoughts about wine tasting events you can immediately use…

Event Style #1: Local Winery Stations
Have a local winery setup wine stations, with an employee at each spot describing their particular wines and cheeses.

Event Style #2: Local Winery Stations(Different Monthly Region)
Should you decide to host these each month, mix things up by customizing your wines & foods to represent a different region of the world each time.

Event Style #3: Create Your Own Wine Event
First choice would be renting a local vineyard and second choice would be a high-end location. You and your clients can tour the grounds, sample the wine and if they allow it – make a barrel of wine together! At a follow-up second event, you’d hold a contest on whoever can create the best label for bottles. The winner has their design on all bottles you (your company) decides to purchase. I’ve typically seen the advisor buying enough bottles to give all event attendees, future events and maybe even as gifts for future new clients. This gives a great platform to tell clients about your events how the wine was made.

During any of these events, be sure to prepare and hold a toast. Prepare 2-3 minutes of genuine, heartfelt material, in appreciation of your clients and their company/business. This is your platform to shine…

Typical Budget: $35-50 per person (covers wine samples & hors d’oeuvres)
Time of Event: 7:00-9:00 PM (typically hosted in the evening following a meal time)
Invites: Depends on your budget & venue. Most advisors have invited 10-30 of their top clients + guests.
Where: Local vineyard, winery, wine bar, yacht club, art museum, country club, etc…

At an event like this you want to generate business for the local wine company you hired to help host. You’d be well advised to have an information sheet on the different wines each client is tasting accompanied by wine company information. Clients should be able to buy bottles of wines on-site. Make sure when you book the vendor/venue they know you’ll be generating business for them, which should enable you cutting you discounts on certain areas.

One other idea in conjunction with client events involves raffles. Everyone enjoys raffles and for a wine tasting event you could easily give away items like red & white wines, wine tools, cheese & crackers, coasters, cork topper, gift cards to the local vineyard, etc. all while capturing attendee information.

If you’d like a sample Wine Tasting Event Invitation and Liability Waiver for attendees to sign — COMMENT BELOW.

The Advisors Excel Creative Team has even designed these wine tasting invites for specific advisor offices (nominal $50 fee.) From there you could then print them locally or get pricing done using their sources.

In closing, if you’re looking for an addition to your 2012 marketing or to increase client event ROI success, I’d recommend considering these events. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to call or email me. Thanks for all you do and advise with passion.


P.S. If you or a subset of your clients don’t drink — no problem! Think about employing the same set up, but for dessert tastings. One advisor I consult alternates months between dessert tastings, wine tastings and has even thought about cooking classes with a top-chef!

2011 Holiday Card Competition

2011 Holiday Card Competition

Headed into December I’d like to share a holiday idea from an incredible advisor I consult. This is an easy way to give back to clients while, at the same time, creating a fun competition that brings you and your clients closer together…

Here’s the concept: Hold an annual competition to design your company’s holiday card – a tradition your clients can look forward to every year.  Award the winner a noteworthy contribution to a 529 College Savings Plan*. Accept entries from your clients’ children, grandchildren or other children in their families. The only requirement is that all entries must incorporate your firm’s name somewhere on the card and must also design the card around your stated theme for the year (Ex. The 2011 theme is “Protecting Your Money”).

All children ages 12 and under can participate and all entries must be received by December 10th.  The most colorful and creative handwritten artwork will be selected (no computer artwork will be accepted). For added PR and exposure, you could announce the winner in your weekly e-mail or your monthly or quarterly newsletter.

The winner and their parents should also be invited to the annual Holiday Party so they can be honored and presented with the actual contribution. At the event, bring up the child and parents to receive a BIG check, 30 printed holiday cards to send to their friends and family and a nice frame which includes a winning certificate and the actual drawing the child produced.  Have a photographer on hand to capture the moment, and send copies of the pictures as keepsakes as well as displaying them in your lobby  throughout the holidays as a great reminder of your charitable act and the relationships you forge with your valued clients.

What better way to have a tremendous impact on a child’s life while bringing you and your clients closer together?!?

Happy selling,

*DISCLAIMER:  Investment advisors are strongly encouraged to get this concept pre-approved by any broker-dealer with which they may be affiliated.  The cash equivalent contribution to a college savings plan may be deemed a gift and therefore subject advisors to any gifting limitations and/or requirements imposed by their broker dealer.  Similarly, any publication (either verbal or in print) of the winner of the contest could be considered a prohibited testimonial.