Where to Start
Start by looking at your contest calendar and identifying all the promotions that a given advertiser could sponsor. Then approach the advertiser with a plan for the year, instead of just an isolated advertisement or special section. Provide context, and help your advertiser see the bigger picture.
There are as many different options for sponsorship packages as there are potential sponsors. The most important thing to remember is to tailor the package to the needs of your advertiser. For example, an advertiser in need of a bigger social footprint could participate in a like-gated contest on their social media site.
Beyond that, it’s important to go to your advertisers with solutions that that will last for the full year, as opposed to one-off contests or advertisements. For example, if you approach an auto dealer, mention everything you will be doing all year that could make sense for them, such as auto racing, basketball, golf, and football. For a local bank, mention your community-oriented promotions, such as cutest kids or pets, salute to nurses, Mother’s Day, or even talent. (Review all the contest ideas you can choose from.) Remind your advertisers that all of the repeated exposure adds up, even if they’re only signed on for a few contests during the year.
What to Include in a Sales Package
When creating a package, think beyond a single date, but also beyond a single promotional strategy. Here are a few ideas to get you started as you figure out what works best for your target advertisers:
- VIP sponsorship, naming rights (including the sponsor’s name in the contest title)
- Full branding takeover on the contest page
- Rich media ads, such as peel aways for sliding billboards
- Run of site ads
- Inclusion in promotional material in print or on air
- Inclusion in mobile and social media promotional materials
- Email opt-ins
- Featured in email to promotional database
- Inclusion in email promotions throughout the contest
- Featured on the winners page as a prize sponsor
- Bounceback offer when anyone registers or submits
- Additional advertisements in print or online that hits during the contest times
- Featured in a story online, in print, or on air
- If there is a corresponding event, include your advertiser on event signage and/or give them an event booth
When you create your packages, think about the value of all of the components included and then price them so they make sense for both you and your advertiser. To learn more about how to price sponsorship packages, read this article.
How have you helped solve problems for your advertisers in the past? Is there anything you would do differently next time? Weigh in in the comments!