The Sponsorship Dating Game
Securing the right sponsorship partner is akin to dating – when the chemistry’s right, all the stars align and you both benefit in more ways than one. But when the attraction simply isn’t there, it’s unlikely that either of you will gain anything from the experience apart from a dent in the wallet.
So how can you best approach the sponsorship dating game when there’s so much at stake – your brand, time and money? These five simple steps will get your on your way to landing that midnight kiss of success.
1. Pre-date preparation is a must
With the recent surge in dating websites that offer strategic mechanisms for finding the right match, there’s a lot to be said for the art of preparation.
Ensure you conduct your due diligence –
• What are your key objectives in securing a partner?
• Who are your target audience? Be specific.
• What are your key messages? What do you want to convey to your audience?
Keep your messages succinct and simple. No-one wants to date a confused rambling individual
2. Browse the available options
Make a “Wish list”. If you could partner with anyone, who would it be? Dream big and think laterally.
Once you’ve finished fantasising about your ideal date, break down the reasons why they’ve been selected. It could be:
• They have extensive reach – a platform through which to speak to the greatest audience
• Their core values are perfectly aligned with yours
• They offer future scope or the foot into an even bigger door
• They present a competitive package that’s too good to resit
From this list, extract your non-negotiables – those traits that you will absolutely never compromise on.
Now use these pin-up models and their immutable qualities as reference points when selecting more ‘realistic’ partners.
3. Communicate don’t prevaricate
By the time you arrive at your date, you should have a fair idea of what to expect. Try and let go of your nerves. Use this valuable opportunity to ask questions.
• Who are they, really? What makes them tick? Who are their audiences? What are their stats? How do they engage?
• What will the partnership look like?
• What do you get for your financial investment? Get details about where your money’s going
• Will they make you look good? How? Tell them to show you with previous examples
• How will ROI be measured?
At the risk of coming on too strong, it’s better to know all this up front rather than after date number five, when you’ve already made an emotional, time and financial commitment.
4. Love is a two-way street
Every successful partnership requires give and take. Yes, they’re doing something for you but you’re also doing something for them.
It’s imperative that both parties feel equally satisfied with their investments. If one feels like they’ve put more on the line than the other, the relationship is doomed.
There’s also an added benefit to both parties being happy. Each is more likely to go that extra mile for the other. That little bit of added value offered to you may be the tipping point between an amiable partnership and a winning relationship.
5. The midnight kiss
You’re on date five and romance is blossoming. Don’t get too comfortable. Stay on top of your relationship. Check in regularly with your partner. Ensure they have everything they need.
And when you reach the pinnacle of your date – the goodnight kiss, tie off any loose ends, close the loop and know that you’re entering the next stage of your relationship with confidence and a sense of achievement – you’ve nailed the date!