How to Evaluate a Sponsorship

friday, 13 september of 2013

Sinking sponsorship

by Amy Burton-Bradley

Sponsorships can be a veritable 'money pit' for the unwary. They can also be an extremely valuable tactic as part of your marketing and business development arsenal.

Marketing departments and managing partners are flooded daily with requests to sponsor industry and community groups, individuals or other associations. It's hard to decide what is worth it.

Here are some key criteria to help you understand what you should be looking for in using sponsorship to promote you and your firm.

  • Sponsorship proposals are expensive -- evaluate sponsorships according to value in profiling your firm or brand, practice group or individual -- what is the return on investment ?
  • Sponsorships should be closely aligned to your firm's brand, strategies and/or the direction of the relevant practice group.
  • Does it provide target audience fit and reach ? Is the composition of audience consistent with your objectives ? Is the size of audience significant enough to justify involvement ?
  • Is the sponsorship affordable ? Does it offer "value for money" ? -- additional leverage in the form of advertising, signage, giveaways, corporate hospitality ?
  • Does it offer good leverage opportunities such as public relations, media exposure, advertising or relationship marketing ?
  • Does it have acceptable levels of legal and physical risk -- not controversial or divisive ?
  • Who else is sponsoring ? Are they direct or indirect competitors ? What benefits are they entitled to ?
  • Could you become involved in the event in another way -- for instance offer one of your experts as speaker at the event instead ?
  • What other costs will there be ? Time costs ? Giveaways ? Specially produced marketing materials ?
  • Do you have the firm commitment of partners involved to follow up on relationships formed at the event ?
  • Do you have an action plan to back them up -- adding new contacts to your client and prospect database easily, marketing collateral for them to send to prospects etc ?

With these questions in mind, evaluating sponsorships should be a more straightforward and cool headed process and you won't get caught on a sinking sponsorship.

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© Trey Ryder

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