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Sports and Event Sponsorship: Your Business Goals Matter

Posted on: June 6th, 2016

In a traditional sense, to sponsor an event means that your money helps fund the event. And yes, in today’s sports and event marketing industries, sponsors still help pay the cost of doing business. Because, let’s be honest, those player salaries, facility rentals and game day experiences aren’t going to pay for themselves. Sponsors are critical to a team’s financial success.

In my 17-year career, I’ve yet to work with a single client who bought a sponsorship solely because they wanted to help pay for the sports team or event. No, company executives expect the sponsorship to help move their business forward as well. So why do so many businesses abandon their sponsorships after a year or two? Most likely the final contract wasn’t a match for the client’s marketing goals. There are many reasons why this may happen, including:

1. The sponsorship was bought because you love the team. There is absolutely nothing wrong with sponsoring a team you love — sponsorships include great access and amazing benefits. But eventually you’ll need to justify the expense and quantify your renewal. If you don’t go into the sports negotiation with a good grasp on your business goals, your finance team and executive team will eventually look at the line item expense and wonder, “Why are we doing this?”

2. The sponsorship includes inventory that has no value. Does your contract include tabling opportunities but you have limited support staff? On-site opportunities are amazing ways to interact with fans, but if you end up paying for time and materials for activation that weren’t in your budget, and your team is overextended by the extra work, then you might give up on a renewal because your initial experience was a bust.

3. The team/event toted big attendance and viewership numbers, but all or a large portion of the demographic was never a match. Know your customer! If you aren’t getting in front of the people who have the ability to help you achieve your business goals, then you’ve spent in excess and someone will realize the partnership isn’t moving your business forward.

If you don’t have a sports marketing professional on your staff, get one at the negotiating table to represent you. I’m biased, of course, toward our own group Appleton Sports Marketing, and while we’re the best in the business, we aren’t your only option. Do your research. And get the deal that helps you reach your business goals!


At Appleton Sports Marketing, we represent clients in their negotiation of event and sports sponsorships, because your business goals matter. Here’s what we do for you:

Discovery Session: Let’s talk about your business and set goals.

Budget: Let’s set a budget and agree that if it doesn’t fit in the budget, it isn’t right for your business. And let’s talk about your activation costs, because you should know your full expenses before you sign a contract.

Negotiation: Let’s find the right sponsorship that gets in front of the right people and moves your business forward. And let’s do it under budget.


About Appleton Sports Marketing

Appleton Sports Marketing is a division of Appleton Creative. Appleton Sports Marketing works to help clients negotiate their best sports sponsorship deals. We help identify sponsorship goals, outline team deliverables and review performance metrics. The client sets the budget. Appleton Sports Marketing gets the best deal. Your sports sponsorship goals are worth a conversation: contact us at 407-246-0092 or amy@appletoncreative.com.