Identify the Type of Sponsorship You Are Offering
There are three main sponsorship types.
- Exclusive: With an exclusive sponsorship, your advertiser would be the sole sponsor of the contest and have all promotional efforts focused on their brand. If you were running a pet contest, your exclusive sponsor might be one veterinarian.
- Category-Specific: A category-specific sponsorship allows you to sign on multiple sponsors while ensuring that none of those sponsors are in direct competition with one another. A pet contest with category-specific sponsorships might have one veterinarian and one pet groomer as sponsors, because while both work with pets, a veterinarian and a groomer would not be competing for the same dollars from a customer.
- Multiple-Sponsor: A multiple-sponsor sponsorship is exactly what it sounds like – a contest with more than one sponsor with no category restrictions. A multiple-sponsor pet contest could have a veterinarian and a groomer for sponsors, but it could also have two veterinarians as sponsors (or, for that matter, two veterinarians and a groomer).
The price of a sponsorship should be scaled up or down depending on the number of sponsors. Since an exclusive sponsor gets all of the promotional attention, an exclusive sponsorship should be offered at a higher price-point than a category-specific sponsorship (which should in turn be offered for more than a multiple-sponsor sponsorship).
Align Your Contest with Traditional Promotions
It’s very difficult to put an accurate price on a sponsorship package until you know exactly what that package will contain.
As you are identifying which promotional elements you should include, be sure to consider if you can integrate your contest with other promotion you are doing in print or on air. Can you align your contest with any special programming or special sections? If so, include the added value of the special section or air time in your sponsorship package.
An example of such an alignment would be a high school football contest run alongside a special football section or an on air weekly football round up. Since you would be promoting the special programming as well as the contest, this adds value to – and should increase the price point of – the sponsor packages you bring to advertisers.
Sell Bundled Packages
Plan your promotions calendar well in advance, so that when it comes time to sell you can approach your advertisers with a package of bundled promotions. Doing so saves your sales reps from having to return to the same advertisers again and again, gives those advertisers extra promotional exposure, and saves you from leaving money on the table. After all, if you approach advertisers with a plan for the full year before they have had a chance to allocate their entire advertising budget, you have a much better chance of securing multiple sponsorships from those advertisers.
For example, instead of returning to the same auto dealership three times over the course of the year, pitch your football, basketball, and auto racing contests all at the same time. Just be sure to include the tripled promotional value in the price of the bundled package.
Put Numbers to Promotional Elements in the Package
Once you have identified your sponsorship type, aligned your contest with any relevant special sections or programming, and bundled contests together, it’s time to actually put a price on everything.
Start by thinking of the value of every individual element you are including in the package. What promotion are you offering in print or on air? What about online? On Facebook or other social media platforms? Will you be including an email opt-in on the registration page? Sending a promotional email to your database with links to your advertiser’s website or Facebook page? Will you be including their logo or a special coupon or offer?
Remember – everything you offer has value.
So, let’s take a look at a sample package for a single contest being run by a mid-size newspaper:
- Contest setup and placement on the contest page of your website: $500
- 100,000 300×250 ROS impressions on website: $2,000
- 100% SOV expanding pencil ad on your homepage (twice during contest:) $2,000
- Feature on homepage carousel promoting contest with logo: $750
- Email opt-in on the contest registration page: $500
- Like button for the advertiser on the registration page: $500
- Email campaign with 6 different emails, all including the advertiser’s logo $5,000
- Logo inclusion on all promo ads for the contest in print and online: $1,000
- Social media mentions with links back to the advertiser’s Facebook or Twitter pages throughout the contest: $500
Total value: $8,250
Prepare Your Pitch
Once you have priced your package and are preparing your pitch for the advertiser(s), here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Facebook Likes have value. Facebook Likes for your advertiser are gifts that keep on giving, as they can continue to market to those customers long after the contest has ended.
- Email Opt-ins have value. An email opt-in database is an incredibly valuable tool for identifying new leads after the contest.
- A loyal audience has value. Sports pick’em contests and user-generated contests – like photo and video contests – attract an audience that will return week after week or day after day to enter, vote, check for winners, and more. You advertiser’s brand would be front and center for that repeated exposure.
- The ability to reach a niche audience has value. Contest entrants tend to be a highly-targeted, self-selecting bunch. If your advertiser is a good fit for the theme of the contest, then they will be exposed to a relevant audience full of potential new leads.
So there you go! Now you have the tools and tips you need to accurately price your sponsor packages and ensure that you are receiving adequate compensation for the promotion you are providing your advertisers.