Managing a sports team is more than just practices and game days. As well as organising matches, sourcing and recruiting new players and making sure your existing players are training regularly and staying in shape, you also need to advertise and promote your team! This is crucial to growing your fan base and securing finances, equipment and venues for matches.
But let’s focus on one; securing funds. A great way to do this is to gain sponsorships from local businesses. This is usually the main source of income for most grassroots sports teams!
But how do you go about finding sponsors?
5 Ways to Get Team Sponsors
In this article, we’ll outline the process of attracting and securing a sponsor for your team.
Use your resources
One of the simplest ways to start finding sponsors is to start with your team members and consider what opportunities they can provide. Parents of kids in your club may already be business owners themselves and be willing to sponsor the team due to their existing interest.
The benefit of using these existing connections is that they are already emotionally invested in your team which will make them more likely to support you. In most cases, they will share some of the core values as your team which makes them more likely to take their support to the next level.
Create perfectly personalised packs
Another way to gain sponsorships is to create a pack of detailed information to send to potential sponsors. Be specific when explaining what you’re looking for so that sponsors have a clear understanding from the get-go of what you need.
Whether you’re looking for financial help to pay for equipment costs, funds to pay for tournament fees, or new kit for the new season, local companies may be willing to support in several different ways. It’s important you include in your packet:
Explain what’s in it for them; the benefits of supporting your sports team
Highlight the importance of the cause; the difference they’ll make by sponsoring your team
Add real-life examples to form a connection; explain how their support will impact the people in the team
Use your package to outline all you can offer to a potential sponsor. This might be the size and demographics of your audience including players, parents, members and fans,, which could be not only people who attend your games but also website visitors, email subscribers, social media followers, and more. You should also be specific around the details about branding/advertisement placement, the duration their sponsorship will last or how often you’ll promote them.
Being authentic and establishing a personal relationship before going straight to the pitch shows that you’re not in it just for your benefit. It will also give them a great sponsorship experience which can turn into long-term support!
Go big or go home!
If your local community is not providing the results you need, it might be time to look at expanding your horizons and looking for regional or national sponsorship. But individual clubs are rarely able to attract the attention of the bigger, national brands.
At Gift of Kit, we’re all about connecting local clubs to national brands with our Clubs. Businesses and corporations are always on the lookout for opportunities to promote and market their products, and the more clubs that join Gift of Kit, the more brands we’re able to attract. This means big opportunities for them, but also bigger opportunities for you.
Get online and get connecting
Getting your team online can also help you secure sponsorships and funding; try performing a search for ‘youth sports sponsorships/grants’ to get a list of companies that are potentially open to funding opportunities. Your ability to position your club or team favourably in the community will affect your ability to land sponsorships! You could try inviting the companies you find to a club event, where you speak to them about the benefits of sponsoring your team, or keep it online with a virtual webinar!
Your sponsorship approaches will be successful if you target the right businesses. You’ll save time if you conduct research beforehand. Decide what you want to achieve with the help of sponsorship, and find the perfect partner to help you get there.
Be creative and have fun!
Finally, don’t focus on sponsorship solely in terms of financial gain. Usually, it’s worth it to think outside the box and use some creativity when approaching potential sponsors!
Generally speaking, most teams will approach a sponsorship as a ‘cash in exchange for a promotion’ kind of deal. Some businesses, however, might be cautious of potential risks in sponsoring a team, so it’s your job to reassure them and lower the perceived risk by offering promotion in exchange for something else.
This could be a typical promotion technique like pitch-side boards and website banners, alongside some alternatives and benefits like parents signing up to the businesses mailing list and members agreeing to share the businesses offers on social media. You could also run competitions through your social media to give the business some additional fun exposure! These ideas will show potential sponsors that you have put thought into the partnership and are willing to go the extra mile to support them in return for supporting you.
Free Sponsorship Proposal Template
We have used years of sports sponsorship experience to craft a proposal template to help you secure sponsorship for your club. You can easily customise the template to your club in a less than 30 mins, just leaving to you share it with potential sponsors! Download the free template here.
Let us help you!
Alternatively, you can apply for free kit through us. We’ve delivered over £3.3m of sponsored kit to clubs on behalf of clients like Sky Sports, HelloFresh, and Deliveroo. Every kit we have delivered into grassroots has been free of charge to the clubs! Joining Gift of Kit takes just a few minutes and can give your team access to sponsored kit, competitions and useful guides all designed to support grassroots teams like yours.