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How To Write A Sponsorship Letter That Gets Results

How to write a sponsorship letter that gets results

Done correctly, a sponsorship letter is an effective way to let potential sponsors know who you are and what you do. More importantly, though, it should leave them in no doubt about what you can do for them.

What makes a good sponsorship letter?

Typically, when an organisation sends a letter seeking sponsorship, it is usually all about what the organisation wants. This is the wrong approach.

If you are to be successful you should focus on what’s in it for the sponsor, not what’s in it for you.

It is absolutely vital you make it clear to potential sponsors that a relationship with you will be good for their business.

In some ways, a sponsorship letter is like a direct sales letter.

You should aim to:

  • Build the sponsor’s interest in what you have to offer, by identifying a challenge the sponsor is facing and providing a solution
  • Encourage the sponsor to take action. In this case, the call-to-action is simply to persuade the sponsor to make direct contact with you.

You are not trying to sell the sponsorship program yet. These are just the first steps in building a relationship that will ultimately lead to a marketing partnership.

A sample sponsorship letter

Copywriting expert, Ray Edwards, has developed the P.A.S.T.O.R Copywriting Framework (TM). It’s an extremely useful model, which I have used many times in my own sponsorship letters. It will guide you as you write yours.

Ray identifies a six-part framework, which will determine the sections of your letter:

  1. Person, Problem, Pain
  2. Amplify and Aspirations
  3. Story, Solution and System
  4. Transformation and Testimony
  5. Offer
  6. Response

Here is an outline of each section, with samples taken from my own letters.

1. Person, Problem, Pain

First, you identify the person you’re trying to reach, and describe in detail a challenge, or problem the person might have.

As a sponsorship seeker you’re in the marketing business. Your aim is to concentrate on a specific marketing-related challenge the potential sponsor is facing – for example, how current interruption-based marketing and advertising strategies are no longer as effective as they once were.

Dear Mr Smith,

As a busy marketing professional, it’s your responsibility to bring in new customers to keep sales ticking over. This has always been a challenge but each year it becomes even more difficult. Competition is getting tougher and the tactics that used to work are no longer producing the same results.

Consumers are bombarded with messages 24/7 and are learning to tune out advertising – particularly product-focused content that comes directly from brands. Fewer and fewer advertisements reach potential customers, as traditional media viewership shrinks every year.

Today, savvy consumers use ad-blockers when online, stream their entertainment ad-free, use social media for recommendations, and ignore most ads. As a result, engagement with advertising is on the decline. Consumer apathy and mistrust of ads are on the rise; they put more trust in reputable content and in people they know.

In short, advertising isn’t working like it used to. Consumers feel overwhelmed, interrupted, and stalked by advertising and have taken steps to remove it from their day-to-day lives.

2. Amplify and Aspirations

After describing the challenge in detail, now you should amplify the consequences of not addressing the problem, and then present the sponsor’s aspirations – a picture of what paradise looks like.

Today, more than ever, it’s vital that you include relationship-building in your marketing mix. If you ignore this important aspect, you are likely to leave tens of thousands of dollars in sales on the table, and give your competitors the room they need to take the initiative.

What you need is a marketing strategy that:

  • Doesn’t rely on interrupting consumers
  • Builds rapport, trust and authority
  • Creates irresistible experiences
  • Overcomes consumer inertia
  • Improves consumer sentiment towards your brand

Rather than chase elusive new customers, imagine there’s a ready-to-go audience of raving fans who know, like and trust your brand and are in the mood to buy.

You can stop imagining; these fans really do exist. You just need the right partner to help you make a connection with them.

3. Story, Solution and System

In the next section, you need to provide the sponsor with an insight into how you can solve the problem. This is where you tell your story. Use language that evokes emotion and gets the sponsor excited about who you are and what you do.

How to reach disengaged consumers

Best practice sponsorship provides the solution you need to reach disengaged and apathetic consumers. It allows trusted influencers, like us, to tell your story to fans. It provides laser targeted marketing and promotional opportunities that other channels simply can’t match.

Traditional advertising and marketing – like TV advertising, website pop-up banners or telemarketing – rely on interrupting people to get their attention.

Sponsorship, on the other hand, is all about creating positive experiences, as you weave your brand into an interactive, memorable and natural exchange with fans. It’s about demonstrating shared values and connecting with a like-minded community.

Who we are

Based in Victoria, KO Racing competes in the Super Sedan and Super Gas sportsman classes sanctioned by the Australian National Drag Association (ANDRA), the body appointed by the FIA to manage drag racing in Australia.

Drag Racing it isn’t just a sport; it’s an experience that affects all the senses. You feel it in your chest as the cars – the quickest and fastest accelerating vehicles on the planet – roar past you.

They come in all shapes, sizes and colours. Some look like those you might drive to the local shops; others come straight from the pages of a comic book, with their huge rear slicks, skinny front tyres and motors that shoot flames and smoke into the sky.

Each year thousands of fans make the pilgrimage to drag racing events around the country, to get their fix of high horsepower entertainment. For them, drag racing is like a religious experience, with its rituals, icons and a secret language that only other drag racing fans understand.

4. Transformation and Testimony

Next, detail the transformation they can expect if they build a relationship with you. Provide testimony –examples of sponsors who have benefited from a similar relationship. If you don’t have any relevant testimonials, use my Six Pillars of Sponsorship Success.

More leads for less

Fans belong to an exclusive club – a community of people who share their passion for fast cars.

When you partner with KO Racing, we’ll give you access to a ready-to-go audience of over 50,000 fans who are renowned for supporting the brands that support their passion.

According to surveys conducted by the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) in the USA, the largest drag racing association in the world:

  • 98% of event attendees feel positive about companies that sponsor drag racing
  • 89% of attendees try to support companies that sponsor the drag racing teams
  • 88% of attendees are likely to purchase the product of a drag racing sponsor over that of a non-sponsor
  • 66% of fans stated they have switched brands because the brand they switched to was a sponsor of drag racing
  • Over 90% of NHRA fans are likely to try a new product or service if they sponsor drag racing
  • 89% of drag racing fans are likely to take part in a promotion

You don’t have to chase new customers. Sponsorship means they will look forward to hearing from you.

The Six Pillars of Sponsorship Success

Let us help you build a bridge between consumers and your brand with the Six Pillars of Sponsorship Success – the reasons why partnering with KO Racing will be good for your business:

  1. The halo effect – the positive influence that flows from the fans to your brand. The power of the halo effect comes from what’s known as cognitive bias. Fans unconsciously transfer positive feelings to you, increasing the likelihood of choosing your products and services over those of your competitors.
  2. Engaged and passionate fans. We have a ready-to-go audience – thousands of engaged and passionate fans – aligned with your brand, and your ideal customers.
  3. Irresistible experiences. Together, with sponsorship, we can create irresistible experiences that bring your message, interactive elements and fans together in a live setting. This is where sponsorship shines. It cuts through the noise of interruption marketing and enriches the fan experience, creating genuine relationships with the audience, promoting emotional involvement, and building commitment to your brand.
  4. Social proof and influence – the phenomenon where our behaviour is influenced by others. We assume that decisions by people around us are correct and, therefore, we should follow them. Sponsorship allows you to tap into social proof by leveraging our influence with fans. Together, we can use this social proof to influence buying behaviour and brand affinity.
  5. Interactive content. One of the benefits of creating an irresistible fan experience is the interactive content that naturally flows from it. This content is fed into your marketing mix to promote your business, deliver quality leads, and strengthen relationships with current and potential customers
  6. Word-of-mouth referrals. Without a doubt, word-of-mouth referrals are among the very best sources of sales leads. When a good friend, favourite celebrity or trusted advisor recommends something, you usually listen. When we combine the halo effect, passionate fans, irresistible experiences, social proof and content creation, we promote an environment rich with word-of-mouth referral opportunities for your brand.

5. Offer

Now it is time to describe your offer in detail. Explain exactly what the sponsor can expect from a relationship with you.

What you can look forward to

As your dedicated promotional partner, we’ll connect your brand with drag racing fans and racers. Together, we’ll create, implement and activate a range of promotional strategies to generate leads and ultimately win new customers.

There are many opportunities to promote your brand directly to fans. Using the 6 Pillars of Sponsorship Success, the aim is to enrich and add value to the fan experience and create a win-win-win scenario.

Here are just a few ideas we’re sure will resonate with fans:

  • Crew chief for a day. Run a pre-event competition to be the team crew chief for a day. Experience drag racing up close and personal: preparing the drag car, helping with race tactics and taking control of the start-line procedures
  • Branded supporters pack. Drag Racing events are typically held in the warmer months. To make the experience more pleasurable and comfortable, we’ll develop a branded supporters’ pack. We’ll run competitions to win a supporters’ pack at events, in exchange for fan contact information
  • Practice tree challenge. Using our full-size Drag Racing Christmas tree and two hand controllers, we’ll run head-to-head virtual drag racing competitions between fans and racers. They are held during breaks in racing and after events, and contestants play for prizes and bragging rights

These promotional opportunities will be supported by a comprehensive range of marketing activities tailored to your specific marketing and communications objectives.

  • Internet marketing and social media. Our strategy will focus on developing a two-way conversation with fans so they can interact with, and become part of, the team; this develops a real sense of community
  • Press releases. We’ll write regular press releases and sent them to the appropriate drag racing related online media outlets
  • Press kit. For each race meeting, KO Racing will prepare an up-to-date press kit for the track’s media staff and commentators
  • Pre-race articles. Before each race meeting, to create interest, we will produce an article for the local media
  • Promotion and sales opportunities. At each race meeting we will promote your products, according to your marketing plan, and supported by your sales material
  • Signage ­– on drag car, fully enclosed trailer, tow car, crew uniforms and pit area etc.
  • Car shows and public displays. Throughout the year there will be a number of opportunities to display the drag car

6. Response

Finally – and this is extremely important  – you need a response. You must ask the sponsor to contact you and begin the relationship-building process.

Whatever you do, don’t be shy. Reiterate the cost of not taking up your offer and reinforce the ways in which you are good for the sponsor’s business.

Stop chasing customers and start attracting them

Mr Smith, you have two options at this point. You can continue to do what you have always done, and battle against growing customer apathy and disengagement. Alternatively, you can take a new path to an audience of engaged customers who want to buy what you are selling.

If you’re ready to stop chasing customers and start attracting them, give me a call on 0417 106 113 (or email kym@koracing.com).

Let’s get started and connect you with thousands of raving fans today.

Yours sincerely,

Kym Oberauer.

What next?

The letter above is an example of how to go about writing a sponsorship letter that actually works and gets results.

If you want more information – for example:

  • A sponsorship letter template
  • Ready-to-go sample sponsorship letters for different types of organisations (sporting groups, not for profit, associations etc.)
  • Tips and tactics on how to get the right contact details for your sponsorship letter

Simply click this email link (kym@practicalsponsorshipideas.com), press send and I’ll let you know when my sponsorship letter writing pack goes on sale.

Happy sponsorship seeking,

Kym.

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